We dove into the archives to select our favorite guidebook covers from six decades of showing you the sights. Sometimes the designs are jaw-dropping—and sometimes for the wrong reasons. We've certainly covered a lot of ground over the years, both geographically and in relation to the boundaries of good taste. Which is your favorite?
The G.I.'s Guide to Travelling in Europe (1955)
This self-published rarity was the prequel to the Frommer's guide. Arthur Frommer whipped it up while stationed in Germany to help out his fellow soldiers. The book was illustrated by his friend John J. Pusey, and it instantly sold out—in those days no one was writing guidebooks for the average joe, much less the average G.I. Joe. Arthur knew he was onto something, and the Frommer's brand was soon born.
Europe on 5 Dollars a Day (1957)
This is the book that started it all—both the Frommer's publishing brand and the traveling lives of countless people who learned how to see the world within their means. Note how in some early editions, the title contained no dollar sign, but instead spelled out the word. This made the book easier to catalog and promote.
Mexico on 5 Dollars a Day (1960)
In lieu of photos, our earliest guides featured cartoon illustrations and hand-drawn maps. Ron Kelleher supplied artwork for our first books on the Caribbean and Mexico. He also designed this cover.