Travel experiences we had that our children never will

Do you remember that feeling when growing up, when you’d watch a TV show and a new actor would appear?

“It’s…” You’d cry, then pause mid-flow, the words evaporating from your mind like mist. “It’s… thingie. From the other thing! Or is it? Where do I know him from? I know I’ve seen him in something else…”

Google it

I still do this now but in 2017, this monologue culminates in a ten-second Google search and I have the answer. When I was younger, however, there was no such respite. You were stuck in a world of perpetual lack-of-information, with the facts at the tip of your tongue but not quite there. The frustration was palpable.

Here’s the scary thing: our children will never know what that feeling was like. They can satisfy that curiosity as soon as it occurs to them; they won’t have known a world where they sit through the rest of a TV show, distracted, stewing over where you’ve seen an actor before.

trunki travels

This is just the tip of a huge iceberg of experiences that we had growing up, that our children are not going to experience. This is no more obvious than when it comes to holidays.

Times have moved on and our travelling experience with them. We now live in a fast world of cheap flight deals, can travel to Dubai with the same simple booking process as travelling to Wales, indulge in travel tips to ensure we’re doing everything we should be, and a plethora of research opportunities for our intended destination – and let’s face it, none of us are going to miss these things are we?

“Are We There Yet?”

Oh, how we plagued our parents with this question, strapped into a car seat and with no real sense of time or distance. The conversation went something like this:

Child: “Are we there yet?”

Parent: “Not yet, sweetie.”

[ten minutes later]

Child: “Are we there yet?”

[repeat ad nauseam]

But in 2017, the conversation goes more like…

Child: “Are we there yet?”

Parent: “Look at the satnav, sweetie – you’ll be able to see exactly where we are and how much longer there is to go for the entire journey.”

Job done.

family travel

Checking In At An Airport

The long queues in line, wondering if your baggage is going to exceed the weight limit – some elements of check-in are going to be eternal. However, the process is now smoother and more streamlined than ever. You can book online, reserve the seat that you want, and even check in while you do so.

Smoking On Aircraft

Obviously this one depends how old you are exactly, as smoking on short-haul flights was banned in 1988 and eradicated altogether by the end of the 1990s. However, for those of us that do remember the little flip ashtrays – well, think we can all agree this one is a change that we’re all thankful for.

Being Allowed To Go To The Cockpit

This was a simple pleasure. The captain of the plane would allow children to go into the cockpit, view the instrumentation, and naturally daydream of being a pilot. I did it and loved it.

The safety changes that have banned this practice are necessary – no one is going to argue with that, but it’s still the loss of a simple joy. As it happens, this is one aspect of our childhood travel experiences that is better than today – but it’s just about the only one!

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