Ahh, January 1st. The magical day that comes around once a year and turns everyone into gym-going, green-smoothie-slurping, financially-savvy morning people.
At least until the end of the month rolls around.
Then, like Cinderella at the ball, everything goes poof! and suddenly you find yourself rolling out of bed at noon in yesterday’s sweatpants, ordering pizza for one online because cooking just sounds like so much effort right now.
We get it. New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but hard to keep.
Which is why this year, we’re saying buh-bye to vague aspirations like “travel more” and “be less stressed” (which are almost always doomed to fail), and focusing on specific, achievable, and—dare we say—enjoyable goals instead.
To help you start the new year off right, we’ve compiled a list of 4 simple travel resolutions you can act on right now to learn, grow, and flourish no matter where you roam this year.
Let’s make 2018 the year of not just traveling more, but traveling better.
#1: Travel more sustainably
Sustainable travel means not only trying to be as environmentally-friendly as possible while on the road, but also being mindful of the cultural impact your trip can have on the destinations you visit.
This resolution is an easy one to implement because you can adapt it to suit both your means and your travel style. It can be as simple as packing a reusable water bottle (with a filter, if needed) and exploring on foot whenever you can, or as involved as participating in meaningful voluntourism and staying exclusively in certified green accommodations.
You can support the communities you visit in plenty of different ways, including rooming in locally-owned spaces, eating local as much as possible, and purchasing souvenirs made by locals. Actively seek out ways to give back to the communities that welcome you, no matter how small, and your time abroad will be all the more rewarding.
#2: Go solo
Solo travel has been a fast-growing trend over the past few years, especially among women. It can be equal parts exhilarating, liberating, and intimidating, but there is no denying that venturing into the unknown alone will kick-start personal growth like nothing else—and isn’t that ultimately what resolutions are all about?
While some people are perfectly happy to, say, camp by themselves in the desert for weeks on end (kudos to you, brave souls!), you don’t need to do something extreme to consider this resolution accomplished. There are lots of opportunities to dip your toe in the waters of solo adventuring, from taking a day trip to a neighboring city to booking a guided tour through one of the many companies that cater to solitary travelers.
Traveling solo is a fantastic way to boost your confidence, learn new skills, make friends, and connect more deeply with the world around you. If you’re looking for a genuinely enriching experience in 2018, this is it!
#3: Unplug to unwind
Our world is one of endless beeps and chimes, notifications piling up while an endless flood of content constantly demands our attention, all backlit by the blue light of our laptops, phones, tablets, and TVs. So much information and connectivity is an incredible and empowering thing, but it can also be insanely stressful.
Vacation is supposed to give you a break from all that technological noise—but all too often we find ourselves checking work emails or updating our social media when we should be out exploring, eating, and wringing every last drop of enjoyment out of our trip!
There are major health benefits to unplugging—even just a little bit—while on vacation. Your mood will lighten, your anxiety will decrease, and you’ll receive a boost in creativity and productivity. True relaxation has also been shown to reduce the risk of potentially fatal ailments.
This year, make a conscious effort to stay off your phone and stay in the moment while traveling. Take the opportunity to “detox” from all the digital buzz and we promise you will return home happy, rested, and full of incredible memories.
MORE INSPIRATION: Digital Detox: How to Truly Unplug on Vacation
#4: Get off the beaten track
Sprawling cities full of tourist information booths, plentiful accommodations, and well-established sights to see are popular destinations for a reason—they’re simply easier to access than places without all those things. But although hotspots like Paris and Tokyo are well worth a visit, there’s a case to be made for getting off the beaten track every now and then.
Bypassing the well-worn tourist path in favour of exploring uncharted territory will not only create a sense of mystery and excitement on your trip, it can also help you experience a more authentic side of local culture, stumble upon incredible hidden gems, and support smaller communities who could likely use the extra money that responsible tourism brings in.
Whether your adventure involves trekking through dense South American jungle to visit a remote village or simply spending an afternoon wandering the backstreets of your own city, try choosing the road less traveled at least once this year.
MORE INSPIRATION: Why You Should Travel Off the Beaten Track
If your resolution this year is to celebrate more through travel, we’ve got you covered! Get in touch to find out how we can turn your next trip into the can’t-stop-smiling, never-wanna-leave kind.
Happy New Year and safe travels!