Travel writer Pauline Frommer was born to roam. Co-President of Frommer Media LLC, the family-owned busi- ness behind the Frommer guidebooks
and Frommers.com, she also co-hosts a nation-
ally syndicated radio travel show with her father,
Arthur Frommer. Her latest best-selling book,
Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City 2015,
covers every inch of her beloved hometown. Not
that she’s ever there for too long a stretch; last
year she journeyed to over 20 locations, including
Taiwan and Australia.
JWM: Of all the far-flung places you’ve
visited, do you have any favorites?
Pauline Frommer: I don’t, to be honest with
you. I don’t like going back to the same places
over and over. I like to explore different places.
JWM: Do you always have a go-bag at
PF: No, because each trip is different. But our
family of four only owns four carry-on bags. That
forces us to be disciplined. We can’t over-pack
because our bags are small. And if I under-pack it
gives me a great excuse to go shopping.
JWM: What’s one thing that’s always in
PF: A good book. You never know when you’re
going to get stuck somewhere without power. I
try to read about a place before I go, because you
can’t just expect somebody to tell you all there
is to see and do in a destination. On my way to
Australia I read The Fatal Shore by the Australian
art historian Robert Hughes.
JWM: What’s the first thing you do at a
PF: My job is to get out and explore and
explain. I find that my freshest impressions
happen the first day, so I hit the streets, taking
as many notes as I can.
JWM: What are your must-do travel tips?
PF: You must talk with people other than the
concierge or the waiter. That sometimes involves
a little advance planning. Because I often travel
alone and have to review restaurants, I go on
social media and ask friends to lend me their
friends at destinations I’m visiting. Those dinners
are always a highlight because I get to speak to
people who are from the place, it’s a nice social
evening and I also learn so much about the place
I’m visiting. It always helps my writing, and it
helps my spirit. Before you go, make contacts
with people in the destination so you can have
an authentic interchange. Travel shouldn’t just
be about seeing old dead stuff; it should also be
about exploring the current culture. p
All in the Family
Pauline Frommer offers up some travel tips
that come from a lifetime of experience.
“I HIT THE
AS I CAN.”