In 1900, a US citizen
would travel an average of
(by steam & electric railway)
Today, the average US citizen travels
50 times as far:
(mostly by car and airplane (a 50-fold increase)
Despite this, fuel consumption has increased roughly
This is because population has nearly quadrupled and each person travels about
as many miles per year.
Until the first scheduled jet flights in 1958, steamship was the predominant means of crossing the Atlantic (Liverpool to New York).
Normal jet aircraft make the crossing from London to New
York in around 7 hours.
Travelling from the east to the west coast of the USA
(New York to California) took weeks.
Normal jet aircraft travel coast to coast in 5.5 hours;
NYC to LA is one of the most popular domestic air routes.
Thomas Cook’s 21-day all-inclusive Swiss tour (one of the first all-inclusive holidays):
Following the same route, including 9 meals but excluding flights/trains:
In 1865 an attempt was made to unify the currencies of a number of countries.
In 1999, another attempt was made – the Euro was introduced. Today, it is the official currency of 17 countries:
Fixed to the Gold Standard, there was almost no exchange rate fluctuation in Europe. Between 1839 and 1914, the exchange rate between
Today, large fluctuations in exchange rates are the norm. Between 2002 and 2012, the exchange rate between
In 1863, many Victorian travellers would carry an array of gadgets, such as:
Today, all of these items have been supplanted by the smartphone. This item has also somewhat negated the need for translators, tour guides, postcards, and calculators.
Space travel is currently on the horizon.
is currently taking bookings for the first
commercial space flights,
An almost unfathomable amount of progress has been made in the last 150 years. Some things – such as the means by which we travel, and the technology we use – have changed beyond recognition. And yet, in many respects we have a lot in common with our Victorian counterparts. We face many of the same problems, and – crucially – we travel for many of the same reasons.