A Brief History of Leisure Travel

When Did It Start?

volkswagon in the desert

Since humans have been around, they have moved around. At first, they moved out of necessity. Without farms, they moved with the changing seasons in order to live off the land. Later, when civilization had better established itself, people traveled for trade, religion, and eventually, education. Although they had different reasons for traveling, they kept the same underlying goal: fulfilling a basic need or desire. It was in the cultures of the Greeks and the Romans that leisure travel was first seen in a large scale. The wealthy and elite would travel to summer homes and villas in order to relax or party. For the centuries following them, not much changed. If traveling wasn’t your livelihood and you weren’t rich, you didn’t travel, much less for fun. Ultimately, it was technology that allowed for widespread amount of leisure travel that occurs today.

When Did Leisure Travel Become What It Is Today?

on a boat

For millennia, humans have gone to work looking for ways to make traveling easier. It began with riding animals, building boats, and inventing the wheel. Since then, the technologies that allowed us to move around have improved exponentially. In fact, it was soon after the industrial revolution that leisure travel became attainable by the middle and lower classes. It was the birth of tourism as we know it today. The same way it became possible to produce goods at an inexpensive cost, it became inexpensive to transport people and their belongings. Today, travel, either by train, ship, bus, car, or airplane, has become more affordable than it has ever been in the past. People today can travel just for the fun of it. Just to live the adventure and make memories. It is no longer just another job, or something for the rich and elite. Virtually anyone can travel, and they do.

It Hasn’t Really Changed

winding train

People who travel today go for many different reasons, but one thing remains the same. We travel to satisfy a basic human need or desire. Many go to see family, experience a new culture, or see an exotic place. They wish to see loved ones, get a fresh perspective, or enjoy some relaxation. In the end, our reasons for traveling haven’t changed much from what they were in the beginning. Perhaps we should be grateful that we have the opportunity to travel and satisfy that deeper underlying need or desire that we have within ourselves.