The new year is almost here and it is that time once again when new goals are set. Fresh starts are planned, resolutions are made, and everything we want seems to once again be within reach. If you’re one of those who will be making resolutions for 2014, then why not make some resolutions about the way you travel in the coming year? That way, when you go forth and discover new places, you’ll be outside of your normal routine and be able to find those secret little gems that make an adventure so memorable!
Here are some of the top travel resolutions that to consider making for 2014:
Ditch Your Comfort Zone Once And For All
It’s easy to get into the habit of going to the same places and doing the same things. There’s a level of comfort in this routine that helps us relax and let the world pass us by for awhile, but there’s not much adventure in the same old routine, is there? For 2014, why not make the resolution to ditch your comfort zone for at least one trip this year and do something that is completely the opposite of what you would do. Try skydiving for the first time. Go on an overnight backpacking trip. Bungee jump off a tall bridge in Idaho. Confront a fear. In doing so, maybe you’ll be able to find a new routine and a different level of comfort every year!
Create a Brand New Travel Fund For Trips
One of the biggest causes of families not going on an adventure is the cost. From flights to gas prices to hotels, the investment of several thousand dollars is often needed for a traveling adventure. For 2014, designate a portion of each paycheck you earn toward a Travel Fund that you only access when you take a trip somewhere. Whether you save $10 or $200 every month, as long as you are saving something, you’ll have more money available to help you explore more of the outdoors [or indoors] when you do get away.
Forget What the Travel Sites Say
Having an itinerary for a trip can help make an adventure stay on time and on course, but there’s not a whole lot of exploring or adventure involved when you’ve got four hours to go hiking before coming back into town to meet your dinner reservation, right? Sometimes it is more fun to plan a trip to a specific location, book your room or campsite, and then proceed from there without any more plans. Talk to the local residents of the area to see what is fun to go do. Ask advice about the best local restaurants that the travel sites might not have even heard of yet. Become a local instead of a tourist!
Don’t Overlook the Educational Attractions
Just about every community has at least one museum or historical society that will help you understand more about the region, the people who have lived there, and what makes the area so special. Larger cities often have museums that are dedicated to other specific educational opportunities, such as science, engineering, or aeronautics. Children’s museums can even help the kids play and learn at the same time! It’s not just museums that provide educational opportunities either – aquariums, zoos, and other parks can provide a great time for everyone!
Have an Adventure By Giving Back Something
There are many organizations that offer volunteer trip opportunities where you can see the world, but work during your trip. You might be able to drill a well for a village in Africa, help rebuild a home in Haiti, or even be able to teach your native language in Bangladesh to school children who don’t have a teacher to help them learn. These volunteer trips often cost just as much as a vacation, but there is also something very rewarding about traveling with a purpose beyond getting away from the stresses of life for awhile.
Don’t Be Afraid of a Simple Day Trip
Sometimes a big adventure is just not affordable. That doesn’t mean that you still can’t experience an adventure that you haven’t done before! With a simple day trip, you can still get away for a day or two and do something new within your local community. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go out to sea to do some whale watching, but have never managed to do it. Or maybe there’s a park nearby that you’ve always wanted to see, but never managed to make it there. Grab a map, see what’s close, and then plan a quick trip to explore what your local area has to offer. Chances are you’ll be amazed!
Utilize Technology To Its Fullest
From GPS locators to Yelp reviews, there are dozens of apps that will help you discover the best of what a local community has to offer with just a few pushes of a button. With online travel forums, you can interact with like-minded people before you take a trip so that you know what places are fun to explore, what places are safe, and what places you might wish to avoid. This can help you to maximize your traveling experience while avoiding the traps of disappointment that traveling can sometimes bring.
Pack As Little As Possible
Taking a trip when you’re fully prepared for anything can bring a level of peace, but it also means that you’re likely lugging a ton of luggage around with you. Instead of packing several suitcases, travel light and only take the bare necessities. A few changes of clothes, your toiletries, comfortable shoes, a camera, and maybe a hat are really what most people need for a good adventure! If you find that you do need something else, it’s easy enough to pick up things that you might need as you travel.
Allow For Transition Days After Your Adventure
It’s hard to get back into your normal daily routine after a long traveling adventure. Allow yourself a transition day or two at home after your trip so that you can prepare yourself physically and mentally for your return to your daily responsibilities. These buffer days at home will help you be more productive as you return to work, make the transition back out of adventure less painful, and give you a chance to relive the memories that you just made.
Are you making any resolutions for 2014? What are your traveling goals for the upcoming year?