It’s hard to understand how commercial air travel has changed things until you see maps like this that show how long it took to travel from place to place.
This map is just 100 years old, yet look how long it took to go from London to anyplace beyond Europe. Any trip outside Europe and maybe the east coast of the US was a serious voyage and one wouldn’t undertake it unless one expected to spend months and perhaps years at their destinations. There is a reason that steamer trunks are so large. You weren’t packing for an overnight, you packing for living at the other end.