12 Weird Old Travel Accessories That Are Surprising

By Sameer Kapoor on Jan 08, 2019
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For the modern world, travel accessories would mean adaptors, chargers or travel cards. However, have you ever thought how people used to travel in the past? What all things might have been used while travelling in absence of modern technology or gadgets? In an age when foreign travel was undertaken by just a few, comfort could be hardly thought of. Some of these accessories might sound strange to you but remember they were carried out of necessity and the absence of better things. Here is a list of some of the weird and crazy travel accessories that were used by the travellers in the past:

1. Hat boxes


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

In the modern world, we all think of travelling light. Infact, heavy luggage is seen as a mark of an amateur traveller. But just imagine the plight of the Victorian ladies! They had to actually carry the hat boxes just to keep their different hats for the days even while travelling. Infact, the heavier hat box was a sign of lavishness and class. 

Also Read15 Hat Styles Across the World

2. Steamer trunks


Image Source: Dave O/Flickr

Huge steamer trunks were used as a medium of transferring the luggage from one place to another. However, they were used only by those who had servants to carry everything with absolutely no worries for baggage weight limits. Do you know that Louis Vuitton began as a trunk designer and he was the first person to propose that they should be rectangular in order to be stackable?

Also Read: All You Needed to Know About Travel Insurance

3. Pomanders


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Pomanders were carried by ladies to protect themselves from the deadly diseases caused because of change of location. Since there was a lack of scientific understanding, people considered that carrying oranges would ward off 'Black Death'. 

4. Machetes


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Machetes were commonly used to walk through the dense rainforest in the past. Apart from that, they were used for lawn mowing, coconut opening, bushwhacking, snake killing and a variety of other uses. Imagine clearing your safety check with a matchet for an air travel today! 

Also Read: Amazing new age gadgets to charge your devices

5. Cocaine


Image Source: Imagens Evangélicas/Flickr

Cocaine and other drugs is probably one of the reasons why 99 percent of security checking is done at airports today. But imagine, cocaine was carried by travellers in the past not just to have good sleep but also to bolster up energy for a trek. Absolutely bizarre!

6. Opium


Image Source: pixabay.com

As if cocaine was not enough, opium was also taken along with people while travelling. It was used by people who found it difficult to sleep during the rough train journeys. The present day security checks would actually kill you for this! 

7. Smelling salts


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Smelling salts have been used for everything, from reviving those who have fainted to athletes needing a chemically-induced 'wake up'. So, it was carried by travellers to save someone of their own from falling unconscious during the journey. While medical research does confirm that sniffing smelling salts by someone who has had a fainting spell can in some cases be beneficial, the question of the toxicity of ammonia gas remains.

8. Portable urinals


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Did you think that portable urinals are meant only for the kids? Well, even the travellers in the past used to carry these urinals so as to relieve themselves anywhere during the journeys

9. A Slave

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Slavery has a long history. So if these days you will see women accompanied by nannies while travelling, in the past, the rich travellers used to take along their servant or more so, a slave with them.

10. Sedan chairs

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Can't imagine people can be so lazy while they are travelling. Since travelling was the forte of the rich only, they had to literally flaunt it by sitting in the sedan chairs lifted by their servants.

11. Bone made products


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Before the advent of plastic, bone was the most widespread object to prepare articles such as hair brushes, compacts or even a toothbrush. So carrying elephant tooth might be banned today, past did not have any restrictions on it.

12. Portable chamber pots


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Some of the travellers might have found the open portable urinals to be too smelly, so for their poop, they reserved the traveller’s version so as to stop anything from spilling out. Such patience with poop!

Which of these travel accessories did you find the weirdest? Let us know.

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The Most Famous Foreign Travelers in Ancient India

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