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By The Virtual Tourist
With drastic changes in security measures, a failing world economy, and the explosion of the Internet, little about travel is the same as it was just a few short years ago. With this in mind we asked the members and editors of Virtual Tourist.com what they missed most about travel. We were very surprised by what took the top spot.
Even if it's just for a meal or two, non-plastic cutlery tops the list of amenities experienced travelers pine for. Yes, the odd "real" fork and knife will pop up on a flight but not frequently enough for our experts. Most who missed proper cutlery also lamented the absence of real glasses from flights as well.
2. REAL PLANE TICKETS
Having your phone scanned in lieu of handing over a three-sheet paper ticket with all kinds of tear-off components may be convenient, but it doesn't make for a very interesting scrapbook page. Travelers miss not only the ticket but also the big plastic jacket full of documents and itineraries in which it would arrive.
3. COURIER FLIGHTS
These insider flights offered travelers willing to give up their baggage allowance a super-cheap way of taking some very expensive trips. Security issues and the proliferation of bargain travel sites have more or less killed this once-mysterious industry.
4. POSTE RESTANTE
Back in the world's pre-Internet days, when people actually corresponded by mail, a poste restante counter gave travelers a regular spot at which to pick up letters and packages. They can still be found, but these days, few travelers are even aware of their existence.
5. PASSPORT STAMPS
Europeans who collect passport stamps the way
6. COUNTRY-SPECIFIC CURRENCIES
Following on the previous idea, it was a sad (and somewhat confusing) day for many when the euro became the standard currency for much of the EU. Yes, it makes money exchange for those visiting multiple European countries easier but nothing can replace the satisfaction of handing over 4,000 lire for a cup of coffee.
7. HOTEL KEYS
While some argued that the credit card keys most hotels now offer are infinitely more convenient than an actual key, some still yearned for the weight and feel of the real thing.
8. FREE BAG CHECK
In the "You Don't Know What You've Got 'til It's Gone" category, over-packers in particular really, really miss this one. Take more than just a carry-on or come back with a bulging suitcase these days and you could be looking at huge fees.
9. NON-RESERVED EUROPEAN TRAIN TRAVEL
Although it's not always necessary to have reservations on European trains these days, for those who remember a time when you could easily wait until getting to the train station to decide what country in which to spend the day, it might as well be. Unfortunately this development also meant the loss of being able to impulsively use trains as places to spend the night.
10. FREE WINE AND BEER ON FLIGHTS
There are still some holdouts on this perk, but generally speaking, if you're in economy and/or taking a domestic flight, you're probably not getting free booze. While it used to be a given, most in-flight wine tasting done by passengers these days comes at a price.
© VirtualTourist.com, Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.
Travel | Top 10 Amenities Travelers Wish Still Existed