First the bushfires, then the pandemic; the past few years have had a big impact on small businesses. Without overseas visitors, it’s not just the big tourism operators who’ve seen a drop in business; around Australia, so many small tourism businesses have also been hit hard. 

But there is something we can do to support each other: travel. By finally visiting those parts of Australia that you always meant to check out but never got around to, you can help small businesses get back on their feet at the same time as checking out what we have to offer. 

Exploring your own backyard doesn’t have to mean planning a huge trip — even just a weekend away is perfect to help you relax and recharge. As a bonus, short trips mean you can sample somewhere new as often as you like. 

In such a large and diverse country like Australia, there’s something for everyone, no matter what your dream holiday looks like. We’re home to world-class experiences in unbeatable locations, everywhere from beaches to deserts, remote towns and exciting cities. 

Make the most of seeing people face-to-face again, and get chatting to the locals — it’s not only a welcome change to see new people, it also gives you insider tips about the best meals to try at cafés and restaurants, and the best places to see that aren’t on TripAdvisor. 

After so long without a holiday, don’t waste a minute waiting for your checked luggage. When you’re choosing a bag, a holdall lets you grab and go. A lightweight bag like the St Kilda weekender is ideal; after all, you’re on holiday to make memories, but preferably not memories of hauling a heavy suitcase up seven flights of stairs.

A bag with multiple strap options is key to making the most of your travels. A long crossbody strap will free up your hands when you’re out and about, and sturdy shorter handles are helpful if your bag’s getting heavy towards the end of your trip — because stocking up on handmade candles is essential, right? 

When you’re travelling light, pack light too. With even just a few separates, you’ll have multiple outfit combination options, and one-piece outfits like jumpsuits and dresses are great space-savers that fold up small. Choose your favourite clothes, ones that you know you enjoy wearing. That way, nothing unnecessary is taking up room in your bag (so more space for those candles), and you’ll feel great wherever you are. Check the forecast for your destination before you go to make sure you’re weatherproof, but if you get caught in the rain, think of it as an opportunity to support a small business selling raincoats.

Wherever your travels take you, don’t forget to pick up a gift or two for someone special. It’s a great way to support local businesses as you shop, and a meaningful way to acknowledge the people who got you through the last couple of years — win win.