8 Ways Travel has Changed through the Years

Remember when an actual, processed, printed passport photo was a thing?

Maybe yes, we can’t teleport yet, but tech has sure changed travel dramatically in the last years. Even in ways we probably didn’t expect or foresee five or six years ago.

1. Having a 2 x 2 photo printed for your passport

Years ago, one of the requirements to get a passport was an actual 2 x 2 inches printed photo — plain background, no huge smile, and no hair astray. Said photo would then be pasted onto your passport, where your details would also be placed — handwritten, no less.

2. Being limited to only a few destination choices

Trips to Hong Kong have become quite common, but there was a time when this country was such a big-time destination. It was the top-of-mind for many Filipinos because it was quite near and relatively affordable than most destinations. Meanwhile, those who had a bit more cash to burn would have US on their list.

3. Booking through a travel agency and getting an actual ticket

These days, you could book a flight and print a copy in the comforts of your own home wearing your pajamas – a far cry from when the only choice you had was to go to a travel agency, queue, then labor over finding the ideal date and time especially if you had connecting flights.

4. Exorbitant airfares and accommodation rates

Piso fares and similar promos were unheard of and Airbnb wasn’t a thing yet, so if you wanted to travel, you would have to shell out a huge amount of money for airfare and accommodations. Thus, traveling was limited only to a few.

5. Dressing up for the airport

Suits, leather shoes, and fancy dresses — no, these weren’t outfits for a formal event, but the common airport #OOTD back in the day. The gentlemen would even have their briefcases, while the ladies would most likely don “stockings” as well. Definitely a far cry from the comfy, sometimes lazy airport outfits you see these days.

6. Struggling to keep in touch

Upon landing in a different country, you’re expected to get in touch with your family right away to let them know you’ve arrived safe. But Viber and Facebook didn’t exist yet back then, so long-distance calls were the way to go. Often, that came with the challenge of adjusting to the time difference, getting through an operator, and unreliable phone lines.

7. Taking photos… and waiting for days before you actually see them

Analog photography was the way to go, and it was a bit more complicated that how it is now: you had to have rolls of film, which came in 24 or 36 shots, so you better make sure that every photo you take was good; make sure the film rewinds correctly, otherwise it will go to waste; and there was no way to check your shots until after you’ve brought it to the printer which you could only find time for days later. These days, you’re free to take hundreds of shots just to capture an IG-worthy picture.

8. Sharing stories to a only chosen few

One of the perks of traveling is having so many stories to tell after each trip. But back then, you’d be limited to sharing your tales to only family and friends, to whom you could show that album filled with photos. These days, travel stories can be shared via Facebook, Instagram, or through blogs, not just to people close to you but even to strangers who stumble upon your page.

How has travel changed for you? Tell us in the comments!