Press & Praise

»  "A delight from start to finish," "Funny and thoughtful," "A testament to the transformative power of travel"



“An amusing and a wonderful read.”  - Arthur Frommer

(on the radio show Rudy Maxa's World; listen to his full glowing review here.)


Refreshing in its intelligence, candor, good-humored self-deprecation, and insightful redemption of the much-maligned tourist, Mack’s account is a trail-reblazing testament to the transformative power of travel in the modern world, and to the enduring richness of those well-trod places where authenticity, history, culture, and fame compose their own never-ending narratives.”

  - National Geographic Traveler (selected as Book of the Month)


Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day won a Lowell Thomas Award from the American Society of American Travel Writers! The judges said: "This is such a unique premise for a travel book! At first blush, it doesn’t make sense to use a 50-year-old travel guide as your main information source for a trip across Europe, but maybe that’s the point. Instead of eschewing the tourist culture that so many travel books try to avoid, Doug Mack celebrates the time-honored main attractions. He brings a sense of nostalgia to his book, using the aged travel guide and vignettes from a 1960s European adventure of his mother’s — mixed with great writing and a heavy dose of self-deprecating humor — to create an engaging and poignant travel memoir."


"In his quick-witted, sprightly travelogue, Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day, author Doug Mack addresses a common dilemma of travelers: how to see the famous sights—Paris, Rome, Venice—and not feel like one more brainless tourist. . . . Mack is invariably cheerful and literate, and he makes for good company in this breezy traipse through today's Europe."

- Perceptive Travel


A genial companion for the armchair traveler.

  - Kirkus Reviews


"Unlike travel books focused on local color or distant destinations, this amusing narrative chronicles a traveler’s experience of Europe’s hot spots and tourist culture. Recommended."

- Library  Journal


Publishers Weekly Top 10 Forthcoming Travel Books, Spring 2012.


“In this age of Yelp and TripAdvisor, who'd have thought that one of dustiest dinosaurs of European guidebooks could inspire some of the freshest travel writing in recent memory? Doug Mack, that's who. This charming chronicle will leave you daydreaming of scribbled postcards, overstuffed backpacks and having nothing urgent to do but study the train schedule over one more cup of coffee.”

  - Mark Adams,  author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu


“Whether he’s out 'Frommering' or searching for his latest chocolate croissant fix, Doug Mack is always funny and thoughtful. The perfect travel companion. With one foot in 1963 and another firmly in today, Mack adroitly straddles two eras, never losing his balance. Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day is a delight from start to finish.”

  - Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss


“Funny, well written, and even informative, this brand new take on a 50-year-old guidebook–gimmick or no–will bring you a lot of enjoyment.“

- A Traveler's Library


"Mack finds the essence of each country’s identity [and] ... effectively transmits the travel bug."

- MinnPost


"The book is sweetly charming, with laugh-out loud moments, but it also has some serious points to make about modern travel and the effects of globalism over the last half-century. Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day is an amusing, self-effacing, and very wry travel memoir, told by an observant and affable narrator."

- Staff recommendation from Williamsburg regional library





Minnesota Public Radio, "Morning Edition"

On the general story behind the book and the social history of tourism in the last generation.


WGN Radio with Bill Leff

A long, sprawling, and notably funny interview with a notably funny guy. It's a late-night show, which upped the absurdity level.


TVW (Seattle / Tacoma PBS), "Well Read"

Long TV interview with the former travel editor of the Seattle Times, about my personal changes on the trip (from totally neurotic to ... slightly less neurotic), the lost glamour of the Hotel Texas in Rome, and all kinds of other things. (Video embedded below.)


World Hum

On why I embrace the beaten path, and how said beaten path has changed--and hasn't in the last generation. With additional comments about Checkpoint Charlie vs. Snackpoint Charlie (a real thing!). For the extended version of this interview, read on.


Leif Pettersen / Killing Batteries

The director's cut version of the interview I did with Leif for World Hum. Longer, weirder, awesomer.

On my most awkward experience with my outdated guidebook and how Arthur Frommer changed travel and travel guides forever.


KARE 11 TV (Twin Cities NBC station) (first interview) (second interiview)

Two different interviews about the book and what's changed in Europe, with a special shout-out to Liz Taylor's one-time favorite hotel in Rome.


Detroit Free Press

On how Europe on Five Dollars a Day helped create the "beaten path" and why I (spoiler alert) kind of hated Venice.


Rudy Maxa's World  radio show

On what has changed (and what hasn't) in Europe and how my mother's postcards resemebled a 1960s version of Facebook. BONUS: listen to the segment after mine for Arthur Frommer's glowing review of my book!


Metro Magazine

On how I got the idea for the book and the joys (and perils) of traveling without an itinerary.


CBC Radio's Q with Jian Ghomeshi

On traveling ON the beaten path, defending tourists, and taking not-so-flattering photos of famous places


Peter Greenberg Worldwide radio show

On the best photo I never took and the value in not taking too many pictures


Alexis Grant / The Traveling Writer

On getting a book deal and the research and writing process


Kirk Horsted / MakeYourBreakAway

On my travel experiences, in particular my trip researching the book


Well Read / TVW

(Seattle / Tacoma PBS)


(Minneapolis / Saint Paul NBC)

BY THE NUMBERS: Price of a room at  [hotel name redacted] in Zurich, circa 1963: $3, including breakfast ... Price of a room in 2009: 145 CHF (ABOUT $130), not including breakfast (apparently--and, yeah, there's a story) ... Adjectives Arthur uses to describe said hotel: rustic, quiet, old-fashioned ...

Adjectives I'd use: loud, ugly, clearly geared toward business travelers with expense accounts and a high tolerance for the greatest interior design hits of 1986 ... Highest price of a watch seen displayed in a Zurich shop window: 94,700 CHF ...




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