Arthur Frommer Tells All

ask.jpgI’m finding it impossible to finish Arthur Frommer’s new book “Ask Arthur Frommer: And Travel Better, Cheaper, Smarter” because I keep running across tips that I can’t wait to check out.

So I’ll read a few pages and run to the computer to follow up. A holistic yoga retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii? I’m there! Low-cost Spanish lesson in the gorgeous university city of Salamanca, Spain? Got to check it out.

Now I realize I have to keep my netbook next to me while I read or I’ll end up getting way too much exercise running to the computer.

The book includes many entries from Arthur’s excellent blog but I keep learning things, even though I also read the blog regularly.

The extensive list of Arthur’s favorite places to visit, with essays and multiple tips on how to get the most out of each one, would be worth the price of the book by itself. But that section takes up only about a quarter of the 482 pages. The rest of the book is loaded with a wide range of tips for the budget-minded traveler, strongly held expert opinions and wisely considered strategies on how to travel.

Reading it is like having dinner — and a glass of wine and then coffee and dessert — with the world’s best travel advisor.

The book is also full of Web links that can send you off on a digital voyage. (Yes, Arthur Frommer is almost 80 years old and he’s totally Web savvy, so you can just chuck that stereotype out the window.) I find that I’ll read for 15 minutes and then spend two hours Web surfing, fantasizing and strategizing. Hawaii. Spain. Vietnam. Greece. I’m ready. Let’s go!

Any number of glossy magazines can dazzle you with fantasy, luxury vacations that only a tiny percentage of Americans will ever be able to afford. This book is for the rest of us, providing sound, practical, realistic and helpful information about travel that is within our reach. What could be more exciting than that?


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