5 New Year's Resolutions for Travelers via TravelLatte.net

Five (More) New Year’s Resolutions for Travelers

Happy New Year!

It’s the dawn of a new year once again. Even though we’ve sworn off making resolutions, we find ourselves contemplating how we should approach our lives and travels in the coming year. (Honestly, that’s not something that should wait for New Year’s Eve anyway.)

A couple of years ago, we hopped on the New Year’s Eve bandwagon (temporarily) with Five Traveling New Year Resolutions. We still work on those every day, making sure we stick to them year in, and year out. This year, we have a few resolutions to add, and we hope you’ll join us in making them a reality.

New Year's Travel Resolution #1 - Go Here - via TravelLatte.net

1. Go there, Do that

Get out your pencils, class. This is a fill-in-the-blank sort of resolution.

We are as guilty as anyone of the generic “This year I will travel more” resolution. Trouble is, that is so vague. Motivational experts tell us to be specific in order to turn dreams into reality. Instead of just resolving to hit the road, put a place in the picture. Maybe add in who will go with you, and what you’ll do when you get there. Then be daring: add a date. In short, make a plan, not a resolution.

When you’ve accomplished that goal, fill in the blanks again. Dream, plan, go, repeat. Let it become a habit.

[Tweet “Fill-in-the-blanks New Year’s Resolution: This year, I will go to {place} before {date}.”]

New Year's Travel Resolution #2 -Practice Travel - via TravelLatte.net

2. Practice Travel

Some people make traveling look effortless, maybe even glamorous. You’ve seen them at the airport, perfectly coiffed and composed, regardless of the mayhem around them. What the heck?

Practice makes perfect, right? Which begs the question, how does one practice the fine art of travel?

A lot of it is on-the-job training. Every trip is a dress rehearsal for the next one. Along the way, you learn things that will make the next trip that much better. (It’s probably more accurate to say we make a mistake on every trip, and learn not to do that again!)

To take a more active, intentional approach to improving your travel skills, think about the last few trips you’ve taken. Make a list of things you think could have gone better. (For us, it’s not leaving enough free time in our plans.) Next to that, brainstorm ways to improve. Then, try out your new ideas on your next trip, or sooner if you can.

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If you feel like you need to be a better packer, do a dry run for an upcoming trip. Need to get better at using buses and subways? Become a master of the transit systems in your city, and you’ll find many skills apply around the world. Before long, you’ll be one of those Master Travelers that glides through the airport with style and panache. (Yeah, we’re still working at that, too.)

New Year's Travel Resolution #3 -Explore Your Neighborhood - via TravelLatte.net

3. Explore Your Neighborhood

One of the more dubious contributions of the new millennium is the portmanteau “staycation”. (Although, we love the word portmanteau. #WordNerds) It was a response to the rising expense of family vacations, and has enjoyed a rather negative connotation. The more you think about it, though, the more appealing a vacation in your own city seems. In fact, we’d say it’s an important thing to do. We hear repeatedly from travelers that they know more about foreign lands than their own city. That’s a shame, but it’s easy to rectify.

Traveling starts at your own front door. Getting to know the area around your door is good practice for getting to know other neighborhoods. (See that? Practicing Travel is easy!) The more you explore and discover about your city, the more you’ll find parallels and differences to appreciate when you travel. You’ll inevitably be asked about where you come from. With your new found familiarity, you are the de facto ambassador for your town!

New Year's Travel Resolution #4 -Leave Nothing but Footprints - via TravelLatte.net

4. Leave Nothing but Footprints

At least one of us here was a Boy Scout, and grew up hiking and camping in America’s National Parks with a mentality of packing out everything you pack in. Leave nothing but footprints*. This is how we should all travel, particularly in natural areas, National Parks and Monuments, beaches and…well, everywhere. Unless you find a trash can (that’s not already overflowing), pack out what you packed in. That’s why your jeans have pockets.

When was the last time you heard of people lining up to take a photo of the garbage on an otherwise pristine beach? How many times have you gone to an ancient site to see the modern graffiti? Don’t you just love it when people damage natural landscapes or even man-made marvels?

Of course this isn’t you. You love our world, and want your children – and millions of others – to be able to enjoy and love it, too. That’s why you resolve to leave nothing but footprints, right?

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Truth is, we already knew that about you, because you’re our kind of people. Still, it’s a resolution we all should make, year after year. (*Snow angels and sand castles are also acceptable, and highly encouraged!)

New Year's Travel Resolution #5 -Go Someplace Not New - via TravelLatte.net

5. Go Someplace Not New

In our first Five Traveling New Year Resolutions, we included the sage advice, “At least once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Good advice, to be sure, but we think there is great value in going someplace you have been before, also.

Let’s face it, there are some places you can visit a dozen times and still just be scratching the surface. A destination doesn’t have to be as big and broad as, say, New York City to warrant a repeat, though. When you go back to any destination, you get to know it more intimately. You can focus on more than just the main attractions or events. You get to see the destination in a new light or, perhaps, a different season. Without the pressure of checking off a Must-See list, you are free to explore and discover the gems that make a place unique.

Revisiting can make the trip much less stressful, too. You have a better idea of where to go, what to do, and how to get around. With those mysteries solved, you can relax and enjoy. You can begin to experience life as a local, however temporary.

5 New Year's Resolutions for Travelers via TravelLatte.net

Resolution aren’t just made for keeping – they’re made for sharing! You can Pin this for later and share with friends.

Test Your Resolutions

Whatever you resolve for the coming year, we hope you’ll test that resolution often. Like fitness or willpower, it needs to be worked out. It needs commitment and nourishment. It needs the attention of a daily to-do in order to move from resolution to habit to character.

We wish you all the best in keeping your travel resolutions in the coming days and years. Whether for New Year’s, or throughout the year, we’d love to hear what your travel resolutions are in the comments!

Happy New Year from everyone at TravelLatte.

34 comments on “Five (More) New Year’s Resolutions for Travelers

  1. Good food for travel thought! I need to explore my own hometown more — on my planning list for 2020! And my first trip to Ireland is booked — I’m so excited! Happy New Year and may you enjoy many rich travel times in 2020!

  2. Pingback: #TheWeeklyPostcard – 5 January 2018 - TravelLatte

  3. Rob, I agree with everything you have in here! I already have tickets to my next big trip. So, I have been specific about that. I have tons of plans about exploring my surroundings. There are places I visited years ago. I know I need to go back. We started by visiting the Central Coast a few days ago. We saw the place with new eyes. Incredible how you see things different on a second visit. Wish you the best for 2018!

    • Hi Ruth – You seem to be pretty good about getting out into areas closer to home. We love those posts because many of them are places we haven’t been able to go back to in a long time. Looking forward to finding out about your big trip this year – you always take us to great places. All the best for 2018, my friend. We’ll be reading along!

  4. Happy New Year! These are all great! I love the idea of putting in something concrete for travel plans. We really do need to remember more about exploring our own backyard. There’s a reason people pay a lot of money to vacation in San Diego and we sometimes take it for granted. I agree with revisiting old favorites. It is so much less stressful and love walking through familiar surroundings. Wishing all of you many adventures in 2018.

    • Happy New Year to you and your family, Mary! We are one of those people that pays a lot of money to visit San Diego! And we also go back, because it is such a great place. (See that? We’re already keeping our resolutions! #winning) Thanks so much for your comment and well wishes. Cheers!

  5. Love the “Go someplace NOT new.” Sometimes I avoid going to a place that I’ve been before, but when I do a repeat, I always am amazed at the things I notice that were overlooked the first time.

    • Exactly! Things you overlooked – maybe on your way to “that one place” that everyone raves about – can sometimes turn out to be your favorite. Happens to us a lot. And most places have SO much more to offer than a visitor can hope to see even on several trips. As always, thanks for your comments, guys – and Happy New Year!

  6. Great New Year resolutions, Rob! My tendency is to re-visit the places I like on and on, instead of going to see new ones. I probably should break that habit. Hope you’ll have an amazing and prosperous year in 2018. Safe travels!

    • There are some places that just become home-away-from-home. We lean more towards exploring new places, while saying we’d like to go back to a few spots. Hard to have it both ways! Best wishes for a great 2018 to you as well, Anda!

    • Getting to know our own transit system has been hugely helpful in figuring out subways, trains and buses in other cities. That’s especially true when we don’t know the language! There’s enough to figure out when you’re traveling…having a head start on getting around is really helpful. Thanks for your comment, Dorothy, and Happy New Year!

  7. Love this post! We are in the process of doing a post on our home county of Gloucestershire as we thought the same about exploring our own backyard. We are also back in Koh Samui in February and love revisiting places to get a deeper knowledge so understand that point too! Thanks for sharing. #feetdotravel

    • Happy New Year, you two! We’ll be looking forward to your posts from Gloucestershire, as we are eager to learn more about the UK, especially outside of the great big cities. As always, thanks for your comment, and your support throughout the year!

  8. I’m reading this at the perfect time, new year’s eve! Every 1st of the year I get out my planner and work through the next year’s professional and personal goals. This year I’m adding some of yours. I personally think travelling to the same place more than once is imperative for the very reasons you state. Leaving only footprints has become a mantra and of course, visiting new places for totally new experiences is a must. Simple but inspiring resolutions for every traveller. Love it! Happy new year!!

    • We were really aiming for resolutions that were simple and easy to keep, but also meaningful. We’re glad you like them! Happy New Year to you, too, Shona!

  9. Great recommendations! I like the idea of returning to a place to get to know it deeper. I have been to Paris 4 times and I could go back every year if I had the time and money! Happy new year! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Oooh, we could definitely go back to Paris every year! In fact, there really are lots of places we wouldn’t mind revisiting on an annual basis. All we need are those unlimited funds, and unlimited vacation days, right? Happy New Year, Staci!

  10. Some fantastic tips there – I definitely embrace #5 as I find myself in familiar places pretty often – I enjoy visiting places I know and love spending time in! Practising travel is also a great tip – the “on-the-job” training is my favourite type of “work experience”!

    • Thanks, Lexx! Have to admit, as travel bloggers and writers, the OTJ Training is the best ever! You get to some great places, new and old – we’re looking forward to seeing where you end up in 2018!

    • We know what you mean. When we start looking through the photos, we wish almost always wish we could have stayed longer, or go back sooner. Bittersweet, to be sure. Thanks for your comments through the year, and Happy New Year to you, Rhonda!

    • That’s right! You have lots of places to explore this year! Looking forward to reading all about your new surroundings. 🙂 Happy New Year to our former fellow Texans. 😉

  11. I would say we managed much of these this year, exploring more of our surroundings, trying to be good travelers and returning to destinations to give them a second chance and it paid off! But some of these we can try to extend into 2018! Happy New Year! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • You guys certainly did explore your surroundings this year! We loved reading along. As we work at making these resolutions – and those from a couple years ago – our “normal,” exploring our own backyard is the one we need to remember. It’s just so tempting to travel to far-off places we read about! Thanks for all of your support this year, Lolo, and Happy New Year to you and your hubs!

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