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2022 hasn’t been short on challenges and we all deserve, make that need, a holiday. And with the summer holidays coming up in Australia, the countdown is on for lazy days, backyard cricket, trips to the beach, afternoon naps, and all the other simple pleasures that come when you have time off. However, if you have itchy feet and dream of travelling there are plenty of options on offer. This week on School Stream, enjoy a curated list of travel experiences from armchair travel to volunteer experiences, getting off the beaten track, and so much more. Bon voyage!

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1. Armchair travel

If the idea of bustling airports or a long road trip is just all too much, armchair travel via a good book could be just the ticket. Whether you are looking for a ‘beach read’, narrative non-fiction or a deep dive into history, there will be a book for you. Travel across America with hapless hero Arthur Less in “Less is Lost” or experience the famed Greek island Hydra in the bohemian 60s with “A Theatre for Dreamers.” If you’ve always wanted to visit the sprawling metropolis of Mexico City, perhaps “Horizontal Vertigo” by Juan Villoro is the summer read for you. Or if a rollicking trip through Eastern Europe with Romany Gypsy musicians is more your speed, check out “Princes Amongst Men” by Garth Cartwright. For serious history aficionados, Andrew Quilty’s “August in Kabul” and Louisa Lim’s “The Indelible City” are two recently published tomes that might hit the spot. The search terms ‘travel book’ and ‘beach read’ bring up a seemingly endless list of options or hit up your local library for recommendations. 

2. Beat the crowds in Australia

It’s easy to sleep on the potential of your own backyard when it comes to travel, but Australia offers an almost overwhelming amount of holiday options where you can get away from crowds and Wi-Fi. Freemantle Prison offers a teen-friendly experience you’ll never forget, and while you’re on the west coast (albeit thousands of kilometres away), try the Dampier Archipelago for a digital-free experience with a difference. On the east coast, visit the Museum of Underwater Art on Palm Island, a down-to-earth, resort-free holiday for conservation-conscious divers and snorkelers. Heading south, North-West Tasmania deserves a look for epic family-friendly hikes, while the 200 km Silo Art Trail in Western Victoria is a must for lovers of art and expansive plains.

3. Be part of the change – 52 Places 

Each year the New York Times publishes an annual list of travel destinations and the events of the past few years have certainly thrown up a few challenges to creating their signature piece of journalism. The most recent edition of “52 Places” takes a different approach to travel ‘in a world turned upside down’ and acknowledges that while travel is possible, it can be fraught, contributes to greenhouse emissions, and can cause problems for local communities through over-tourism. This list highlights, instead, places where travel is part of the solution. Be inspired by the interactive list of destinations here.

4. Eat your way around the world – or your hometown

Calling all foodies! For those who like to be led by their stomach, travelling to try the food of a particular region can be great motivation when planning a trip. The good news is that you don’t have to go very far – unless you want to! For those who like to stay close to home, try a cooking course at your local produce market and learn how to make your favourite dish. Or travel to a restaurant in a different neighbourhood you’ve always wanted to try. If you are looking for an international dimension to your foodie adventures, check out Lonely Planet’s list of destinations for the culinary inclined.

5. Women, Wellness and Travel

Who among us could say no to a holiday that left us feeling rested and relaxed? While the key market for this kind of holiday remains unchanged, with solo female travellers representing the majority of wellness tourists, the typical wellness holiday as we know it has had its own makeover. Offerings now include niche experiences like menopause mini breaks, gut health holidays, and even a retreat that utilises the wisdom of Avicenna (Date of Birth: 980AD!) to get you sleeping like a baby again.

6. Live like a ‘glamourous nomad’

Get off the beaten track without sacrificing excellent coffee and other creature comforts this summer. What is a glamourous nomad, exactly? We’re glad you asked. The internet tells us these ‘glamourous nomads’ are people who are ‘location independent’ and work remotely all over the world. While this is not possible for educators and, let’s be honest, most of us, the idea of living barefoot and fancy-free in a tropical location does sound appealing. Even if for a week.

7. The simple pleasures of a beach holiday

The Australian beach holiday is one we can all get behind. If you have the beach, melting ice cream, sunblock, fish and chips, and a communal barbeque area, you have the ingredients for a great holiday. Sometimes things are really that easy.

8. Data-driven travel

In September this year, The Australian Bureau of Statistics released data that shines a light on the movements of Australian travellers. It will come as no surprise to anyone that New Zealand remains the number one destination for a visit, with 96,180 arrivals recorded by our Pacific neighbour. If you’ve noticed more people out and about, that might be because tourism into the country is booming, with the total number of arrivals into Australia increasing by 351,210 to 1,081,610 in July. Perhaps the most compelling statistic of all relates to the reasons Australians travel; almost 50% of trips are to see friends or relatives.

9. All together now

If you ask most kids what their perfect holiday is, the answer is not Disneyland or unfettered access to the Nintendo. It’s time together with their families. Whatever that looks like for you, we hope you have a great summer break. You deserve it.


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