It’s a new Decade. It’s finally time to Travel!
One of our favorite yearly past-times is leaving behind the challenges of the previous year while planning and hoping for all the good things the shiny New Year brings. This year, why not change up your typical to-do list and think about investing in something money can’t buy? Here are 10 useful Travel Resolutions to kick off 2020:
#1 Use Your Vacation Days
In 2018, Americans let 705 million vacation days go unused. That’s a lot of would-be memories, left in the dust! In our culture, and especially in the Lone Star State, Bigger is Better. Americans are geared to Go Big, but are we missing something in our goal-obsessed, climb to the top? I think so.
Pro tip: Go ahead and request those days off at the beginning of the year, before you’ve even started planning your trip. This will ensure that you USE those days, even if you don’t get away, per say. Stay-cations are a thing these days, and we all need the rest regardless of travel plans.
#2 Slow Down and Unplug
Speaking of unrest, our #2 Resolution is all about unplugging. Unplugging from everything – computers, iPhones, televisions, iPads and any other device that’s vying for your attention. Gone are the days of being alone with just ourselves, each other and our thoughts. Take a break from the incessant noise – even the inspirational IG images – to reconnect with the world around you.
#3 Visit Family (in the flesh)
Busyness is a way of life, and tragically, the ones who often suffer most are our family. We are not asking you to sacrifice your dream trips abroad each year, but we are saying.. Make the effort. See your family whenever possible. One option is if you’re going on a trip and your family lives nearby, take the time to visit or include them along the way. Of course you want to expose your children to exciting new experiences, but spending time with loved ones – in the flesh- can make all the difference in their little lives.
#4 Go On A Solo Trip
Going on a trip alone might seem overwhelming for some, but for those of us who travel for business on a regular basis, solo travel is a must. Tack on a few days to an already planned work trip, or plan a road or international trip alone. It will give your confidence a boost, and you’ll get to do exactly what you want to do. You can stay at that Museum for 6 hours, or sleep in ’til noon. You can skip dinner or have two pieces of cake. You can meet a new friend at a bookstore, decide to go to dinner together on the spot, and make a dear friend for life. It’s all up to you, and there is a certain freedom and self-discovery in just those simple decisions.
#5 Start Learning a New Language
One of the best ways to strike up a new hobby, passion or life-changing experience is to learn a new language. It’s true that we have so many communication tools these days, but it’s still most important to be able to communicate with one another, face to face. Travel is more accessible than ever, and learning a new language is the best way to open yourself up to new worlds.
#6 Do Something with your iPhone pics
If you’re anything like us, you’re iPhone is home to upwards of 15,000 images at all times. Yikes. It is a precious experience to have all of our travel memories in such close proximity, but this resolution is about actually doing something with them. First, cull your travel photos. Here are a few steps:
- You don’t need 5 variations of the same image. Choose the one that best represents that moment, and get rid of the rest.
- Make a scrapbook, print them for your family albums, or use an online service to make a custom book labeled with your special trip. Pretty soon, you’ll have a library!
- Build a trip Powerpoint and share a talk or testimonies at a club, church or work meeting. It is nice to see others traveling on social media, but social media can’t tell the behind the scenes stories like you can in person.
#7 Design Your Dream Trip for 2021
It’s 2020. You have been experiencing wanderlust for years. You’ve finally decided you’re going to do it. Yes! Start planning that Dream Trip for 2021, now. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, just planning or anticipating your trip can make you happier than actually taking it. Start benefiting from all the pre-trip happiness by looking forward to the good times ahead.
#8 Incorporate Service Into Your Next International Vacation
Swap lazy days on the beach or crazy days spent at big box attractions for some good old volunteering. Join in a local volunteer effort or plan your trip through a humanitarian focused tour operator. It’s a great way to give back to other communities and learn about different challenges people face around the world.
#9 Engage with Locals, Shop and Eat at Local Spots
The occasional Starbucks or McDonald’s drive thru might be a must for some on your vacation, but try and try again to seek out local restaurants, bars and shops. Talk to the locals and engage with the culture, wherever you find yourself. Favorite travel memories are typically centered around the people we spend time with, rather than the zip code.. You will also get the TOP SECRET local spots if you’re willing to chit chat and open yourself to new conversations.
#10 Pack Lighter
Number ten is pretty straight forward. Instead of explaining how, let’s look at why. We started this list by begging you to use your vacation days. Begging you to unburden yourself from life’s inevitable stress and work. The same principle applies here. You will be more flexible and fancy free without lots of suitcases wearing you down.
In the end, we hope this article inspires you to simply travel. Start experiencing the joy of planning today… and let us know how that trip of a lifetime that finally happened.. went!