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Imagine yourself on the trip of your dreams: a palm-ringed island, the beauty and history of Paris, the intoxicating allure of the Napa Valley. Now imagine that with only a pen, a camera and a little curiosity, all of these incredible travel destinations are within your reach.

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No matter what specific angle or travel niche you target for your next story — it could be anything from bird-watching to antiquing to camping to spas — it’s important to consider your readers’ mindset.

With the economic downturn, priorities have changed. It doesn’t mean people aren’t traveling. It just means they’re traveling differently.

And it doesn’t mean they aren’t reading about travel. They’re simply reading for different reasons.

If you’re aware of what people are feeling and thinking, it’s easy to come up with travel stories editors will snatch up.

To help get your creative juices flowing today, I wanted to point out some current trends worth having on your radar screen.

THREE TRENDS TO WATCH

**1.) Lavish is out. Have you heard about shoppers at Tiffany’s asking clerks to brown bag their purchases? Even among the well-heeled, flaunting wealth is no longer chic. Thriftiness is in. As one financial advisor quoted in the New York Times put it: “Saving money is the new black.”

**2.) Retro is cool. When times are tough, people tend to retreat to “safer ground.” They romanticize childhood icons and symbols of the past, times when things were easier, simpler, happier. Have you noticed those cute little fifties-era sweater sets are back in vogue?

And I just read that record sales (I’m talking vinyl here) have increased 89% since 2007.

**3.) Intimacy is important. Seems the great drive to profit has left people feeling less-than-fulfilled. There’s a greater focus now on intimacy, connectedness, family, quality time. As Forbes reported recently: “Experts agree that tough economic times can motivate couples, as well as singles, to turn to simple pleasures.”

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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