2019 TRAVEL RESOLUTIONS
By Ian Robert Knight
It’s that time of year, when everyone looks back at their life from the past year, and looks forward to the year ahead. We all go through it, taking stock of what we achieved in the past 12 months, and wondering how we can top it in the next 12 months. Many people make resolutions that are broken in the first month. Resolutions about losing weight, exercising more, eating healthier, quit smoking – or anything that requires a change in your habits are bound to fail.
With that in mind, I have some suggestions on how to make some Travel Resolutions that you will have a good chance of keeping. Because these resolutions about not about changing a habit – they are about improving and growing as a traveller. When you look back on 2019, let it be a year of fond memories, new passport stamps, and photographs you’re proud of.
Visit New Places
There is some comfort in going to the same places again and again. The convenience of knowing exactly what to expect, see, and eat, certainly takes away any doubts about how your trip will go. But if you have the option to see something new, in a completely different country or continent, you’ll be better off for it.
This year, try to put yourself in a place you’ve never been before. If you’ve always travelled to Italy, maybe try India. If you like to visit places with old architecture like Paris, maybe go somewhere like Cambodia and explore the centuries-old temples of Angkor Wat. If you love Thai food, then why not visit Thailand – the source?
Make 2019 the year you go someplace that you’ve never been before. No more visiting the same countries or cities over and over.
Taste New Food
Speaking of food, so much of our travel memories are based on food. We may not remember the names of all the places we visit, but we certainly remember the food we ate. In some cultures (maybe all cultures?), food is very much the most important element of their identity.
Think about the food you love, and think about visiting those countries on a food quest. Personally, my favourite foods are Thai, Japanese, Indian and Italian – in that order. And where do you think those foods are the most authentic? In their home countries of course! If you think about the food you love the most, perhaps the logical idea is to visit those countries for some truly memorable meals.
Even better – why not try foods that are new to you? The world is your oyster, it’s said, so why not go out and find those oysters?
Try Some New Adventures
In addition to visiting new places that you’ve never been to before, perhaps it’s time to consider trying out some new adventures too. Helicopter rides over Manhattan, or hot air balloon rides over Cappadocia are two that come to mind instantly. But what about climbing the Great Wall, or up to the Tiger’s Nest? Or giving an elephant a bath? Or getting covered in colours in India’s Holi Festival? The world is filled with adventures just waiting for you to experience – you just need to make the time.
Experience New Cultures
One of the great takeaways from travel, is the chance to witness and learn from other cultures. Not only does it help to broaden your perspective of the world, but it also lets you appreciate the differences we have. There is no one right way to live, to work, to dine, to exist. The more you experience other cultures, the better your understanding of people.
Stretch Your Comfort Zone
Perhaps the biggest travel resolution you could make would be to push yourself to go beyond your comfort zone. This might just be a little bit, or it might be a lot. But regardless of the scope, the resulting growth you obtain from the experience will be worth it.
Everyone has their own comfort zone. For some people, the idea of travelling alone makes them shake. For others, long flights make them nervous. But regardless of what it is that makes you anxious – consider taking the (small) risk in exploring that idea. Book that trip that requires you to learn a bit of the local language. Book that trip that includes 3 nights in tents among the elephants. Book that trip that restricts you to only carry-on luggage. You can do it, if you set your mind to it.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain
Too often, when it comes to booking a trip, especially a last-minute one, we search for the best available deals on flights and hotels. But when we do that, we can easily miss out on the all-too-important idea of amassing points on our Travel Rewards memberships. But maybe it’s worth taking that less-than-ideal flight that is not direct, or takes a little longer. Sticking to one airline for travel as much as possible will help you to gather points faster, and get those upgrades and status levels faster. You can use Google Flight Tracker to keep an eye on any specific flight to make sure you get the rate you want.
For 2019, try to stick to one airline frequent flyer plan, and one hotel chain plan, whenever possible. After all, if you can get free travel or executive suites upgrades, wouldn’t that make 2019 better?
Whatever your travel goals are for 2019, making some achievable Travel Resolutions can make your trips more interesting, and more fun. Give these some thought, and consider adopting them.
What are your Travel Resolutions for 2019? Please share them in the comments below.