Travel accounts have been written since ancient time. These websites list dozens – you are sure to find one for the time period you are teaching. Remember – it if was published before 1922, you may find the entire text online (free!).


Travel books from ancient times to the 21st century

Traveler’s accounts from Internet History Sourcebook Project
Excerpts, lists and bibliographies of printed primary and secondary works

St. James wears the distinctive clothing of a medieval pilgrim - a long tunic called a sclavein, a wooden staff, and scrip to carry his belongings at his waist. The broad brimmed hat turned up in the front, commonly depicted on pilgrims by the mid-thirteenth century, has a cockle shell badge, the symbol of his shrine. Bare feet were considered a type of penance, a self-punishment for one’s sins. He is also carrying a knife and a book, not typical for a pilgrim. The book symbolizes James’ status as an apostle; the knife symbolizes his role as Saint James, the Moor Slayer or may refer to the dangers on the pilgrim route. In the background, on the right, a pilgrim is being attacked. This painting is on the outside, left shutter of the three panel triptych entitled The Last Judgement painted in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century.       Medieval Pilgrimage as Vacation – More Resources

Funding Vacations

As vacations became more and more popular in the late 19th and 20th century, banks and financial institutions offered vacation savings plans, travel loans, and traveler’s checks.  Traveler’s checks still exist, but have become almost obsolete in the age of debit and credit cards.

Postcard of Madison County Courthouse, Richmond, KY. Date unknown.
Postcard of Madison County Courthouse, Richmond, KY. Date unknown.

About the header image: Postcard of a Kentucky hemp field. Date unknown.
Library of Congress.