15 November 2010

From $5 to $95: the evolution of a guidebook budget

You used to be able to find the Europe on $__ a Day guidebooks listed on the Frommers.com web site, here. Now you land on a page reading "404 error - page not found." The metaphor is all too obvious, all too cheap, yet still retains some essential poignancy: the guidebook that led millions of people around unfamiliar terrain is now lost itself.

The "dollar-a-day" books ended in 2007, fifty years after it started; the final version was Europe on $95 a Day. The timeline below shows how the titular amount evolved over the years. Just for kicks, I've added the inflation-adjusted worth of $5 in 1957; these amounts are listed in brackets (and for the record, according to the US government, $5 in 1957 has the same buying power as $38.87 now--in general terms, if not in travel terms). 

1957:  Europe on $5 a Day
1972:  Europe on $5 and $10 a Day  [$7.44]
1979:  Europe on $15 a Day  [$12.92]
1981:  Europe on $20 a Day  [$16.17]
1987:  Europe on $25 a Day  [$20.21]
1990:  Europe on $40 a Day  [$23.26]
1991:  Europe on $45 a Day  [$24.23]
1996:  Europe on $50 a Day  [$27.92]
2000:  Europe From $60 a Day (note the change in wording!)  [$30.64]
2000:  Europe From $70 a Day 
2007:  Europe From $95 a Day  [$36.89]

(Note: I wasn't always able to determine the precise year of each title change, so in some cases it's an educated guess based on the earliest publication date I was able to find for the title.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

You know the drill: keep it civil and on-topic, don't spam, don't run with scissors, floss. For posts older than three weeks, comments will be moderated before publication.