Traveling evokes thoughts of relaxing beach vacations, exciting new adventures, and experiences that you will remember for a lifetime. Traveling allows people to explore exotic destinations, new places, and find people different than themselves. But what sparks our desire to travel? What caused the first person who ever traveled to move beyond the borders of where they were born? The history of travel is long and fascinating, and revels much about what makes us who we are today.
The beginning of travel
Long ago, people did not travel for entertainment. The idea of traveling just for fun was so far from their minds that they probably never thought it would happen. Early humans were focused on surviving by finding enough food and water to sustain their lives. The first people moved like animal herds, traveling in search of food or a safer place to live. When a family or tribe found a source of food or water, they stayed in that area until the resources were depleted. No one had time to consider traveling for fun because every moment of their lives were centered around daily living.
Travel for trade and exploration
Once civilization started to spread, people realized that they wanted to retain connections with their past locations. People traveled to trade food and goods with other people groups. The traveling market became a large part of the social growth and interaction of people. Other people decided they wanted to explore the world beyond their known borders. The sense of adventure and call of the unknown was too much for many people, so they started traveling just to explore what was out there. During these travels, people discovered new continents, people groups, foods, animals, and spices.
The start of luxury travel
When civilization stated stabilizing, and most of the world was already known, people stopped traveling in search of food or out of necessity as much. Trading helped people receive what they needed right in their home town, so they never had to leave in search of a better life. When life started focusing more on entertainment and less on survival, those with time on their hands grew bored. The rich and famous of the world wanted a new way to amuse themselves, so they started traveling for fun. Poorer people also traveled to visit family members and friends living in other towns.
Mass travel for entertainment
Since the invention of high-speed travel methods, like the railroad, ships, and cars, traveling became something that everyone could do for fun. Since the 1800s, many people started to use travel as an entertaining and educational experience. People could travel to another place to see the sights, try the food, and explore new landscapes beyond what they could find at home. However, until the widespread use of cars and steamer boats, most people still only traveled for necessity or on rare occasions. After World War I, when people could fly, drive, or take trains nearly anywhere in the world, traveling because a vacation dream that everyone could experience. By the 1950s, a yearly vacation was a common occurrence in society.
Traveling is expensive no matter where you go. However, in recent years with the economy suffering and people trying to cut back, budget travel ideas have become easier to find. Everyone wants to save money on their holiday while still having a good time. Package holidays make it easy to have fun for less by saving customers money on accommodations, activities, transportation, and even food. Another vacation trend are stay-cations, where people do not travel to a new town, but rather explore their home town as if they were a tourist. This can help save money on transportation and food.
It is easy to see why travel has changed over the years. When people are struggling for survival, entertainment is low on the priority list. However, when people have more free time, they want to explore the world and experience an adventure beyond the borders of mundane life. There is no better escape from everyday than with an actual escape to a new location.
This is a guest post by Andras Deak, a part-time guest-blogger and a full-time private tour organizer. He currently works for Timeless Travel, a UK based online travel store specialized on package holidays in the US and Canada.