It's hard to remember while deliberating between a pat-down and a scan, but travel used to be quite a glorious thing. By ship or by plane, by car or by train, the first half of the 20th century was a golden time for travel. To board an airplane, or even an ocean liner, was an elegant affair, and one for which a person would dress up and prepare. Back then, the journey really was a part of the adventure, more than just the means to an end.
Travel agencies and tourism boards beckoned eager travelers to far-off and exotic destinations, often by way of gorgeous, full-colour posters advertising the charms of a particular place. The early to mid 20th century was a remarkable time for graphic design, as well, and these vintage travel posters are now highly sought-after by collectors, particularly original copies in good condition. Some of the posters still have the soft and floral swirling of the art nouveau age, but many are more geometric and stylised and bear the unique earmarks of the art deco movement. As time goes by, these posters are harder to source in display condition, so many are being reproduced more affordably, and make fantastic art. But the originals are still the highest prize for collectors of travel memorabilia, vintage posters, or historical ephemera. To view them is to remember a time when travel was a mysterious, exciting and glamorous prospect.
We've put together a selection of some of the vintage travel posters available on the site. Many of them are single copies, but click through to find other posters to that destination. We've included some great collections of some of the best travel posters the world has seen, as well.
Video Review: Posters of the Canadian Pacific › Play Video