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Travelbag since 1979 - how has holidaying evolved

by Travelbag on 21 July 2016, 11:07AM

In 1979 Peter Wade opened the doors of the first Travelbag store in Alton, Hampshire, and as I’m sure you’re aware, we’re still there. A lot has happened since then, though, Travelbag has gone on to open 6 more stores, our knowledge has expanded from Australasia to worldwide, and the world is ‘shrinking’ making any destination a possibility for you to travel, and for us to expertise in.

Before we start on Travelbag, let us offer some context with a brief history of holidays and your favourite destinations.


Thomas Cook arranges the first trip, Leicester to Loughborough, and charges 1 shilling per head. In 1846 Cook arranged the first package holiday – a train from Leicester to Liverpool providing overnight accommodation too. All parties involved were happy with this, leading Cook to do this time and time again, giving birth to package holidays.


Eleven years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight, Tony Janus had an ingenious idea of selling a flight experience. Janus Auctioned off the chance to fly for $400 (over £5000 in our modern money). The flight lasted 20 minutes flying from St Petersburg, Florida, to Tampa Bay, Florida. This is known as a first and the birth of commercial flying.


The entire of the Forbidden City, Beijing, China, opened to the public, allowing access to all 980 buildings following a coup to evict the last Emperor of China, Emperor Puyi. Puyi had been residing with his family in the inner sections of the palace, while outer parts had already opened to the public.  


Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) finishes construction in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Taking 9 years to build, on the day it was unveiled the statue was due to be illuminated by an awash of floodlights activated using a remote control, unfortunately, this didn’t work and they were switched on manually. October 12th (2016) celebrates the 85th anniversary of the monument.

1959 - Dubai opens its airways when the then current Sheik wanted to create a source of income for Dubai. He also dredged the Dubai Creek to allow trade to pass through.

1971 – World’s number one theme park, Disneyland Florida, first opens. 

1979 – 1989

Travelbag opens its first store in Alton specialising in tailor made holidays to Australia and New Zealand.  1982 saw the opening of EPCOT centre to further expand Disneyland Florida.  In 1985, Travelbag expanded to include East Asia in our specialist knowledge. In 1985, we also saw the rise of a new airline brand, Emirates. Started originally to compensate for a decrease in flights into Dubai from GulfAir. 


1990 – 1999

The end of this period saw a boom in Travelbag store openings and a boom in Australian holidays. Following the release of the Boeing 747-400 allowing an 11 185 mile (18,001 km) flight from London to Sydney. In 1998 Travelbag Knutsford opened, followed by both Travelbag Solihull and Travelbag London in 1999. Elsewhere in the world, the new ‘Worlds Tallest Building’ was opened, with the completion of The Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).


2000 – 2010

Like the previous period, we see Travelbag expand further, with 3 Travelbag stores opened in Cheltenham, Winchester, and Brighton in years 2000, 2003, and 2006 respectively. 2008 brought our wanderlust inducing website to you. Meanwhile, over in Dubai, we saw the Atlantis, The Palm hotel open in 2008 in spectacular style, with an A-list celebrity guest list including, but not limited to; Kylie, Michael Jackson, Robert De Niro, and many more. Then in 2010, we saw the half-mile mega-structure Burj Khalifa open and smash the ‘Worlds Tallest Building’ record by nearly 200 metres. In 2002 the iconic Lord of the Rings set, Hobbiton, New Zealand, opened to tourists, offering guided tours with highlights including Bagshot Row, Bag End, and The Party Tree. 


2010 – present

Since 2010, Dubai has continued to shoot on, helped by being named the host of the 2020 World Expo we’ve seen the city announce numerous new, stunning building like the ‘Dubai Tower’, set to eclipse the record for tallest building. 2016 also saw Emirates set ‘Longest Nonstop Commercial Flight’ record (13 592 km) from Auckland to Dubai. 

Here’s to 37 years of Travelbag offering you the very best deals, let us hope for another future 37 with as many amazing fetes reached!
Make the most of our 37 years experience and book the holiday the holiday of your dreams that you never thought was possible here. You can also pop in store and meet your local travel experts in person!

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