In 1927, All About Going Abroad by Harry A. Franck was published as an early travel guide for Americans. Franck led a fascinating life all around the globe, and published books with topics ranging from hiking through South America to exploring Northern China. A self-proclaimed “vagabond,” he certainly explored much of the world in a time when traveling wasn’t nearly as easy as it is today.
The world has changed profoundly in the last hundred years. Traveling for pleasure, especially abroad, is still a moderately new concept for the middle-class American. Transportation, expense, and all the details of international travel still overwhelm much of the United States’ population, which could account for the remarkably low percentage of Americans with passports.
However, the United States’ travel habits are changing. It’s easier and cheaper than ever to buy a plane ticket, and questions from visas to packing can be found in seconds on the internet. What has changed in the last 100 years? How has the average American’s appetite for travel evolved? What did a trip to Europe look like in a time when the world seemed larger, and steam boats were the fastest way to get there? What was different before tourism was as profitable as it is today? Pre- Google Translate, pre- Booking.com, even pre- widespread automobile, this blog series will look at how the American traveler has- or hasn’t- changed.
All of these questions and more will be answered in the upcoming blog series based on All About Going Abroad.