We’ve grown a lot since publishing our first 20-page pamphlet to Europe in 1960, but 6 decades and 75 titles later, our witty, candid guides are still researched and written entirely by Harvard students on shoestring budgets who know that train strikes, stolen luggage, food poisoning, and marriage proposals are all part of a day’s work.
Jessica Luo | Publishing Director
Jessica is a junior at Harvard concentrating in Neuroscience. Originally from San Jose, California, she enjoys the New England fall foliage and the concept of actual seasons, but remains true to her NorCal roots. Apart from working and studying, she can be found golfing with the women’s golf team at Harvard or hunting for new shows on Netflix.
Favorite Travel Destination: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Francesca Malatesta | Editor-in-Chief
Francesca is a junior at Harvard, concentrating in History & Literature. Born and raised in Nahant, Massachusetts, she loves spending as much time as she can by the ocean. On campus, she can usually be found reading on the quad, enjoying a cup of coffee, or running to catch the shuttle. An explorer at heart, Francesca is happiest when she is hiking, traveling, or practicing yoga.
Favorite Travel Destination: Isola Bella, Italy
Michelle Borbon | Associate Editor
Michelle Borbon is a recent Harvard graduate and concentrated in Social Studies. Michelle grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and is the daughter of two Mexican immigrants. She feels strong ties to her Mexican family members and is a Harvard Latinas Unidas alum. Besides editing at Let’s Go, Michelle can be found traveling to midwestern states for intercollegiate policy debate tournaments or watercolor painting.
Favorite Travel Destination: Cinque Terre, Italy
Sixty years ago, Oliver Koppell came to Harvard as a young man with a big idea: to create a travel guide for those who thought travel was beyond their reach.
The 18-year-old entrepreneur found the perfect partner to launch his plan into action: Harvard Student Agencies (HSA). On the floor of his freshman dorm room, Koppell crafted 25 pages of advertisements, brochures, and tips on touring Europe. With the 1960 European Guide in hand, three planeloads of HSA customers set off for Europe, and since then the travel-guide world was never the same. Since then, HSA and Let’s Go have constantly succeeded in realizing the dream of accessible budget travel.
By 1986, almost 500,000 Let’s Go books were being produced, hitting the shelves just three months after being researched—light-years ahead of the competition. The young trail-blazers at Let’s Go continued to embrace modernity when the 1986 team computerized the entire series. In 1988, as another new title was launched, Let’s Go’s total readership was up to 1,600,000. The 2011 series saw Let’s Go’s focus return to Europe, its bread and delicious butter; nearly all of the coverage was rewritten from scratch to ensure the highest quality prose and information.
Today, we’ve continued to refine and perfect our coverage of Europe—as the cities grow and change, we’re adapting right along with it, going out of our way to find unique, off-the-beaten-path gems in each city we visit. Let’s Go Europe 2020 features 672 pages of comprehensive, up-to-date, honest advice on how to make the most of your European experience, all while retaining the mission that Koppell envisioned: making travel as accessible as possible to everyone.