What Vacation Spots Were Popular in the 80s?

If you’re an ’80s or ’90s kid, you were probably raised on some classic vacation movies from that time. Real life vacations didn’t necessarily consist of Wally World or a step back through time to the 1950s, despite what Hollywood would have you believe, though.

In fact, an 80s vacation looked a lot like what modern vacation days do. Employed Americans in the 80s took more vacation time than their modern-day counterparts, however, and probably found it much easier to kick back and relax.

Just because the 80s are a few decades behind us, doesn’t mean that we can’t relive the beauty of the time. We’re about to go over some of the hottest and most popular 80s vacation spots, so sit back, put an extra layer of Aqua Net in your hair, adjust your leg warmers and prepare to step back into time with us as we review the most popular vacations in the 80s!

1. New York

The Big Apple has always been a favorite vacation spot. But visiting the city in the 1980s was something else, especially for people who loved to party. You could regularly find artists like Andy Warhol hosting exhibits or musicians like Madonna playing live.

Time Square in the 80s is vastly different than how it is today, however. Where there now stands a tourist mecca, there were sex shops, peep shows and a massive presence of the drug trade.

2. Caribbean

The Caribbean is one of the most popular tourist destinations today with over 30 million people visiting each year and over 27 million more stopping by while their cruise ship docks. You might be surprised to find out, however, that even in earlier decades, the Caribbean was a popular vacation spot.

Though the decade began in a recession, as the years progressed, folks with extra money to burn began to dip their toes in vacationing to the Caribbean – literally. This is especially true for people who lived in the UK, as many travel providers finally began to offer options for people in Britain wishing to travel to the islands.

3. Cruises

One of the most popular 80s vacation trends was the rise of holiday cruises. This decade was the beginning of the “cruise to nowhere” trend, where the boat itself was the vacation. Sure, you might have docked in some lovely places, but with all the activities and fun to be had on the ship, you didn’t even have to get off.

Megaships began to be constructed, stretching in length far beyond what most people had ever seen before. With amenities like swimming pools, casinos, and theatres on board, it’s not hard to see why cruising was such a popular vacation option.

4. Australia

Tourism began to boom in Australia in the 80s due in part to none other than the movie Crocodile Dundee. Hunky-for-the-time Paul Hogan is only partially to thank for the surge of Australian tourism; however, as airfare prices coincidentally also began to dip during this time.

Sydney was one of the most popular 80s vacation spots and remains a hotspot for Australia tourism.

Recreate an 80s Vacation

Now that you have some of the best 80s vacation ideas, you can run with that and begin to plan your own. We recommend you go on an Alaskan cruise this year if you want to tap into those 80s vacation vibes.

If you’re a bit of a 1980s aficionado, make sure you check out Culture section to learn more about this unique decade.

Author: Pia Sooney

Just a little obsessed with all things 80s, Pia still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she runs a web design business.

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