(CNN) — I’m new to Eastern Europe, I don’t speak the language, and I don’t have a smart phone (or cell phone). But are you confident that you have a great guidebook to Yugoslavia?
Your book is so old that it is no longer a country. I need to find a payphone, what is the country code for the US and how much does it cost to make an international call?
Eight months later, you are finally home and vowed never to leave your zip code again.
For those who knew only the Internet, it is easy to imagine how this was before tourism appeared.
“The first thing people probably think is that it’s amazing how anyone could have traveled a mile from home without Waze and Instagram,” he said in “To Hellholes and Back: Bribes, Lies, and the Art of Extreme says Chuck Thompson, author of Tourism.
Still, people traveled before the Internet.
Just ask Troy Haas, President and CEO of Brownell Travel for 20 years.
Founded in 1887, Brownell is the oldest travel agency in North America. Their survival is all the more notable because they’ve had to weather what Haas puts it, “a punch or he’s two: cuts in airline fees and the rise of online travel agents.”
Not to mention an extra body blow by Steve Jobs. In 2007, Apple released his iPhone. And in 2008 we opened the App Store.
“A flood of technology has been unleashed,” recalls Aron Ezra, chairman and co-founder of software company Plan A Technologies. At the time, he was still at his first startup, his MacroView Labs. Today, Plan A creates “complex custom he software he platforms and digital transformation solutions for all kinds of different organizations,” but back then it was all about apps.
These included a couple offering “geo-targeted content for the Las Vegas area,” which Ezra describes as something of a “virtual concierge.” All of a sudden, the traveler, after spending the day exploring all his iced teas on the Strip and Long Island, pulls out his phone so he can quickly discover that Cirque du Soleil tickets are still available. became.
Life will never be the same.
In short, these times have completely changed the way we travel. If I had said there would come a time when I would use it, they would have said, 2 hours is the best.”)
This is how we traveled around the world before the internet. It wasn’t the most efficient approach. Again, as we grow addicted to Wordle, we won’t be able to binge-watch the next season of the hottest new show. Nor is it a model of productivity today.
2002, travel agency in Illinois.
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
When it was so easy to get off the grid
Before the internet, if you told someone you were meeting at a certain place and time, you had to:
• Remember what the place was.
• Know how to get there.
• Appear roughly when you say you will.
It seems improbable, but it was. This was our cruel world. After the two of you left your respective landlines, you were both unable to contact each other until that fateful meeting.
Was it a hard way of life? absolutely. But there was also a certain “que será, será” mentality. I knew that if something went wrong and I couldn’t attend that meeting…the easiest thing to do was make new friends.
When we begin our journey, we put ourselves in that headspace.
“In my basement is an old collection of pamphlets, maps and information sheets sent in response to telephone and email inquiries from state parks in Wyoming, small towns in Italy, and island hotels in Malaysia. There’s an envelope stuffed in the box, I sent it asking for pre-trip information,” Thompson says.
This is how I understood what was there. And when I chose one of those places, I made sure to bring that all-important pamphlet with me.
It was the 1970s and Tony and Maureen Wheeler had a dream. It was to travel from London to Sydney by land, or at least as much as possible. They embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime journey that will change world travel forever.
If you’ve seen the Keri Russell/Matthew Rhys series The Americans, you know their Russian spy has a cover career. They run Dupont Circle Travel.
why? They have to go here and there at odd hours to kill people, and in the 80’s this was perfectly reasonable behavior for a travel agent. is normal.)
After all, there was no internet to save you if something went wrong while traveling. Anyone who accepts travel, KGB, or AAA member discounts wanted your agency to have your back.
Do you want to hear stories of travel agencies that have achieved great success? Haas said: “In the 1930s, Jenny Brownell, one of our agency owners, was touring Berlin with a group of Americans on the day America declared war on Germany. will not be allowed to depart across the border.”
And suddenly, “I saved $12 on my rental car” feels overwhelming.
do it yourself
Admittedly, not all travel agencies offer Brownell Indiana Jones type of assistance. How hard was it to handle everything on your own back then?
Ezra has insight. Over the years, he has built other forms of travel technology, including booking engines.
He appreciates this innovation. I wonder if there’s a better deal, should I make more calls, or if I just let this room go and have nothing else, when I call back, it’s like, ‘I’m sorry, someone else,’ and it breaks down. ”
did something get lost? absolutely. Haas said:
Thompson is more blunt.
They also agree that when they visited a place, it was probably the first time they had seen a place in motion, so there was more of a sense of discovery. There were pictures. Embedded videos? Not much.)
As it changes…
Round and round: The slide show host had its audience captivated.
Thompson says today’s social media travel journals may be jarring, but they’re nothing new.
There used to be slideshows. And they were wild.
“The ‘my best life’ travel photos on social are a bit jarring, but while it’s not going fast enough for the Gothic cathedral’s 14th overexposed slide, someone will change their life in Europe.” I was hearing drones about a trip to. Pretending to be intriguing, she’s on the mushy couch for the second hour. ”
Similarly, Haas said Brownell survived when so many travel agencies failed because they remained true to their mission of being “advisors who create exceptional travel experiences.” say. (Delta’s flight is at 7:30 p.m., but he’s not at 8:15 on a normal Thursday.)
Again, a few things are really different, which I appreciate.
“Early in my career, before the internet, I had to travel more days than I was at home,” recalls Ezra. “I was sent to Brazil at the last minute to attend a conference. The conference was all in Portuguese. .”