Nowadays when we go on holiday we don’t give a second thought for the many revolutionary travel inventions that not only make travel possible but also stress free and enjoyable. We take simple inventions, such as the travel adapter, for granted and can you imagine anyone carrying a suitcase or lugging a bulky camera around? Now all you need to do is whip your smartphone out of your pocket and click for that all-important airport ‘selfie’ and check to see if the photo’s a keeper.
So, let’s ‘travel’ back in time and take a look back at some of the greatest holiday inventions ever!
1841 – Package Holidays
The first package tours were arranged by Thomas Cook in 1841 when a train was chartered to take a group of campaigners to a rally. Going from Leicester to Loughborough the journey was only 11 miles long. By 1872 worldwide tours had begun with small groups. The Horizon Group followed suit and started the first package holidays to Corsica in the 1950s shortly followed by Palma, Majorca in 1952.
1908 – Suitcases With Wheels
Surprisingly the first suitcase with wheels appeared way back in 1908. Local preacher James Cole invented the ‘Dawn-Mobile’ to carry his bibles. This made travelling a whole lot easier for millions of travellers meaning no more switching and swapping of hands to ease the load.
1919 – Travel Insurance
Be prepared because you never know when to expect the unexpected. Travel insurance is such an important part of our holiday these days, but there was a time when it didn’t even cross our minds. Travel insurance first appeared back in 1919, and was offered by the company Traveler’s Life & Annuity.
1950 – Hotel Room Key Cards
The first key cards came into operation in the 1950s, meaning you didn’t have to carry a large room key around. And even better, if you happened to misplace your card at the bottom of the ocean, there was no need to worry because these cards can be replaced instantly.
1975 – Digital Camera
The first digital camera was invented by engineers Steve Sasson at Eastman Kodak. This ended the days of dropping your reels into a little bag and sending them off to be developed. I will always remember the anxious wait for the postman to deliver my developed photographs only to find wonky dark snaps with half of the subject’s heads missing. Now all we need to do is click, delete the rubbish shots and transfer the rest to our computer to share with friends and family. Oh the joys of technology.
1980s – Online Travel Bookings
No more long queues waiting for your turn in the travel agents on a Saturday afternoon. With the growth of technology, internet booking sites gave people the freedom to search and reserve their own holidays from the comfort of their own home. Little did we know that this would revolutionise the way a lot of people plan and book their holidays.
1980 – Sony Walkman
Back in the day portable music for your holiday consisted of balancing a ghetto blaster on your shoulder whilst juggling your entire luggage. Well, that was until the Sony Walkman burst onto the scene. All you had to do was slide in your tape, pop on your head phones, clip your Sony Walkman onto your belt and off you went. This revolutionary invention paved the way for the iPod, one of today’s most iconic holiday accessories.
1984 – GPS/Sat Navs
Sat Navs for cars first came into circulation around 1984. Before they became commercially available in the UK, road trips at home and abroad often consisted of an upside-down map and a broken compass. Simple trips often took hours as you drove around in circles, constantly missing your turn-off. Nowadays you can sit back and let the Sat Nav do the talking, literally.
1997 – Smartphone
Gone are the days when we had to purchase a phone card to call home. Many mobile phone providers now offer great packages and bundles which let you phone home at a reduced rate or, increasingly, for free. Not to mention all of the useful apps that have been created to make your holiday all that much easier. Check out our top travel apps here.
2015 – Virgin Galactic
Onwards and upwards is the future as Richard Branson prepares to launch you into space. Seats on Virgin Galactic aircraft can be booked for a handsome $250,000 US dollars. Watch this SPACE!