BOAC cabin crew, early 1950s (British Airways Heritage Museum)
List Words : Hazel Plush | 05 August

How summer holidays have changed since the 1950s

Aah, the halcyon days of glamorous air hostesses, demure swimming costumes and not a selfie stick in sight... This is what travel looked like in the 1950s – and it's fabulous

Inflight entertainment: You played bridge, not blockbusters

BOAC cabin service, early 1950s (British Airways Heritage Museum)

Air travel was a novelty in the 1950s, but if you needed a distraction on long journeys you had to make your own fun. A game of cards, a novel, or a spot of letter writing – not an iPad or inflight entertainment system in sight.

Air hostesses: The epitome of glamour

BOAC cabin crew, early 1950s (British Airways Heritage Museum)

Oh, they were so well dressed, so demure, so darn fabulous.

Airports: They were exciting, not exasperating

DC-3 airliner loading passengers 1951 - © Nehring

In the 1950s, you didn't have to walk for miles to find your departure gate – and there were no ridiculous check-in queues. When did they turn into soul-destroying capitalist monstrosities? And when did we all turn into onesie-wearing zombies?

Aeroplane attire: You wore your best clothes

Passengers boarding a BEA Vickers Viking (British Airways Heritage Museum)

You dressed up, not down, when boarding a flight in the 1950s – and kept your trilby hat on too. It was style over comfort every time: nobody flew in their bobbly Sponge Bob pyjamas.

Holiday snaps: No pouts allowed


Can you remember the days before selfies? When people actually faced the monument/sunset/elephant they were taking a photo of? And didn't do a duck-face pout? No, us neither...

Beachwear: 'Less' wasn't always 'more'

Stockbyte/Getty images 

Ok, so those shorts aren't great, but at least they're not budgie smugglers. But that swimsuit? Lovely.

Like this? Don't miss Expedia's Golden Age of Travel – was the 1950s the heyday of travel, or are we living the dream now? You decide...

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