Start Off Right with These Travel Resolutions
New Year’s Eve, 2019. It’s almost midnight. You’ve had several glasses of rather nice champagne and you’re feeling fine. All evening long you’ve been exchanging meaningful glances with an interesting-looking stranger in whose vicinity you intend to find yourself as the clock strikes 12…
Fast forward to January 2020. The champagne’s gone flat. The interesting-looking stranger kissed someone else at midnight. The world seems dreary and predictable. You had a list of resolutions for the new year but they’re flatter than the champagne. What you need is a new new year with good New Year’s resolution ideas you can really get into because they’re things you truly want to do. Like... travel, maybe.
Our Travel-Themed New Year’s Resolutions List
Start with your dreams. So this genie unexpectedly appears out of your pint of lager and starts calling you ‘Master’. He’s literally offering you the world. Where would you go? What would you do? Are you off to Nepal to climb mountains? Basking on the beaches of Tenerife? On a photo safari in Kenya? Or perhaps you fancy an Alaskan cruise? The canals of Venice? The world, my friend, is yours. Well, not literally yours, but as long as you’ve got a passport, there is literally nowhere you can't go.
Armed with your desires, work out an action plan. Your mother always told you to stop procrastinating. You know what you want to do; figure out how to do it. Check out your options, whether for short breaks or long-haul holidays.
Open a savings account dedicated to travel. This is more than a psychological trick; it really works. You know how it feels like you’ve got boatloads of money when you get your paycheck? And then by the end of the month most of it seems to have mysteriously disappeared? The truth is that it does mysteriously disappear. Studies show that money that’s just there, without any planned use, actually falls into a black hole in deep space and is never seen again - so strike while the iron is hot. Shave a slice off that initial big chunk and squirrel it away in your travel fund. Pretend you never had that money at all. Money? What money? You’ll be surprised how it adds up.
Use every scrap of your time off work. This may seem like a no-brainer but if you have no particular plans for your holiday time, it too could be sucked into a black hole. You cannot be too careful about this. Put in your request for holiday time early and come up with an actual travel plan.
Think cheap sometimes. Yes, it’s lovely to stay at that outrageously expensive hotel in Paris where the snooty concierge outlines your entire itinerary for you, but it’s equally nice to stay in less expensive accommodations for a longer time or to backpack your way across [insert continent of your choice].
Go local (locally). A good holiday doesn’t have to be to a foreign destination. There are some seriously primo places to visit right here at home in the UK. After all, a million American tourists can’t be wrong.
Go local (abroad). When you go overseas, immerse yourself in the local culture. Do a bit of research before you go. Maybe learn a little of the language, native food preferences, etc. For example, if you’re going on holiday to Orlando, you could go into a diner and say, “Hi, y’all! I’m lookin’ to get me some good ol’ fashioned chicken-fried steak! And don’t hold back on the grits!” Your knowledge of local customs will impress the Americans there, unless they are in the UK at the time.
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Do something adventurous. For some people, this is a little like saying ‘do something you don’t want to do’ but stay with me here. Adventurous is a relative term. It can mean bungee jumping in the South Pacific or skydiving in Dubai, yes, but it can also mean anything just that bit out of your usual routine, like whale watching in Maui. In this case the whales do most of the work, of course, but they’re so thrilling to watch that you feel like you yourself have been the adventurous one.
Check out somewhere you’ve never been before. As has long been noted by experts, there is a lot of world out there. Of course you enjoy your annual trip to Scarborough, and there’s no reason to change that, but there is, well, a lot of world out there.
Jettison the excess baggage. If you’ve ever gone anywhere at all, even just to visit your Auntie Martha in Milton Keynes for the weekend, you know that you tend to take too much stuff with you. You know you do. Make life easier for yourself (or for the bellhop, if you’re in that posh Parisian place) and cut your stash of stuff down to the bare minimum. There’s nothing more exhausting than lugging half your belongings halfway around the world. Your hair, sir, is your crowning glory, but seriously, how many different kinds of hair care products are you really going to need? Madam, your shoe collection is nothing short of awesome, but grownup life involves setting priorities. Besides, you gotta leave room for the merch, right?
Incidentally, we should pause here to give a special shout-out to the person who first thought of putting wheels on suitcases. Consider this: the wheel was invented by the Sumerians around 3500 BCE, but the wheeled suitcase didn’t come along until late in the twentieth century. Amazing.
Travel alone. It can actually be quite freeing to be somewhere out of the ordinary by yourself. It’s exciting to think that nobody knows where you are or what you’re doing. Well, those people sitting across from you in the café know where you are and what you’re doing, but they don’t know who you are, so it doesn’t count. The added advantage is that you’ll probably meet new people as you find yourself reaching out to the locals and other tourists more often than if you’d brought along a companion – and your mother always told you to make new friends, didn’t she?
Travel with someone else. Yes, this contradicts the previous point, but remember, you’re going to be travelling often so you can fit in both. It’s nice to have a companion, a person to whom you can say, “Look at that whale!” or “‘The airline lost my luggage! Good thing I had hardly anything in it.”
Keep your mobile in your pocket. You’re only human – of course you’re going to send a few texts to your home-bound friends (and please don’t forget your mother) and maybe post a few particularly good photos on social media, but remember that your primary mission is to enjoy your experience, not record an award-winning documentary of it.
Create a personal travel journal. You might be able to adapt this to a best-selling book later, but even if you can’t, you’ll treasure it in years to come. Scribbled shorthand notes will bring the entire experience back to mind so you can write it up later, back home. If you’re really ambitious, you can even put your written memories together with the photos you took and create a scrapbook. You can either keep this for yourself – someday when you’re old, you can relive the excitement of your younger years – or you could make it a gift for your travelling companion. Or maybe for your mother, who likes to know what you’ve been up to.
Up, Up and Away!
There are only 12 months in the year, so you don’t want to waste time. Make 2020 your best travelling year ever (until 2021, that is). The upcoming year is the perfect time to make that genie deliver on his promises. Whether you’re taking a walk on the wild side or looking to laze on the beach, your next journey awaits and our experts at Teletext Holidays can do a lot of the genie work when you’re planning your ideal holiday.