Traveling in the old days…

Just reminiscing about traveling in the nineties… before the internet and such. Share your memories below!


Bags full of photo film rolls instead of a 1GB memory card. On my 12 month trip I had 35 rolls of film with me, 36 photos each. Now, I often take that many digital photos on a 3 week holiday….

photo film


My walkman and cassette tapes instead of Spotify. On my 12 month trip around the world I had only 7 cassette tapes with me, must have been about 130 songs only.


Contact with the home front


Collecting paper mail at the Poste Restante at the post office, or sending a fax home, instead of e-mail/whatsapp. That used to be so exciting! I’d bring the envelopes unopened to a cafe and read my mail there.

Sometimes at the post office you would see mail lying in the box for the C but they would only check the box for O because my last name starts with an O. It would take some begging but finally they would check the C as well… and YESSS, a letter for me! A highlight of every first arrival in each new city that we had told our family and friends we were going to.
(This image is just an example I found online, not my own mail.)



Buying a phone card with a 40 figure code to phone home from a payphone instead of Facetime/Skype/Viber. Or phoning ‘collect’.

Money issues

Signing that second signature on a traveler cheque instead of paying with plastic or using ATM’s. Getting cash or paying directly was done with travelers cheques, which you had paid for at home. More than $100 because they were insured if stolen.

travelers cheque

Finding information

Looking up the weather forecast in the local newspaper instead of 5 weather apps. An actual address book, and hand written notes, an actual compass and flashlight as separate tools, all instead of a smartphone.

Change = good or bad?

I could go on! These are my fond memories from the nineties, although I am also happy about now having about 20 items less to pack because they are all in my smartphone. And no more ruined photos that you only discover later and wish you could take again. But I miss the excitement of paper mail, and of really being away without any contact with home or much knowledge about what’s going on there in the news.

Share your memories

Who else has nostalgic memories? From when? Are you happy or unhappy about today’s gadgets and the internet? Share below!

5 thoughts on “Traveling in the old days…

  1. Interesting post topic, nice throwback! I’d also say that ‘user generated reviews’ weren’t as accessible back then, so when you book a hotel (no airbnb back then either) you don’t have a ton of reviews to read and you’re in for more of a surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, good point! Back in those days I usually found hotels by just walking around and popping in… and asking to see the room first. You never really knew what to expect. Did follow some advice from Lonely Planet sometimes, or from taxi drivers. Taxi drivers have often brought me to great, brand new, very clean hotels, not yet discovered by other tourists… and the owners still very eager to please. Now, reviews, search filters and photos come in so handy!


  2. This takes me back! My first trip was in 2002, all I had was a CD walkman with 10 CDs, and about 15 rolls of film in the rucksack (surprised they lasted the journey!).. oh of course my trusty hotmail email to keep in touch once a week at an internet cafe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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