It’s that time of year again where we resolve to be better again starting 1 January. Resolutions can be hard to make and even harder to keep so the TransferTravel team have come up with their personal recommendations for realistic promises you can make yourself. Choose one or choose them all, just make sure to let us know on Twitter what your travel resolutions are for 2019!
Making Travel Resolutions
Before you resolve to change your travel habits, you should make sure they are feasible and possible, whilst also pushing you out of your comfort zone. For example, you may love to backpack through Europe this summer but if life commitments get in the way, you should prioritise them over your New Year's Resolution. However, you might be able to travel somewhere new, or challenge yourself to a new experience whilst you're way (paragliding anyone?), which is just as worthwhile!
1. Be More Spontaneous
Have you ever sat in work or in a lecture thinking “I could really use a holiday”? If you say that you haven’t, you’re lying. But you’ve never actually done anything about it, instead choosing to just turn up to work or university at 9 on Monday morning and start it all over again.
In 2019, vow to be more spontaneous with your travels. If you want to go away and you can afford to do so, do it! Stop booking so far in advance and start thinking month by month. You don’t want to miss out on a last-minute trip which could change your life because you didn’t embrace your spontaneous side.
2. Travel solo
For some, this is a really big step outside your comfort, but isn’t that what New Year’s resolutions are for? Plan a trip where you only have to pack a bag for one and spend some quality time with yourself. Get to know what your own company is like; write, read, listen to music and of course, enjoy the peace and quiet. Plus one of the biggest positives is that you can eat, visit and do exactly what you like.
You don’t need to go all Eat Pray Love on us and head off on a big trip across the world. A weekend trip to the city near to your hometown or a few days away in a quiet seaside town are all you need to do to travel by yourself. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it and want to start planning for your next solo adventure?
3. Mindful travel
This is a multifaceted resolution so let’s break it down a little bit. First of all, be aware of the impact you have when you travel. One person visiting a destination for seven days can influence the local infrastructure, economy, and whether the government chooses to spend money on restoration of historical and cultural sites. Money spent at a locally-run gelateria or coffee shop contribute to the staffs’ pay which ultimately matters more than money spent at a Starbucks or McDonald’s franchise.
Secondly, before you travel, consider where you are buying from. When you go to price comparison sites or the biggest names in travel, then it’s easy to forget who is impacted by your purchase. Unfortunately, you’re just lining the pockets of millionaires to squeeze into their budget seats and go somewhere new. However, if you book a holiday from a peer-to-peer marketplace, you are making a direct exchange with a person just like you. On TransferTravel.com, every person has a genuine reason why they need to sell their travel plans and they aren’t trying to make a profit from you.
4. Find out what your travel insurance actually means
Okay, so travel insurance isn’t a particularly exciting resolution to make but we promise you, you’ll thank yourself for making it. It’s one of those tricky things you purchase before you go away ‘just in case’. However, the way that travel insurance works means that it only covers you in certain instances and only if you make appeals in the correct way. It’s the least fun part of booking a vacation.
Before you go anywhere in 2019, find out what your insurance covers, and more importantly, what it doesn’t cover. Many insurance companies won’t give you any money back if you have to cancel your trip, even if it’s for a good reason. Read up about what trip cancellation insurance is and how to get it. If you aren’t sure about it, there’s no harm in asking your insurer as it’s better to feel silly about a question than to run into an unfortunate circumstance and be left out of pocket.
This a key part of resolutions 3 and 4. There is so much information out there in the digital era so there’s no reason not to know about a destination before you visit it. For example, earlier this month we posted about responsible animal tourism and how to spot the negative attractions which exploit elephants, tigers and whales for tourist entertainment. This something that we were shocked to learn about as there are so many people coming from all over the world to participate and contribute to the economy through these so-called sanctuaries. With just a little bit of research, you can find a myriad of information online about whether the destination you’re planning on visiting is profiting from these kinds of attractions.
Not only can it help to identify a responsible way to travel, researching your vacation spot can ensure that there are no horrible surprises when you get there. Online reviews and blogs are your best friend when it comes to making sure that the hotel you’re thinking of booking isn’t breaching basic health codes or the little town isn’t quite as close to the city centre as it claims.
6. Take short breaks
Switch things up this year if you’re the kind of person who saves up for one big vacation away, and plan two or three short breaks. Instead of only allocating two weeks in the summer for time to relax away from work, incorporate some long weekends away throughout 2019 so you always have a trip to look forward to. Whether you book a spontaneous flight to a European city this spring, or drive to a different town in your own country, take the time to get away from daily life and enjoy being by yourself or with your loved ones. A lot of memories are made when you travel somewhere new so why not take the opportunity to do so every few months? Plus, you get to experience three times as many different cultures than you would have!
7. Be smart about your vacation days
Book time off over the weekend so you only need to take a Monday or Friday off to make the most of your trips. This resolution will make resolution number six much easier to keep. Use your vacation days this year to go on that one trip you always say you will but never make the time for.
Tweet us @_transfertravel with your New Year’s travel resolutions!