The history and evolution of holidays and travel

Posted on June 14, 2019 in Inghams by Accord Group Tags: , ,

Jetting off on holiday

Holidays give you freedom from your daily routine, often becoming the basis for our best anecdotes and leaving you feeling refreshed upon return. Whether we travel on our own or with our family, we remember our best holidays forever.

According to ABTA’s eighth Holiday Habits report, 86% of respondents took a holiday at home or abroad in the whole of 2018, while the average number of people taking holidays abroad rose by 3% from the previous year to 60% in 2018.

Something we don’t often think about is the history and evolution of holidays and travel. Where did the first idea to go on holiday come from? This Inghams guide, which celebrates our 85th birthday in 2019, looks to answer this question and highlights how holidays and travel began and how Inghams, as a travel brand has evolved to now, offer a full portfolio of holidays including; family summer holidays, package ski holidays, European city breaks and many more.

Let’s go right back to ancient times and explore how holidays have evolved to what they are now in the present day.

Timeline of the evolution of holidays


31 BC-1484
– The Romans are widely considered to be the first civilisation to travel for pleasure. According to Ancient Origins, the Ancient Romans would travel all across Europe and during the Roman Empire they even had a road network that extended from northern England all the way to southern Egypt!

1501-1700 – It became common for wealthy young men to travel abroad on a grand tour of Europe to finish their education.

Travellers with luggage going on holiday

1800s – The invention of steamboats allowed Brits to visit different continents and explore new lands such as Africa and Asia. Around this time holidaymakers could also obtain local currency using a “circular note”, which were a practical method for banks with foreign branches to provide a rudimentary currency exchange service.

1871 – Everybody’s favourite, The Bank Holiday Act was introduced and the shorter holiday as we know it was born!

1883 – The Orient Express was created and this long-distance passenger train ferried people across Eurasia.

1903 – The Wright brothers began working on the concept of the aeroplane. This would eventually change the way the world experienced travel, forever.

Graf Zeppelin over New York City

1928 – The German airship Graf Zeppelin carried 20 passengers and 43 crew members in the first-ever commercial flight. In September the following year, it landed its first round-the-world flight.

Ski enthusiasts on a ski holiday in the early 1990s

1934 – Inghams was founded by Walter Ingham, a man who was inspired by his deeply-held love for skiing, mountaineering and walking. And after advertising in The Times national newspaper, he created the first chartered ski trip and travels to Austria over the Christmas period.

Close up image of boarding passes

1960s – As a result of resort construction, improving road and air links, and the efforts of package-holiday companies like Inghams Ski, winter sports holidays boomed during this decade.

1970-80 – Package holidays with Inghams and other providers became very popular and attracted more specific audiences – from honeymooners and families to the 18-30 crowd.

2019 – One thing that hasn’t altered over the last 85 years is baggage allowance! In the 1950s and 60s the Inghams Baggage Guide reveals that gentlemen were expected to get by on just 1 pullover, 3 sets of vests and pants and 4 pairs of socks, while ladies were recommended to take 2 pairs of gloves and 12 handkerchiefs.

As one of the UK’s most experienced specialist tour operators, Inghams celebrates its 85th year of business and to mark this landmark Inghams Lakes & Mountains launches its 2020 Summer Moments brochure, a new inspirational magazine. For 85 years Inghams have offered resort knowledge and second to none customer service that explains why so many choose to book with us again and again.

Learn more about the amazing holidays we have on offer such as our Lake Garda holidays, our Escorted Tours or our winter breaks like trips to different Switzerland ski resorts available through Inghams Ski.

Image credits: Underwood & Underwood (Wikimedia.org)

Leave a Reply