TRAVEL TRENDS A Cher­ry­brook travel agent on where's hot right now

Monthly Chronicle - - Front Page - Monique Mon­sees Monique Mon­sees, Cher­ry­brook Travel, Westleigh

Back in the day, a worker would take their four weeks annual leave in one fell swoop. In those days though, jobs were sta­ble and work­ers loyal to their em­ploy­ers and vice versa. Now, through the GFC, job se­cu­rity is a lost lux­ury, em­ployee num­bers are re­duced and peo­ple are work­ing harder and for longer hours.

The up­shot of this change in work­place pat­terns is that rather than tak­ing all four weeks at once, work­ers are now tend­ing to split up their leave and do sev­eral short hol­i­days through­out the year.

So where can you go in win­ter for a week or less? First, do­mes­ti­cally, head north. Win­ter is the ideal time to visit the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and the Kimberley. Broome is also sub­lime in win­ter, es­pe­cially with the di­rect flights from Syd­ney.

With the Whit­sun­day re­gion of Queens­land and the re­sorts on Hamil­ton Is­land hit hard by Cy­clone Deb­bie, Hay­man Is­land and Day­dream Is­land all closed till around this month, so why not show your sup­port and book a late win­ter/early spring trip to the al­ways glo­ri­ous Whit­sun­days?

Mean­while the Far North re­gion of Queens­land around Cairns was not af­fected and of­fers a great place for midwin­ter break.

In­ter­na­tion­ally there are the usual pa­cific is­lands of Fiji or Van­u­atu - but what about some­thing dif­fer­ent like Samoa or Tonga? Then there’s Asia with the usual hotspots of Phuket, Bali or Pe­nang - but why not check out the beaches of Viet­nam?

We’re also see­ing a surge in en­quiries for trips to In­dia and Ja­pan. Travel time to these des­ti­na­tions av­er­ages about eight to 10 hours so would be bet­ter suited to a slightly longer hol­i­day of 10 to 14 days.

The other main travel trend we’re see­ing is the growth of the ‘small group trav­eller. Gone are the days when peo­ple would fly to Lon­don and join a large tour group of 45 peo­ple and travel around Europe vis­it­ing six coun­tries in two weeks.

Now, whilst still lik­ing the con­ve­nience and se­cu­rity of a group tour, trav­ellers are look­ing for the smaller, more in­ti­mate tour groups, groups av­er­ag­ing 20 peo­ple. Even the big group tour com­pa­nies of Trafal­gar and In­sight have no­ticed this trend and are in­tro­duc­ing spe­cial ‘small group’ de­par­tures.

This is also true in the cruise mar­ket. We’ve seen an in­crease in en­quiries for smaller ‘ex­pe­di­tion’ type cruises: those cruise boats that take less than 500 pas­sen­gers and can get into the smaller ports of call - com­pa­nies like Aza­mara, Po­nant and Lind­blad. These are ‘soft’ lux­ury ad­ven­ture cruises, with ad­ven­tur­ous day trips to land on Zo­di­acs but then the evenings are for fine din­ing and re­tir­ing to your lux­u­ri­ously ap­pointed cabin to sleep like a baby.

What­ever your choice, make sure you take the time to recharge your bat­ter­ies, re­con­nect with your loved ones and broaden your mind - the three cor­ner­stones of travel what­ever time of year you go.

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