10 Outdated Travel Customs Boomers Had to Endure (Bless Their Hearts)

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Craving a return to the bygone days of travel when paper tickets were the norm and lighting up a cigarette mid-flight was seen as classy? Let’s embark on a whimsical trip down memory lane, exploring ten travel traditions that Boomers had to endure, and which have, fortunately, followed the path of the dodo. Brace yourself for a hearty serving of nostalgia…seasoned liberally with a dash of contemporary snark!

1. Paper Tickets

Happy elderly couple are demonstrating their boarding passes with gladness
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Before everything went digital, travel was about losing your ticket at the bottom of your bag or accidentally leaving it on the kitchen table. What’s more fun than a panic attack at the check-in desk? Boomers sure know the thrill! Of course, it’s not unusual to still see people holding onto their paper tickets, but we’re guessing it won’t be long before that’s no longer an option.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the term “E-Ticket” was originally a term used by Disney for its most popular and thrilling attractions? When airlines adopted electronic ticketing, the term took on a whole new meaning – less about the thrill and more about convenience and eco-friendliness. Still, some people seem to miss the ‘thrill’ of losing their paper tickets. Go figure!

2. Photo Slideshows

Pictures On Vintage Slide Film
Broken Memories On Vintage Slide Film

Remember the good old days when sharing vacation snaps meant holding your friends hostage in your living room for a two-hour slideshow? Who doesn’t miss the ‘oohs’, ‘ahhs’, and stifled yawns echoing in the background? (Not me!)

Fun Fact: The first consumer-oriented color slide projectors were introduced in the 1950s. So yes, your parents have been subjecting their friends to this torture for over half a century now.

3. Unlimited Luggage Allowance

Cropped shot of female in red dress sitting on a leather briefcase waiting in line isolated against white background.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

In an era before baggage fees and weight limits, travelers could pack like they were moving abroad, even for a short trip. Boomers might fondly remember the days of hauling oversized suitcases filled with “just-in-case” outfits and various travel conveniences. And remember, this was before rolling suitcases were invented!

Fun Fact: In the mid-2000s, most airlines began implementing additional fees for checked luggage. This change encouraged more efficient packing and made travel more streamlined – not to mention it’s been a major profit source for airlines. But hey, who wouldn’t miss lugging around that 50-pound suitcase for a weekend trip?

4. Undeveloped Tourist Spots

Grand Canyon tourist
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Do you miss visiting a location before it got ‘spoiled’ by those pesky things like infrastructure, local economy boosts, and world recognition? If you went to any national landmarks 50+ years ago, you likely remember what this was like.

Fun Fact: UNESCO World Heritage Site listings often lead to a significant increase in tourism, providing essential funds for preservation but also leading to overcrowding and commercialization. So, next time someone laments about their favorite “undiscovered” spot being ruined, remind them that it’s actually helping to preserve it!

5. Paper Maps and Guidebooks

Woman looking at map
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Who needs a GPS when you can be arguing about whether to take a left or right turn, all while unfolding an A3 size paper map in a compact car? Bliss.

Fun Fact: The longest road in the world is the Pan-American Highway, stretching about 19,000 miles. Good luck not getting lost using a paper map on that one!

6. Long-Distance Calls and Phone Booths

vintage phone booth
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

There’s just something about lining up to use a payphone in the rain, only to find out you don’t have enough change. Calling collect didn’t always go over so well, did it?

Fun Fact: At the height of their popularity in the mid-1990s, there were over 2 million payphones in the United States. Now, there are fewer than 100,000. Guess everyone’s just text messaging these days.

7. In-Person Bookings

Man accepting tickets from travel agent
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Because why would anyone want the convenience of booking a trip from their own home—even in the middle of the night if you want to—when they could travel miles, wait in line, and listen to a travel agent’s upselling tactics instead?

Fun Fact: Despite the internet, there were still 74,100 travel agents in the United States as of 2020. (We’re not saying they’re no longer useful, but we’re sure glad we have options!)

8. Film Cameras

older woman taking photo
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Before the digital era, capturing your vacation moments meant lugging around a bulky film camera and being limited to a specific number of shots per roll. Some Boomers may miss the anticipation of getting the film developed, but let’s not forget the disappointment of discovering that half your holiday snaps were out of focus or overexposed.

Fun Fact: George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak, introduced the Kodak camera in 1888, making photography accessible to the general public. With the advent of digital cameras and smartphones, we now have the luxury of taking, reviewing, and retouching photos instantly. While some may miss the ‘magic’ of film, it’s hard to argue with the convenience of modern photography.

9. Postcards

vintage postcard
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

In a world of instant communication, who wouldn’t love waiting for weeks for a card to arrive, just to read “Wish you were here” with a generic beach photo? While it’s still quaint to send and receive postcards, at least now we do it because we want to, not because it was the only way to send a greeting from afar!

Fun Fact: The world’s oldest postcard was sent in 1840, and it sold at auction for over $40,000 in 2002. Guess there’s some value in snail mail after all!

10. Lack of In-Flight Entertainment

Senior man looking at airplane window. Passenger sitting in comfortable business class seat
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Before individual screens and streaming services, long-haul flights were about trying not to die of boredom or relying on whatever movie was projected on a shared screen. Boomers may remember those as the good old days, but anyone who’s enjoyed a personal in-flight entertainment system might beg to differ.

Fun Fact: The first in-flight film, a silent movie called “Howdy Chicago!” was screened on an Aeromarine Airways flight in 1921. Today, airlines offer hundreds of movies, TV shows, games, and music options right at your fingertips. We’ve come a long way from squinting at a grainy film while the person next to you snores away!

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tourist man holding ticket
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Travel is subjective. Every human has various interests and motives, so always take travel advice with a grain of salt. Here is a list of ten tidbits we hear all the time, but readers in a recent travel forum admitted they ignored them. Do you ignore them, too?

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futuristic man
Image Credit: lassedesignen/Shutterstock

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14 Inventions Our Grandparents Expected to See by Now That Didn’t Materialize

Boomer vs Gen Z Housewives: A Whimsical Comparison of Two Generations, United by Oven Mitts

cute retro housewife
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Once upon a time, the role of a housewife was as clearly defined as the grooves in a vinyl record. Fast forward to the 2020s, and the concept of a housewife has evolved into a multi-faceted, dynamic occupation.

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Facts About the “Greatest Generation” That Prove How Much We Owe Them

old man part of the greatest generation
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Every generation leaves its mark on history, but the Greatest Generation—those who faced the challenges of the early 20th century head-on—did more than just that. They carved out the world as we know it today. We owe them a lot, not just for their courage and resilience but for setting a precedent that still guides us when dealing with life’s obstacles.

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Some Things Disappeared After the Pandemic and People Are Sharing What They Miss Most

sad friends
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We’ve all noticed that some things disappeared after the pandemic. We’ve compiled a list of what readers from a popular online community miss the most.

Some Things Disappeared After the Pandemic and People Are Sharing What They Miss Most

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Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.