20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Travel was once the epitome of glamor. People dressed in their finest clothes to go to the airport. Ships and planes were things of luxury. In that era, the posters and brochures that advertised luxe journeys were just as lovely as the journeys themselves.

The Boston Public Library's Print Department has an extensive collection of these travel posters. Here's what the library's archivists have to say about them:

Railways opened up America and Europe, luxe ocean liners introduced elegance into overseas voyages, and drivers took to the road in record numbers in their new automobiles. By the mid-1940s, new airlines crisscrossed the globe, winging adventure-seekers to far-flung destinations.

Travel agents and ticket offices during this period were festooned with vivid, eye-catching posters, all designed to capture the beauty, excitement and adventure of travel and to promote a world of enticing destinations and new modes of transportation. Individual artists gained fame for their distinctive graphic styles and iconic imagery, and many posters from this era still remain important works of art long after their original advertising purposes have faded.

Fast forward to 2013, and travel is expensive, crowded, and invasive (we're looking at you, handsy TSA pat down). But forget for a minute where things are now and remember what things once were, through the lens of these beautiful, artful travel posters of yore.


Cruises in the early 1900s were the epitome of luxury. Now they're just floating Lord of the Flies barges.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


This 1935 print made Palestine look utterly divine.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


Artist Robert Falcucci created this 1932 advert for a French vacation. It looks like a piece of pop art.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


This early 1900s poster is a reminder that France has an unfair advantage in the beauty, culture, and scenery department.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


This poster depicts jet travel as a heavenly experience—with none of the crappy peanuts and bad service that await you today.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: LA Public Library


Yes. Yes we would have been enticed to go to the 1936 Olympics. If only the whole Nazi thing hadn't been a factor.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: LA Public Library


This Japanese Public Railways ad still works today.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: LA Public Library


This captures exactly what you'd imagine the French Riviera is like in person.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: LA Public Library


The Switzerland of the South? Artist Harry Kelly's rendering of Tasmania's Lake St. Clair has our attention.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


We don't need much more convincing on the winter in Austria idea.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


You can go fast as hell on the Autobahn, as illustrated in this tourism poster by German artist Ludwig Hohlwein.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit:Flickr


Artist Dorothy Waugh touts what Ken Burns called America's best idea.

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


Artist Edward Vincent Brewer

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr


Artist Edward Eggleston

20 Gorgeous Posters From a Time When Travel Was Glamorous

Image credit: Flickr