We all know that person. You know, the one who makes a ton of New Year resolutions and keeps absolutely none of them. You’re not that person. In fact, you’re the exact opposite. Know why? Because you’re going to followthrough with these 12 travel resolutions and 2016 is going to be your best travel year to date.
1. Ask For Time Off: Closed mouths don’t get fed is how the saying goes. Sometimes it really is as simple as just asking. Does your job have a slow season? Can you work from a laptop? Maybe you just deserve more time off because you work really hard. Ask for more vacation time, there’s no harm in it. A few extra days off can really boost your productivity at work.
2. Ask For What You Want: Be assertive. Ask for directions, an ocean view, an upgrade to business class. Haggle with a local merchant for a lower price. Don’t be rude about it. Flash a smile, make conversation and turn your charm up to level 100. You’d be surprised by how effective asking can be.
3. Buy A Smaller Suitcase: Seeing the amount of space available in your suitcase (or backpack) tells your subconscious that you need to carry more than you do. Get a small suitcase, stick to one family of colours or neutrals, then take out a third to half of what you think you need. Travel with just a carry-on if possible (I do it). On the road, less is more.
4. Ditch The Big City: There are way more small towns than big cities in the world. It’s hard not to be drawn into bustling cities with their bright lights, skyscrapers and vibrant energy. But there’s nothing like small town charm. Organize a weekend trip to a nearby small town and take in the hospitality.
5. Go Off The Grid: I live for new gadgets and innovative smartphone apps. They’re a necessity as a travel blogger and they’re great for staying connected. But it’s good to disconnect once in a while. Turn off the phone, the wifi, the cameras, all of it. Work it into your daily or weekly routine, it’ll do you some good.
6. Go solo: Traveling as a couple can be very rewarding (great for bonding). Traveling in groups can be loads of fun (great for drinking). But traveling alone a few times a year (or a lot more) is an experience that cannot be surpassed. It’s an instrumental part of every traveler’s experience and growth.
7. Live Local: Do not be swayed by the “appeal” of Starbucks, McDonald’s and the like. Wherever you go, be the next best thing to a local. Speak as often as possible in the local language. Mingle with anyone who’s willing. Eat in their restaurants. Use their modes of transportation. Respect their customs. Make the best of your time as a visitor.
8. Make Traveling A Priority: Put yourself in the best position possible to travel. Conquer your fear of flights. Start a vision board. Capitalize on travel deals. Keep a journal of travel inspiration (pictures, places, quotes). Get out the door and travel the way you know you can. May the odds be ever in your favour.
9. Open A Travel Fund: Start an online savings account. Set up automated deposits from your paycheck into said travel savings account each pay period (even if it’s $20 per week). Barring extreme circumstances, the money in that account should go toward the trip of a lifetime. Treat yourself to a vacation on the beautiful islands of the Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago or an ATW (Around The World) trip.
10. Plan Another Trip: Seriously? You’re satisfied with taking one trip per year? I didn’t think so. Why not plan another? Go surfing in Puerto Rico, visit the temples in Japan or get an overdose of culture in Montreal. Go ahead. May the force be with you.
11. Read And Subscribe: Read about traveling. Read travel stories, articles and books. Read blog posts, forum commentary and ebooks. Subscribe to websites (like this one) that can improve your travel experience with deals, insight or even the occasional giveaway. You’ll be much more travel savvy for it.
12. Take Action: You have a handful of destinations in mind that you’d love to visit. The problem is, you keep finding excuses not to go. Quit putting yourself on the back burner and make this trip a priority. You miss all of the flights you don’t book. What are you waiting for?
What are your New Year resolutions? Leave an intelligent comment below. We’d love to know your opinion!