travel in the renaissance

History of Travel: Travel During the Renaissance

History of Travel: Travel During the Renaissance

Travel hasn’t always been widespread. People haven’t always been able to take tours in Hawaii. During the ancient times, it was much more limited. Back then there were no cheap flights, no budget hotels, no round the world tickets, and no organized tours. Still, people did travel.

There was limited travel throughout the Renaissance period. The locals only went to trade, buy, and sell between markets. Farmers lacked resources and money to travel long distances. The roads were also dangerous to walk in because of big rocks, uneven surface and robbers waiting for strangers to be captured in their traps. Only the rich could afford to travel in distant places with soldiers around them to ensure safety.

travel in the RenaissanceTownsmen usually traveled by walking because this is the most convenient way to reach short destinations. The wealthy and middle class people traveled with horses, pack mules, wagons, and coaches. Another transportation used by the rich people was horses. It was fast and appropriate for long distances. Travelers had to check that the horses were young capable of traveling in long distances.

Travel in the Renaissance Resources

Your Travel Guide to Renaissance Europe
Eyewitness Renaissance
South India through Renaissance Eyes
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

travel in the renaissanceDuring the Renaissance period, inns flourished for travelers to lodge in. The inns were unsanitary but expensive. Travelers had to share a single bed. This was unhygienic because travelers might be contaminated with illness, odor, and lice by other travelers. Of course, it was probably warmer. Sleeping in inns was really dirty. Camping was better but dangerous.

Sea Travel

Trade in different countries was improving. Traveling in the sea was popular during this period. Travelers were usually merchants, students, missionaries, pilgrims, and soldiers. Pilgrimage contributed to the improvement of the economy. They sold souvenirs, metallic items and candles during their travel. Transporting by ship was suitable when traveling to other lands. Sea travel could also cause severe danger to travelers. Pirates were abundant to wreck a ship and storms caused massive waves that resulted in complete destruction.

In the Western part of Europe, boats were used for transportation in canals, rivers, and lakes. Boats were faster than land transportation. Rivers weren’t really very good because low water level during a very hot weather is no good for a boat.

Traveling to different marketplace and lands became famous mainly because of trade, exploration, and economy. Bulk items that are occasionally exported are spices, textiles, grain, and cattle. Merchants often traveled in roads using large wagons and caravans for protection. Trade was significant because it increased the economy of the towns. It was also a form of communication for other settlers. It was the sailors of the Renaissance Era who introduced Asian spices to the European economy.

The good news is that you don’t live in the Renaissance.



  1. I kind of LOVED this article. I’m a HUGE fan of the Renaissance period and it’s my secret guilty pleasure to attend Renaissance Faires! Nerd alert! =) Thanks for sharing something that combines my love of travel and the Renaissance!

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