Travel Past or Present?

Airplane over Paris

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.

Photo via 1950sUnlimited on Flickr, used under CC license

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.

Photo via 1950sUnlimited on Flickr, used under CC license

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.

Photo via Kirt Baab on Flickr used under CC licensePhoto via Kirt Baab on Flickr used under CC license

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.

Santa Cruz Dream Inn Hotel Review

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.

11 thoughts on “Travel Past or Present?

  1. yes!! I even feel like flying as a child was more magical than it is now. I remember the first time we went to disney world I was in the 2nd grade and could not get over the hot pocket-esque sandwich my sister and I received!
    elle spann
    Southern Elle Style

  2. I personally would love to travel in the golden ages… its so beautifully nostalgic and lets be honest, the advertisement graphics are gorgeous. I feel like going back in time gives you the essence of travelling as a kid. It was always so fun, no matter how long the car ride!

  3. Yeah I always get a kick out of seeing the travel stuff on Mad Men! Can you also imagine everyone smoking it up on the plane?! I agree with the modern age, but everything is coming back in a circle now anyway, especially fashion!!
    xoxo Amanda
    The Miller Affect

  4. I have to admit I hate flying now, especially with all of the big recent tragedies with commercial planes. I used to love to fly because my dad is a pilot & he would fly us all the time in a Cessna plane or jet. Unfortunately now I have the worst anxiety & worry about if the pilot is depressed or going to accidentally forget to check a vital part of the plane. I try to sleep through it all so I don’t have to be so anxious the entire flight!! xx

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