Have you ever imagined what travel would be like decades ago, during the so-called Golden Age of travel? The closest I can imagine is by watching the movie Catch Me If You Can, which I’m sure doesn’t paint the full picture of travel during this time. Today Expedia has asked me to reflect on my thoughts about this article describing travel in the Golden Age. In summary it was all about comfort, space, and luxury. I’m no expert but based on my limited knowledge, I can only assume that I would much enjoy travel in the present more than I would the past.
via 1950’s unlimited
Booking a vacation in the 1950’s was a luxury for many. The price would average five-times the amount of one’s average weekly paycheck. In comparison to today’s pricing, travel was nearly twice as expensive then. Thanks to major advances in the industry, today you can book longer non-stop flights instead of having to make 4-5 smaller ones. Destinations available today far outlist the airports of the past. Security and check-in were a breeze, only needing to arrive a mere thirty minutes before your departure time. That’s a huge difference to the two to three hour recommended time for today. Security was also near non-existent, so I’m sure some potential threats went by unnoticed. Checking bags was standard, with lots of ads featuring a mass of luggage surrounding a single passenger, a completely different experience from my travel light method today. Going on a holiday meant donning a new wardrobe, sometimes bringing out your fancier clothing just for the flight. This is a far cry from today’s casual-comfort approach to air travel.
via 1950’s unlimited
Once on board the aircraft, passengers were afforded more legroom, a higher attendant to passenger ratio, three course meals, stylish decor, freedom to move around and unlimited alcohol. As someone who flies often, this sounds very appealing to me, but was it really all of those things? You were also allowed to smoke during flights, which I wouldn’t consider a positive. The air was often hazy and hard for non-smokers to breathe. The in-flight entertainment was limited compared to today’s standards. Today we enjoy multimedia, wifi, and most of the modern conveniences that are afforded to us on the ground. Meals are sometimes included (if you’re lucky) but are almost always available for purchase.
via kirt baab
Many of the perks from the 1950’s once you reach your destination appeal to me. The idyllic beach huts, the boardwalks, the mid-century modern architecture and design, all some of my favorite things. Aside from modern day technology (Wifi!), the Golden Age might win it for me in accommodations. Today’s offerings are certainly more affordable, widely-available, and diverse, offering something for everyone.
All in all, I’m glad that travel has progressed beyond the Golden Age. The modern day perks that we enjoy today well outweigh any extra legroom in times past. Flights are ten times safer now, cabins are quieter and smoke free, in-flight entertainment is available, the cost to fly is less than half, and though security is a hassle sometimes, it’s worth it in the long run.
How do you feel about travel? Would you prefer the Golden Age or today?
This post was sponsored by Expedia. All opinions, text, and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make life here at Team Wiking a little sweeter.