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Golden age of travel- Then and now

This is a guest post by Hamish Wilson 

As the world grows older, the differences between now and then become more pronounced. Social customs, mores, fashion, and travelling styles are among the significant cultural changes that take place. Those who travelled in the past were those who left notes for fellow backpackers and relied solely on withered paper maps to guide them. Not a phone device that could do everything in one go. However, the 1950s was considered a ‘golden period’ in the realm of luxury travel and those with cash to burn back then also, did indulge in luxury travel. So, who walks away as the final winner in luxury travel? Then or now? Read on to find out:

transport

Comfort on Public Transport

These days, catching a bus or train isn’t the pain it used to be. Back in the 1950s, there were very few air-conditioned trains and buses. Even the concept of a bar to buy food and drinks, while on the go, is new. Most airplanes had crammed seating arrangements and fewer options in meals. So, when it comes to comfort on public transport – be it planes, buses, or trains – modern day travel is definitely the winner.

public transport

Food and Dining Etiquette

In today’s fast-paced world, there really is no dearth of food options that are cheap and convenient. However, they certainly lack the refinement and elegance of fine-dining etiquettes. The dining etiquette in the 1950s included dressing up and slowly savouring a multi-course-meal at a fancy restaurant as part of one’s luxury travel experience. The 1950s decade wins hands down in the category of how and what we eat while traveling.

In-flight entertainment

Flying was and is the most convenient way to get from one destination to another in a short span of time. However, back then people didn’t expect a TV screen with a variety of movies to watch while flying. The ubiquitous travel magazine or newspaper had to suffice in the 1950s. While it is true that TVs and charging points for laptops and iPads make in-flight entertainment more exciting these days, there is still no harm in losing yourself in a riveting book while flying.

Inter-City, Intra-City Travel

The concept of travelling in a private car, while on a tour to a new place, was quite unheard of in the 1950s. Nowadays, however intra-city and inter-city travel in countries around the world has been made so much easier by luxury car rental agencies like Hertz. The implementation of the idea of tourists having easy access to a private car in a new city in order to explore it at their own pace, has indeed revolutionized the travel scene.A pat on the back to the present era again.

Cost

Let alone luxury travel and bespoke tours, travelling itself was a privilege not many could afford in the 1950s. However, with the emergence of a strong, budding middle-class in most countries of the world, there has been a proliferation of budget hotels, mid-priced restaurants, great package deal tours; the works. These days travelling isn’t just cheaper and planning easier, steep competition among hotels, travel agencies, airlines, and so on has made sure that the aspiring traveller has plenty of choices that suit his taste and budget. Kudos to 2015 once more.

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  • That’s interesting about comfort on public transport though in the past it was less crowded so even though it was slower, it was probably more relaxing!

    • I’d tend to agree with you on this one Suze. I’m currently in Rome right now and what I know for sure is that I stay far away from public transport right now: busses are packed, trams haven’t been driving for the last two months and no one knows when they will start up again and the metro lines just aren’t convenient for me to take 😉