The 50th Anniversary Issue

Our 50th birthday issue is on sale now. We're celebrating five decades of great food and travel with our biggest issue yet.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 27th November, 2016 and receive a Villeroy & Boch platter!

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Best travel trends 2009

It seems every aspect of our lives is over-shadowed by economic gloom, and the travel industry is no exception. But it does have some clever ideas to beat – or at least ease – the so-called credit crunch.

Fixed-price fun, minimum fuss, maximum ease: it's no wonder more Australians than ever are running away to sea. Australian cruise passenger numbers grew by 14 per cent in 2007 and similar double-digit growth is expected when the International Cruise Council Australasia releases its 2008 figures. A boom in cruise ships visiting our shores is helping to drive the popularity, as is the variety of vessels and experiences they offer, but, from a cruiser's perspective, the biggest attraction is often the all-inclusive pricing. The fact you pay once and don't have to fork out further for food, entertainment, tips and some excursions makes life onboard a smart choice in the current climate.


Holidaying at home may lack the glamour of a week in Paris but it does have advantages - not least the chance to discover and enjoy your own backyard. The "staycation" trend that was ignited by rising fuel prices and fuelled by the global downturn is a great example of making the most of what you've got. Save money on accommodation and flights by launching excursions from home and discovering what lies just beyond your doorstep. The logistics are a cinch compared with navigating a foreign city, and preparation can be as easy or as detailed as you wish. All you really need is an open mind and a sense of discovery.

The big growth area in air travel is premium economy, the newish cabin class priced midway between business and economy that offers flyers extra comfort and perks. High-end leisure travellers are being lured to these seats by the prospect of increased legroom and reclining space and, often, priority check-in and generous baggage allowances. Virgin Atlantic pioneered premium economy about 17 years ago and it's now the airline's most profitable class, hence the headlong rush by its competitors to reconfigure cabins and upgrade comforts. Keep an eye on last-minute deals for occasional deep discounting of premium economy seats.

More and more travellers are feeling the urge to do, to help, to give something back - hence the popularity of what's been dubbed "voluntourism" where holidaymakers pay for the chance to help out the needy. It's about injecting a bit of realism into our travel experiences, developing a deeper understanding of the cultures we visit and, yes, sometimes it also helps to assuage the guilt of First World travellers rubbernecking in Third World countries. Voluntourism benefits both parties, providing skills and services for struggling societies while giving visitors a sense of purpose in, and connection with, a foreign culture.

Distress sales by airlines, resorts and even countries throw up regular bargains, and the internet is indispensable for tracking them down. New multi-site searchers like trawl hundreds of websites to deliver the best prices, saving you hours of research and sometimes hundreds of dollars. You can  also sign up to your favourite sites' newsletters to keep abreast of their latest promotions. If you're flexible about where you visit and when, and have time to spend hunting discounts, you don't have to give up your holidays just yet.

Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Best of Italy

Rome, Florence, Naples, the Amalfi... the list of our favour...

Best New Hotels 2009 slideshow

We’ve got the keys to the most fabulous new hotels in the wo...

Burgundy, France: Top soil

“Water can rust iron. Imagine what it does to your insides. ...

Bali's new high

It’s no secret that recent times have been tough for Austral...

New South Wales South Coast

Unsung hero Flashier holiday spots may steal the limelight, ...

Gourmet Barcelona

From the city's best sandwich bar to its favourite charcuter...

Greece's Mani peninsula

Greece’s rugged and bloody Mani peninsula was once a no-go z...

Venice in pictures

Read our story on what to do if you only have 24 hours in Ve...

Great Brittany gallery

Take a walk on the wild side. Follow Brittany’s windswept co...

South African safari lodges gallery

Travelling from the Great Karoo to the Kruger, Emma Ventura ...

Iceland photo gallery

Erase the images of that volcano with the unpronounceable na...

Happy holidays

They’re following the sun and chasing the snow, staying clos...

Kyneton and Castlemaine

Kyneton and Castlemaine were born out of the gold-rush era, ...

Insider's guide to Manly

Breath of fresh air The classic Sydney beachside neighbourho...

The best of New Zealand

Choosing from the bounty of New Zealand's holiday destinati...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.