45 Incredibly Stylish Vintage Travel Print Ads

Travel ads of the fifties, sixties and seventies differ greatly from those of the noughties. While modern ads rely heavily on expert photography, those of yesteryear feature gorgeous Rockwellian paintings and detailed illustrations, not to mention beautiful typography. They provide us with a glimpse into the past and an opportunity to see travel through the eyes of those that lived up to 50 years ago.

Vintage Print Ads for Destinations
Feast your eyes on this exotic array of holiday destinations, from ‘Mystic South Africa’ to ‘Terrific Trinidad’ and Phoenix Arizona, where it’s always ‘Sun-Tan Warm’. These days, few tourist boards would even consider releasing a print ad which doesn’t feature photographic proof of an area’s outstanding beauty.

In the fifties, sixties and even seventies, however, punters would usually only have an artist’s impression to go by. Many must have been bitterly disappointed, on arrival in Cervina, by the lack of scantily clad, perma-tanned young women cruising the slopes!

1. The Orient Is Hong Kong

2. Terrific Trinidad … Tranquil Tobago

The Riviera of the Orient

Sun-Tan Warm Phoenix

Cervinia, Breuil

Zermatt, Switzerland

Mystic South Africa

Firenze & Venezia

Old-time Print Ads for Alternative Transport
Coaches are impractical and downright uncomfortable. Any advert which manages to add an air of sophistication to this most undignified mode of transport is a winner in my book. The two below certainly succeed.

Travelling by rail, on the other hand, is far more to my liking. Who wouldn’t want to bump into a tall, well-dressed young lady who whisks into town on the Union Pacific Railroad, like a ‘Smooth, Cool Breeze’.

36. West of Chicago

Like a Smooth, Cool Breeze


Say When – Say Where

I’m Buying This With What I Saved

Fly Anywhere Under The Sun

Old School Print Ads for Airlines
In the sixties and seventies, people found the idea of flying through the air in some new-fangled machine absolutely terrifying. In an attempt to reassure potential passengers, many airlines advertised the reliability and professionalism of their staff, as well as their sex appeal of course!

Take, for example, the Pan American ad below, with the strapline ‘It’s Good To Know Uncle Sam’s Your Skipper’, and the infinitely less subtle ‘Think Of Her As Your Mother’ ad, for American Airlines.

He Is a Confidence Man… Thank Goodness

Think Of Her As Your Mother

I Am American Airlines

Until This Morning …

Thrill To The Real Alaska

. It’s Good To Know Uncle Sam’s Your Skipper

Amérique du Sud and Mauritius, Air France

Eyes That See Around The World

A New World In Travel

Treasure In The Sky

Marriage Off the Rocks

Fly To Where The Birds Are

Naturally They All Fly

Fly To Your Advantage

Old Fashioned Print Ads for Travel Essentials
Sifting through hundreds of vintage ads, I’ve found some extremely dubious straplines. One of the most misleading amongst them, however, has got to be: “Beautiful Tan Today, Young Looking Skin Tomorrow”, taken from the Coppertone ad below.

While most choose to simply soak in the rays on arrival at their chosen holiday destination, others prefer to pre-bronze before hitting the beach. For them there’s Spray Tan, a product many consider to be a modern invention. The Spray Tan adverts below were taken from a 1955 issue of Marie Claire.

Flight Proven Luggage

Beautiful Tan Today, Young Looking Skin Tomorrow

Secret Cover Will Beautify Legs

Un Hâle Magnifique

Classic Print Ads for Hotels

Looking through the ads below, you’ll long for the days when a ‘No Excuses Guarantee’ from the Holiday Inn actually meant something and admen weren’t too afraid to use the slogan: ‘Gay Days Under the Cuban Sun’.

I doubt, however, that in living memory anyone has received a personally drafted letter from the President of the Park Lane Hotel after borrowing a tie for their forgetful husband (see below).

When a Hotel is Letter Perfect

A Weekend Away

Gay Days Under The Cuban Sun

When You Spend a Night At …

Pleasin’ Dreams

No Excuses Room Guarantee

Your Prince Awaits You

Warmth is More Important Than Bigness

New York, New York, It’s a Sheraton Town

Artistic Print Ads for Cruising
What could be more indulgent and enchanting than a cruise? Well … these days, quite a lot actually! Most modern cruise liners are little more than a floating Butlins, complete with screaming kids, terrible food and X Factor-style entertainment.

In the sixties, the story couldn’t have been more different. Italian Line cruises, for example, combined sophistication with relaxation and the chance to catch a glimpse of some European topless sunbathing, as evidenced in the second ad below.


Orient Cruises

Italian Line 1965

Why Not Rush To Europe This Way?

Sail Italian Line… Let Time Fly

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