The world in the 1970s:

  • The first Apple computer was developed; floppy disks for computers were introduced
  • The Aswan dam in Egypt was completed
  • The Sydney Opera House opened
  • VCRs were introduced
  • The decimal system was introduced for UK currency
  • The Watergate scandal hit the news
  • The Vietnam War ended
  • The first European Airbus was built
The 1970s was the decade in which photographic images were first used on the cover of the South American Handbook. The 1974 edition was also a special edition, marking the 50th anniversary of the Handbook, as noted by its editor:

"We should like to undertake to our readers that the Handbook will continue to maintain and improve, during its next half-century, the standards that we believe have characterized it during its first fifty editions. Both publisher and editor wish to assure their public that their intention is to maintain an institution that will last until its centenary in 2024 – and beyond."

Budget travel was becoming more common, as some of the advice found in our 1974 Handbook suggests...

"Budget travellers should not try to hitch-hike without offering payment."

"Remember that Rabies is endemic in Mexico & South America so avoid crazy-looking dogs."

"It is regrettable, but none the less true, that a prejudice has grown up among the authorities of several Latin American countries against young male travellers with long hair, beards, and hippy-style clothes. Young people of informal dress and life-style may find it advantageous to procure a letter from someone in an official position testifying to their good character."

Did you travel with the South American Handbook in the 1970s? If you'd like to share your experiences, let us know.

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