A new year usually means resolutions; most of us want to eat better and exercise more, but what about resolving to make a change in another area of your life? These five travel resolutions will inspire you to think outside of the box, take risks, and challenge yourself when it comes to your travel habits in 2016.
1. Think differently about distance
If you’re someone who thinks travel equals a very long flight, try looking at destinations that are nearby. Even if you have a week, spending less time travelling will give you more time to relax at your destination.
If you’re someone who rarely leaves the country, try something different and travel further than you normally would. For example, excellent deals on entertainment, accommodations, and dining in Thailand make it around the same price as a beach vacation in Mexico. The flight may be much longer, but the change in scenery may be worth the extra travel time. See getting there as a part of your trip and dare yourself to think differently about that part of the journey than you usually do.
2. Pack lighter
This is something that everyone seems to struggle with—but once you make the shift, you’ll be happy that you did. If you’re flying, challenge yourself to just travel with a carry on. There will be no endless waiting at baggage claims and you’ll have much less to keep track of (or forget in the hotel). Think about packing outfits, rather than pieces of clothing, to avoid overpacking. If you’re a reader, consider making the shift to an e-reader, rather than bringing books. Your back will thank you.
3. Do (at least) one thing that scares you
If you’re squeamish about travelling to a country where you’re unfamiliar with the language or culture—try jumping right into it and immersing yourself. If you have never travelled by yourself, or always travel with the same people, try a solo trek or a trip with a new friend. Attempt something that seems daunting—a long hike, a challenging class, or new foods. There’s no need to put yourself at risk, but if you find yourself to be the kind of person who often says “I would never do x…” ask yourself why, and see if that thing that scares you can actually be a rewarding experience.
4. Figure out your travel needs and stick by them
Knowing what you need and making that known can feel really affirming. Do you want the comforts of home, like familiar foods and a soft bed? Or maybe you’re good with the bare basics—just a place to lay your head at night after a day outside adventuring. Maybe you find travelling overwhelming? The pressure to see it all can be a lot, and perhaps you instead need to spend most of your time relaxing. Know when you need a break, and if you need to take a few hours to do things on your own.
5. Make travel a part of your lifestyle, rather than a break from it
What if travelling was something that was a regular part of our life, rather than a break from it? If you’re retiring, or perhaps you have a job that allows you to work mobilely, consider integrating travel into your everyday life. Could you spend a month in another country living cheaply while working from your laptop on the beach? Is there a way for you to see another city with a temporary contract? Do you really need to be at home, or could you rent out your house and take off for awhile? We’re often bogged down with the everyday, and vacations seem like a break from it all. Perhaps it might be better to see that relaxation, adventure, and pleasure of travel as a part of our everyday life and needs.
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