This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you consent to our use of cookies unless you have disabled them.

eMag | Directory | TNT Travel Show 2017 | Events Search | TNT Jobs

We’ve been travelling the world for three decades. Here are TNT’s best trips for backpackers in 2013, plus how they compared in 1983

1983 was a landmark year for loads of reasons. McNuggets were invented. Mario Brothers was released on Nintendo. But, by far and away the most earth-shattering thing to happen was the arrival of TNT on London’s streets. Ever since the mag launched, we’ve been lugging our filthy backpacks and sweat-crusted thongs all over the globe. So to celebrate our birthday, we’re giving you the ultimate to-do list for today’s traveller, complete with tick boxes. Good luck!  


1. Van tour ❑

This Antipodean rite of passage has been popular for decades, but it would’ve been a very different Europe that TNT readers drove their banged-up VWs through in 1983. They’d have seen the Berlin Wall intact, for one. The route traditionally starts in Pamps and ends at …

2. Oktoberfest ❑

… which remains an essential stop today, whether you’re Van Touring or not. However, back in ’83 you’d have been downing steins at the world’s biggest beer fest in a different country – the Federal Republic of Germany, separated from the German Democratic Republic by a wall that didn’t fall until 1990.


3. Jordan ❑

Exploring the ancient city of Petra, bobbing about in the Dead Sea, partying in the glam clubs of Amman ... Jordan should be on every traveller’s to-do list. The country was involved in scuffles over the West Bank back in the Eighties but renounced its claim to it in 1988.

4. Anzac Day, Gallipoli ❑

Anzac Day was hit by various controversies in the Eighties, with ceremonies being targeted by feminists and anti-war protesters. Towards the end of the decade, however, there was renewed interest in commemorating the occasion and the numbers of Aussies and Kiwis flocking to Gallipoli has steadily risen ever since. It was only in ’85 that the name ‘Anzac Cove’ was officially recognised by the Turkish government.

5. Hogmanay ❑

Scotland’s three-day celebration to see in the New Year is a party you’ve got to tick off your list, Edinburgh in particular doing it up right with torchlight processions, live bands and the New Year’s Day Loony Dook (thousands take a dip in the freezing Forth Estuary to numb the hangover). We believe the Scots enjoyed a wee dram and taking their ‘taps aff’ in the Eighties, too. 

6. Sailing Croatia ❑

Sailing the sparkling Adriatic on a yacht and ogling ancient architecture in the likes of Dubrovnik is a bona fide bucket list experience today. Not so much in the Eighties, however, when Yugoslavia still existed and was in the throes of the economic meltdown that preceded the devastating Yugoslav wars that kicked off in 1991.


7. Balkan road trip ❑

Overlanding through the Balkans offers some of Europe’s best off the beaten track experiences, from watching the divers leap off the Old Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia (see P66), to untouched beaches on the Ionian Coast of Albania. It would’ve been a brave tourist who visited the latter in 1983, however, thanks to its tumultuous period as the world’s first ‘atheist state’ before the shit hit the fan in the region in the early Nineties (see above). 


8. Scandi-Baltic route ❑

Driving through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to Finland is a brilliant budget break that immerses you in some of Europe’s most stunning cities (Tallinn in particular is an incredible blend of medieval and modern). However, in ’83 the Baltic countries remained Soviet Republics. A campaign of civil resistance began in the late Eighties, including the ‘Baltic Way’ in 1989, a two-million-strong human chain stretching 600km from Tallinn to Vilnius. The Baltic states became independent in 1991.

9. Egypt  ❑

There’s little to rival the manmade wonders of Egypt, but political turmoil has tourists avoiding this troubled country today. Still, Egypt has endured as a tourist destination despite many decades of upheaval – in the Eighties and Nineties there were periods of terrorist attacks against tourists interspersed with safer conditions for visitors. Tourism is one of the most important sectors of Egypt’s economy, so fingers crossed there are better times ahead.



10. Bolivia ❑

Bolivia is a wild ride, from four-wheel-driving over the salt flats of Uyuni, to an arse-clenching bus journey to the world’s highest capital, La Paz, and mountain biking down the world’s most dangerous road. It might’ve been a little too wild in the Eighties, however, which saw various violent military coups.


TNT's all-time top 30 trips: How many of our ultimate travel adventures have you ticked off?
Digital Mag

Latest News

Stay connected on social networks
Like us on Facebook
Follow TNT on Twitter