19 Vintage Ads Take You Back to When Traveling Was Glamorous
Travel back in time to an era before extra fees for luggage and legroom.
Go home to mother
This American Airlines ad from the 1950s promoted the speed and ease of air travel on their Flagship planes. Just look how easy it was for women to take the kids and fly across the country for a trip home to visit their grandma! With this travel arrangement, everyone would be happy—even the “left-at-home husband.” These vintage photos show how elegant flying used to be.
For travelers looking to maximize their fun and minimize their spending, a mid-winter holiday to Mexico was just the ticket. Air travel was still a relatively new concept for many in the 1950s, and the idea of flying off for a sunny getaway south of the border certainly seemed exotic and glamorous. Looking to buy a gift for an avid traveler in your life? Here are the 20 best gifts for jet-setters.
Cruise to Europe
This ad from 1960 promised a complete resort vacation to passengers who set sail on a Cunard ship. Cunard still offers luxury ocean liners today including their flagship vessel, the Queen Mary 2. Just make sure your attire is culturally sensitive, please. Looking to book a vacation? Here are the best cruises for celebrating the holidays.
A train for all seasons
This business man needed dependable transportation, so he chose to travel by train instead of by airplane in case of bad weather. Union Pacific also promised the comfort of air conditioning and delightful meals while on board. While it would be nice to travel by vintage airplanes, here are 15 vintage cars you’ll wish you could drive today.
See the country
Train travel isn’t just for business—it’s also for pleasure. You can see the gorgeous sites of America, from California to Colorado, while riding on Union Pacific’s Streamliner passenger cars. This ad appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1950. Want to explore more of America by train? Check out the most scenic train rides across America.
Pretty paint job
If you were a manufacturer of planes, trains, tractors, or toys, you needed a quality paint job to elevate your product’s quality. Pittsburgh Plate Glass promoted its Industrial Paint Division in this magazine ad from 1941.
Home on wheels
An overnight trip on a Pullman train was a luxurious experience in 1939. Travelers enjoyed access to a comfortably furnished lounge car “living room,” a separate dressing room and washroom, and private sleeping accommodations.
Southern Pacific’s swift new trains crisscrossed America in the 1940s to take passengers to New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite, and even Mexico. For those looking to escape snowy winters, Southern Pacific traveled to dude ranches in Arizona and resort hotels in Palm Springs. These affordable destinations still feel like VIP adventures.
No more delays
This 1950 ad reassures passengers that they can relax and rest easy, even during a thunderstorm or winter weather, while aboard the New York Central’s streamliners and Dreamliners. Ever have a flight delayed but didn’t know why? These are the most unusual reasons for flight delays.
National parks map
This bright and colorful ad from Union Pacific showed all of the sites passengers could travel to via rail in 1948, including some of America’s most amazing national parks and scenic sites. Their service was “praised by discriminating travelers.” Check out these rare vintage photos of America’s national parks.