20 years in business – let’s party like it’s 1999!

We’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary of being in business, this month – wow! But  what else was going on in this pre-millennial year of 1999 when the Go Walkabout travel insurance brand was introduced to the world? 

  • The Oscar for Best Picture went to ‘American Beauty’ and the highest grossing film in the US was ‘The Sixth Sense’. 
  • The world prepared for the dreaded ‘millennium bug’ which was rumoured to potentially cause widespread disruption to business and infrastructure, if not fixed. 
  • The average price of a house in the UK in 1999 was £79, 384 – in July 2019, it was £232, 710
  • The Millennium Dome opened in London to house the infamous ‘Millennium Experience’ , it is now a key exterior feature of The O2 arena.
  • The best-selling hit in the UK singles chart that year was ‘Hit me baby one more time’ by Britney Spears.
  • Fashion staples in 1999 included bucket hats, chokers, crop tops, blue eye-shadow and glitter – have a google!

Apart from popular culture in the UK, lots has also changed in the world of travel in the 20 years since 1999. Here’s our round-up of just 10 changes of particular note: 

  1. The Euro was introduced on 1st January 1999, and was adopted by 12 countries, replacing their previous currency (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) 
  2. Travellers have become more independent over the years,  and more and more now put together their own holiday plans, rather than relying on a travel agent to arrange it all for them.
  3. Travel blogging has become ‘a thing’ – people love sharing their travel adventures and inspiring others to do the same – you name it, someone has blogged about it.
  4. Instagram, selfies and selfie-sticks reign – instead of waiting to get back from our holiday and popping our camera film in to be developed!
  5. The rise of low-cost airlines has reduced the relative price of our flights, but we’re also missing a lot of the added frills too (like complimentary meals and snacks, and a more generous baggage allowance)
  6. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to keep in touch with loved-ones at home in the UK now, as you no longer need to track down an internet cafe or phone box to get in touch, your smartphone pretty much does it all. 
  7. Lots more people are now working abroad, either on a Working Holiday visa, or by becoming a digital nomad, and using improvements in technology to keep in touch and work flexibly. 
  8. Postcards that arrive weeks after you arrive home, have now been confined to the annals of history, to be replaced by regular envy-inducing updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – these also replace the obligatory family slide-show on our return!
  9. We can check out attractions, hotels, restaurants and destinations on Trip Advisor (launched in February 2000)  to see what and where other travellers recommend, thanks to the collective power of the individual reviews on the online review system.

We have a fantastic competition to win a £200 voucher for Lastminute.com to celebrate 20 years of Go Walkabout. Check out all of the details here and you could be lucky enough to be picked from all of the entrants at random to start 2020 off on a winning note!

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