- Category: Luxury Travel
- Author: LaCure Villas
How Travel Has Changed Over the Last 100 Years
How the travel times have changed. Picture this family in the 1960s ready to take a vacation abroad that they have planned down to the last detail with their travel agent. They arrive at the airport dressed to the nines, ready for the adventure of a lifetime, including dining in the sky. As their plane lands, they will be served chewing gum on a tray to help pop their ears with the pressure change.
Now see a modern family. In the middle of winter they have gone to the airport washroom to change into Hawaiian T-shirts and shorts to get ready for their arrival at the sun destination they have booked themselves. Their cut-rate trip leaves at three in the morning, with optional meals barely worth eating. They are packed together on the flight, preparing them for their packed ground transportation and packed all-inclusive resort. And of course there is no gum served.
How did we go from there to here?
First we have to look back even further. In the beginning of the 19th century, people didn’t get vacation time, and travel, if any, was by horse and buggy, usually done for health purposes. Later in the century leisure travel came with the railroads and the building of the hotels to serve them.
The process continued into the 20th century with the widespread adoption of cars and construction of highways, leading to families in woodie wagons, piled high with their stuff, going on road trips to parts unknown.
The 1950s and ’60s became the Jet Age, with people flocking to popular destinations like Disneyland or Las Vegas, or winging off to exotic locales worldwide for true luxury travel. They dressed specially for the occasion and viewed travel as a rare privilege.
Now travel has become a common right. Economic downturns in the 1980s and the 2000s led to the popularity of budget vacations and cut-rate airlines. The process was given momentum with the rise of the Internet, the widespread use of computers, and the recent emergence of smartphones, tablets and social media.
Now people can research and book their own trips, with lots of recommendations from other travellers. The world has become smaller, more accessible and less mysterious. Often getaways are not real vacations, since Internet cafes, universal Wi-Fi and mobile devices keep many tethered and working while they are away. Airplanes have become little more than airbuses.
As vacations have evolved into self-catered affairs, there has also been an opposite, rising demand among aficionados of luxury travel for truly authentic experiences. Experiences that can get lost in the overwhelming amount of information available online.
For these travelers time is valuable, so they want their arrangements made so they are fast, efficient, seamless, and preferably enjoyed in the comfort of first or business class, or in a private jet charter. They demand personalized service and insider information from their travel concierges about destinations, to create unique experiences.
They want to find new, more absorbing ways to enjoy tried-and-true luxury meccas, like renting luxurious villas in France or Italy or private Caribbean islands. They also want the inside scoop on emerging travel destinations, such as China, Indonesia, Eastern Europe or Scandinavia. Whether traveling through the wine county of South Africa or getting lost among the snake charmers and jugglers in a Marrakech marketplace, they want to combine adventure with luxury comfort awaiting them at the end of the day.
Accommodation continues to be the primary concern of discriminating travelers when booking trips. These accommodations fall into categories that include classic luxury hotels, resorts and, vacation ownership properties and privately owned villas that offer exclusive retreats.