New Year’s resolutions can cover health, fitness, career, relationships, money; pretty much every facet of life. This year, why not make some travel resolutions too, and put plans in place to ensure that you see them through. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Change up your usual holiday habits, either by opting for a new destination in the same category (think Samoa as a change from Fiji, or even an island instead of Denarau or the Coral Coast) or by choosing to do something entirely different that fits the same budget (switch out your beach-based flop and drop for a cruise holiday).
Resolve to holiday closer to home by choosing domestic destinations for this year’s holidays. Australia’s beaches are easily a match for the South Pacific or the Caribbean, its wildlife is as unique and fascinating as anything you’ll find in Asia or Africa, and its landscapes are just as dramatic and varied as any part of the Americas. Add friendly locals, no currency fluctuations or language difficulties and reduced travelling times: you’ll end the year with a renewed appreciation for the splendour of your own back yard.
Sustainable tourism, carbon footprint, eco-tourism, voluntourism: when considering your travel goals for 2018, all of these can be factored into your decision-making process. Try to book non-stop flights wherever possible (fewer take-offs and landings mean fewer carbon emissions); rent a hybrid car instead of a gas-guzzler; explore your destination on foot, by bicycle or by public transport instead of taking taxis; look for green-certified tour and accommodation operators; reuse your hotel towels instead of having them replaced each day; buy locally-made handcrafts instead of mass-produced souvenirs; take a refillable drink bottle and some water purification tablets instead of buying bottled water each day: small changes soon add up to big differences.
Remember the good old days, when our friends had to wait until we had returned from our travels, developed our photos and organised them into an album (or better yet, a slide show) to see where we’d been, what we’d done and who we’d met? Social media has forever changed the way we share our travel experiences, but be wary of missing amazing moments because you’re wrapped up in updating your Instagram story, checking your emails or seeing what’s trending. Put the smartphone away, people.
It can be scary to venture out into the big wide world alone, but it can lead to some of the most meaningful, rewarding travel experiences. Travelling on your own forces you to interact with strangers, whether it’s chatting with the person in the seat next to you at the bus station or asking for directions in an unfamiliar destination: these exchanges can lead to invitations, new friendships or simply allow you to feel a little bit brave (keeping your personal safety paramount, of course). Whether you consciously decide to travel alone for the thrill of it, or you just have a hankering to visit somewhere that no-one else is keen on: it’s worth taking the leap every once in a while.
One of the reasons people love to travel is to gain a sense of the culture, traditions, cuisine and day-to-day life of a new destination. There’s nothing wrong with a whirlwind coach tour through Europe, especially if it’s your first visit, but consider renting a villa or apartment in a small town in a carefully- (or randomly-) selected destination chosen for a week, adding a rental car and settling in to experience the local way of life. Shop daily at the markets for fresh, locally-grown food and ask for advice on the best way to prepare it, try the restaurants and ask for the local speciality dish, take part in the local traditions such as a morning coffee or evening aperitif in the town square. You’ll return home with a much deeper appreciation and understanding of where you’ve been than had you simply breezed through on a one-night stop.
Contact your local personal travel manager here to help make your new year’s travel resolutions a reality this year.