Fascinating photos reveal what travel was like in the 70s and 80s

Fascinating (and hilarious) photos reveal what travel was like in the 70s and 80s, from costume parties to ‘what to pack’ lists that included ‘travel clocks, sewing kits and 2 coathangers’

  • Australians Maria Dzopalic and Sue Bertram took them between 1979 and 1987 
  • Their shots capture costume parties, epic moustaches and a tourist-free Venice 
  • Maria says that she is still in touch with people that she met on 1980s tours

It turns out that you don’t need smartphones, selfie-sticks or Instagram to have a great time on holiday.

As these fascinating and hilarious photographs from Contiki tours in the 1970s and 1980s show.

They were taken by Australians Maria Dzopalic (between 1984 and 1987) and Sue Bertram (in 1979) during various trips with the coach tour company through Europe, giving an insight into travel in the non-digital age.

One picture reveals a what-to-pack list that includes ‘travel clocks’, ‘sewing kits’, ‘two coathangers’, a ‘blazer for evenings only’ (for him) and a ‘not too formal’ dress for evenings out ‘for her’.

Other shots capture quirky costume parties, epic moustaches and an amazingly tourist-free Venice.

Maria said: ‘The social aspect of meeting people my age from different countries was fantastic. I am still in contact with a friend I met on the UK tour from Canada and I actually stayed with her when I went on a USA tour. She has since come to Australia. These days it’s birthday and Christmas cards and Facebook messages that keep us in touch though.’ Scroll down to take a refreshing step back in time…

A Contiki contingent enjoy a gondola trip in Venice in 1979, though one holidaymaker (on the right) looks slightly sceptical 

Contiki’s present-day coach fleet is state-of-the-art.

The firm says: ‘Contiki’s fleet of super-sleek coaches come with the benefit of air-conditioning, reclining seats, a bathroom, a club-rivalling sound system and TVs. They’re also Euro 6 coaches, the most environmentally friendly in Europe. 

‘The engines use a product called Adblue to convert dangerous fumes into a mixture of water and nitrogen which are harmless for the environment – this means in some areas, air emitted from the engines of Contiki coaches is actually cleaner than the air that goes in.’ 

Contiki offers ‘over 350 trips across six continents’

Contiki describes itself as ‘the world leaders in travel experiences for 18-35’s’.

It offers ‘over 350 trips across six continents (Europe, USA & Canada, Asia, Latin America, Australia & New Zealand, Africa & the Middle East)’.

The firm adds: ‘We bring together travellers from all corners of the globe to discover new cultures and a little part of themselves along the way.’ 


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