Modern holiday experience ‘same as in Victorian era’

The modern day traveller might not be all that different from the traveller 150 years ago in the Victorian era. It seems that while a century and more has passed, the holiday experience is fairly similar, with people having the same gripes now as they did back then. has produced an infographic to demonstrate that Victorian holidaymakers were just as likely to complain about the food, passport control and the lack of English speakers then as people are today. The comparison between then and now is quite surprising, as 150 years ago Brits were still required to show a passport when travelling to Europe. At the time, the Times newspaper declared customs to be a “tyranny most repulsive to our British notions”.

While today’s travellers might not be so dramatic, there are many people that moan about airport protocol, such as 100ml liquids, no food past customs, a limited amount of hand luggage and the like. The Victorian era is considered the ‘golden age of travel’, but transport was often not pleasant, with stagecoaches cramped and dirty. Not a dissimilar complaint to the lack of legroom on a flight.

It’s easy to think that travelling with gadgets, such as your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, games console, is most definitely a modern day problem. However, the Victorians would also be keen to take their compass, pocket watch and map on holiday – cutting edge for the time. One of the biggest changes between then and now is where Brits holiday. While Paris is still one of the most popular city breaks, being just over the Channel, it is far easier for modern day holidaymakers to travel around the world.

In contrast, the Victorians were reliant on steam ships and carriages, taking a long time to cover just hundreds of miles. It was also far more dangerous, with the need for travel insurance just as important then as it is now.

So, whether it’s whinging about the lack of a good cuppa, cramped travel conditions, ‘continental’ breakfasts it seems Brits were never good at travelling. And with so many similarities between 19th and 21st century travel, it’s a wonder whether our attitudes to travel will adapt much over the next 150 years.

Date Created: 02 April 2014

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