Why do we even bother? Like they say “Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.” Instead of making resolutions that you will throw out the window on the first occasion you get, this year, make a travel resolution.
They say travel is fatal to prejudice and bigotry, broadens the mind, and let you know the value of men. I say exploring the world’s most beautiful cities burns more calories than a monthly subscription at your local gym. Plus, trotting the globe teaches you more about human nature than any textbook ever would.
It then becomes obvious: one trip helps you achieve and discover more than any short-lived – probably intoxicated- decision ever will. Here’s to your New Year’s travel plans your fail-proof steps to achieve them.
1. Pick your dream destination
If you do not know where you want to go, how are you ever going to get there, right? Your first baby step toward realizing your travel resolution is to pick the destination. Yes it is about the journey, not the destination but even a journey of a thousand miles must start with a single step. This one!
The secret is to be specific. Rather than a country, choose the city, the neighborhood, the specific places you always wanted to see without ever having the courage to plan the trip. Instead of saying I want to visit Mexico, tell yourself “I want to visit Puerto Escondido or Oaxaca”. Instead of dreaming of visiting Europe someday, put down Paris, Amsterdam, or Istanbul on a piece of paper.
Make sure your travel resolution aligns with your personal goals. A mere bucket list will be just that: a list. Once you start committing little by little to specific places, it becomes a plan.
2. Commit to a time.
The second step is to pick a date and commit to it with all your heart and will. You need to decide when you want to go. It could be during dead season, during the summer holiday or that only time when you can get off work. Choosing the date early increases your resolve, makes sure others know about your plans; and that gives you just a little (gentle) push to see your plan through. You know, extra motivation through accountability.
3. Build your itinerary.
Remember these little tricks to itinerary building? Once you figure out what your dream destinations are and when you can go, it is time to start doing some research about that destination. Let your research focus on finding deals, the lodging options that best suit your needs, and of course the great events and activities taking place.
Make your itinerary all about you and stuff you like. If you plan to bring friends and family along, do mind their say, as well. But seriously, from museums to the finest restaurants to popular attractions, include things you are interested in and not stuff others say are great or “must-do”.
4. Get pumped with over-information
The obvious next step toward achieving your New Year’s travel resolution is to research your destinations in depth. Make it fun, not a homework. If you have followed step one and three, then where you are going are all places you are excited about. Reading about them should be more of a pleasure than a choir.
With all the information available at the click of your computer mouse, you will have no trouble doing your research. But don’t let the over-information work against you. Reading reviews and travel blogs, or finding the best local shops can be a lot of fun, but it is also essential you focus on the travel advisories, warnings, assessments of costs of stay, and even the attitude of locals toward tourists. Here are excellent official travel resources that should greatly help you out during this process.
5. Voting the budget
Now that you know all there is to know about your destinations and that your travel resolution is more of a plan marked down on your agenda, it is time to vote the travel budget and start amassing the loot. Be warned, the ultimate thing that will stand between you and your travel resolutions is the travel funds. They say traveling is expensive? I say if you start saving $5 a day starting today, you could have the best Christmastime of your life in Paris this year.
If you consider group travel, you will get there faster or by saving less. The perks of traveling in a group are that you can lend awesome group deals and also share all the travel expenses. I don’t mean to brag but Travefy is the travel planning platform dedicated to solving all the coordination headaches of travel: from inviting friends to your trips, to collaborating on details to making sure no single person gets stuck with all the bills.
The only things standing between you and your New Year’s resolutions is the will to make them happen. Because, face it, none of them can be as fun to achieve as a travel resolution. So this year, go place to stay in shape, make friends, be more daring, or whatever you hated about your old self. Happy New Year!