Holiday brochures and a fitness plan for the new year

FIRST Halloween, then Bonfire Night; next-up is Christmas and New Year’s. After New Year’s, for many of us, it’s a bit of a slog getting through January: there’s still a shortage of daylight hours, a drop in temperature and lack of cash. The next public holiday, Easter, seems like waiting for a bus that’s been cancelled. January is not the most joyous of months and can makes us feel as flat as a tortilla.

Thinking back to the 70s and 80s, from Boxing Day onwards, and throughout January, holiday advertising on television was rapid; many of them containing straplines that are still fondly remembered: Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it; Get away with Lunn Polly; you don’t have to hope for the best with a Thomson holiday. What better way to drag our thoughts away from the lack of daylight and chilly temperatures than to look ahead to some sun, warmth and escapism?

How would we go about choosing the right holiday? Searching through brochures was the most popular way: pop-into the travel agent and walk away with a variety of brochures. These were the days when either 1) legwork was needed to trawl the high street or 2) we’d fill in a cut-out coupon in a magazine or newspaper and send away for a brochure – hopefully it would arrive in less than 28 days.

The common theme when it came to booking a holiday were brochures. Once received, they could be found in various rooms in our homes: a few scattered next to the newspaper in the living room; a few sharing a space with the Phone Book and Yellow Pages in the hallway; one by the bedside for some night time destination research; a couple on the kitchen worktop enabling valuable browsing time whilst making more turkey sandwiches. Brochures were popular and were part of the household reading stash.

Once the holiday destination had been selected, it would be a matter of either phoning the travel agent or paying them a visit to finalise the details, and of course, paying a deposit. Making regular payments, cash or cheque, to pay-off the holiday, meant more legwork going back and forth. Now consider this – the whole process of booking a holiday old school style: how much energy did we burn during this holiday booking process? How many steps did we clock-up going back the forth to the travel agent? How much energy did we burn whilst carrying a bagful of brochures whilst the wind battered our face? What was our heart’s beat per minute increase? I wonder …

With the new year almost here, don’t join a gym to fulfil your fitness goals – instead think about booking a holiday old school style by ditching google searches and getting physically active. How about being the personal travel agent for your friends, family and neighbours? Imagine the amount of exercise that you’d pack-in! An added bonus is that you could charge a fee for your services, resulting in spending money for your holiday! Think it’s a crazy idea and yelling ‘get away‘ whilst reading? I am getting away: I’m off to book my holiday at Alba Travel, a travel agent based in Inverness – a mere 360 miles away from where I live! According to google maps, it will take me 118 hours to walk there. Goodness knows what my step count on Fitbit will be, but, when I return, I’m looking forward to sliding into some new, smaller-size clothes.

Click-on the photos below to reminisce on holiday advertising from the 70s and 80s


Remember when Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks threw their weight around the wrestling ring? A time when the Milk Tray Man secretly delivered chocolates. Mr Kipling made exceedingly good cakes but what was your favourite? Fun, straplines and nostalgic photos in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass, a nostalgic trip reliving advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s and 80s – fiction with loads of interesting facts. Click any of the images below to get the rundown:

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