If your goal is to travel more this year, these nine travel resolutions are a great place to jump start your list and get you ready to hit the road.
Whether you’re an avid traveler, or someone who rarely adventures, chances are good one of your new year’s resolutions is to “travel more.” Resolutions involving travel are among the top five new year’s resolutions every year, and it seems the popularity is growing.
With the pace of our day-to-day lives ever-increasing, people seem to be craving more and more the chance to unwind, to relax, and to explore the world beyond our daily routines.
However, simply making a resolution to “travel more” almost guarantees you won’t follow through with it. The way to make sure you get in that desired (and needed) travel this year is to make your resolutions more specific, more tangible, and not so vaguely difficult to tackle.
We’ve gotten down to the details, and have put together the top 9 travel resolutions for 2018 that will help you reach your travel goals this year.
2018’s Top 9 Travel Resolutions
Resolution #1: Use your vacation days
Even if you love your job, you need a break.
And sadly, many people who don’t like their jobs still don’t use their vacation days.
In fact, according to Allianz Global Assistance, a travel insurance firm, 53% of Americans have gone a year without taking a vacation, and nearly 40% of Americans have gone two years without one.
We recommend using all of your vacation days, every year.
Even if you aren’t able to group your days off into a 3-week vacation to The Bahamas, a quick long weekend getaway to somewhere nearby will give you the break and the relief from the stresses of life that will allow you to hit your “reset” button.
Trust us — doing so will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Resolution #2: Set your email to “out of office”
Vacation isn’t really vacation if you’re constantly checking your phone and responding to emails.
Vacation means truly unplugging and letting go of your work-related responsibilities for as long as you can.
Though you may come home to a pile of emails after vacation, you will be able to tackle them with greater force and more motivation after having the chance to relax on your vacation.
And, if you’re traveling with others, they will thank you for not being on email during your travels.
What fun is it to travel with someone who is too busy on their phone to enjoy the beauty and adventure around them?
Achieving the work-life balance we are all after is possible by vacationing the right way — completely away from your work.
Resolution #3: Eat the local food
When you’re traveling to a foodie destination like Portland, Oregon, it may not be too hard to eat the local food.
Much of the food there is a creative twist on American favorites, and you won’t feel too far out of your comfort zone.
However, if you’re heading to a more exotic location such as India, don’t spend your trip eating french fries and chicken.
Though you may be weary to try some of the dishes that are adventures in themselves, you won’t regret it.
One of the greatest parts of traveling is immersing yourself in the culture, and a major part of the culture in many countries is the food.
To avoid from eating bad food, spend some time before you leave on your trip to research top places to eat, as well as the dishes that foreigners are most likely to enjoy.
Aim to explore food outside of the main tourist areas, and ask the locals for their favorites.
Resolution #4: Stay healthy while traveling
We love indulging in desserts, fancy cocktails and the like while on vacation just as much as the next person.
However, you don’t want to let your health completely go, or else coming back home will be that much more difficult.
Though we do stress eating the local cuisine (which may not always be super healthy), we also stress going for a quick jog or walking to dinner to try and combat that unhealthy meal, or that extra piece of cake you had.
If you’re feeling really motivated, you could even try to sneak in a quick workout or, better yet, look for local hikes or classes if available.
It seems that you can find yoga almost anywhere in the world, so seek out a yoga class to try on vacation. You may discover that the way people in Thailand do yoga is your new favorite thing!
It is important that you do not restrict yourself while vacationing (because then it just defeats the purpose of a vacation), but don’t go out of control — keep a healthy balance.
Resolution #5: Try an activity you’d never do at home
Even if you aren’t traveling to a foreign country, there are plenty of different activities to enjoy in a new place.
And, because we are all about going outside your comfort zone while traveling, it should be one of your resolutions to research and plan to do one thing you would never do at home.
This could be something such as skydiving or snorkeling; riding a moped or going to a museum. Whatever it is, pick something that will provide you with an entirely new experience.
Travel is not only about relaxing and having fun, it is also about expanding your horizons.
Resolution #6: Talk to strangers
For some this may be easy. For those of us that are introverts, however, this will prove to be a challenging resolution, but one that is worth it.
One of the greatest parts of traveling, especially to a foreign country, is interacting with the people. The different lives people are living across this vast world (and even country!) is absolutely incredible, and learning about that from a stranger while traveling is something you’ll never forget.
Plus, the stranger you decide to strike up a convo with on the street may recommend to you a restaurant or an experience that could end up being the highlight of your trip.
Get uncomfortable, and you never know who, or what, you’ll discover.
Resolution #7: Travel alone
As much fun as it can be to have a companion to adventure with, sometimes the enjoyment of yourself is even greater.
Not only is it wonderful to get to do whatever you want (seriously — no input from anyone means you eating your weight in chocolate cake at 3 a.m. if you feel like it, without judgement), but it also means an entirely different experience.
You may skip over a lot of things when traveling with someone else, but when you’re alone, you have the freedom to soak up everything within your reach.
Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to connect more to the local culture and people. Rather than remaining in conversation with your traveling companion most of the time, you’ll be forced to engage in conversation with strangers (see #6 above), and likely learn a great deal.
Traveling alone is also a great way to boost your confidence and prove to yourself (and others) that you don’t need anyone to have a great time.
This is your opportunity to expand your horizons, and enjoy doing so without the help of anyone else.
Resolution #8: Explore off the beaten path, really far off
Getting off the grid seems to be more and more desirable with our society’s attachment to smartphones and technology.
Aim to make one of your traveling adventures this year be off the grid where Instagram, email and all of modern life are far away.
Getting back to the basics, as well as away from the crowds is a fabulous way to relax and, once again, hit the “reset” button your life and your stress.
Research ahead of time how to safely go off the grid, and ensure you bring with you all the equipment you’ll want and need to have a great time, and do so in a smart and safe way.
Resolution #9: Figure out how to make that dream trip a reality
We all have a place that we dream of going.
“If I had a million dollars, I’d go to X,” we’ve all said.
Well, regardless of whether you have a million dollars, put together a realistic plan of how to make your trip happen.
Stop waiting for the perfect opportunity to travel to your dream spot, and stop waiting for something magical to make that dream come true, because neither one of those things will ever happen.
Instead, make the dream come true yourself, and do it now.
If you’re short on cash, research the cheapest time of year to go to your dream spot, and find cheap Airbnbs, hostels, or campgrounds to stay at while you’re there.
Research how to eat cheaply, and inexpensive activities to do.
Once you begin plotting out your dream vacation, you’ll realize how much fun it is to dig deep into your dream location, and the excitement for your trip will increase ten-fold.
Half of the adventure happens while planning, and the other half happens when you arrive at your destination.
Leslie, a.k.a. Copy Girl, is a copywriter who gets butterflies from telling stories through words.
Her voice comes from a place filled with passion, dreams, and lots of sugar. “Cake over steak” is her go-to motto.
With over 10 years of experience in crafting words, and years of embarking on travels that have taken this Montana girl to some incredible places, Leslie love the adventures of both body and mind her writing takes her on.
Everywhere she goes, she takes this advice with her:
“Hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
To see what Leslie’s up to in the writing world, visit her website here.