You’ve devoured your body weight in food, found it acceptable to start drinking at midday and watched Christmas movies on repeat.
That sounds like the holidays! Yet, once the leftover turkey has disappeared and the wine has been polished off, you may start looking towards the New Year and what adventures it will bring.
Personally, I like to set myself some travel related resolutions to help get me through the January blues, and trust me it’s much easier and loads more fun than sticking to a new diet plan.
So, if you are planning some getaways in 2019, here are some New Year’s travel resolutions you may want to take as inspiration!
1. Step outside your comfort zone!
Do you find yourself travelling to similar places or perhaps even the same country? It’s time to break to mould! If you’ve only travelled to Europe, why not step outside into the Middle East or Asia and immerse yourself completely in something new. New Year, new travel plans! If you’re after some inspiration, check out 2019’s trending destinations.
2. Take a solo trip
If you often travel with friends or in a group, try travelling solo in 2019. There is nothing more liberating than travelling alone, realising what you are capable of and pushing your limits. You could start small and take a weekend away by yourself or go big and head out on an epic adventure! I guarantee you’ll discover more about yourself in a week away alone than multiple trips away with a friend. You’ll push yourself to meet new people and have only yourself to rely on to get around. Nervous? Here’s why you shouldn’t be.
3. Travel in a more environmentally friendly way
We all want to explore the world, and now it is more important than ever to protect it for future generations. Reducing our carbon footprint is a great way of travelling consciously and a wonderful resolution to help protect the world. Ways of doing this could include packing lighter to save on fuel costs, using public transport when away (which is also a fantastic way to save money AND get a feel for local life) or opting to stay in eco-friendly accommodation, like this amazing hostel in Guatemala!
4. Learn a new language
Even when you aren’t actually on the road, you can plan and get excited for your next trip by learning the local language. There are wonderful free apps available such a Duolingo, that can kick-start you on your way to making a great impression when you get there. It makes travelling much easier to know basic phrases and the effort you put in will always be appreciated by the native speakers. If your efforts don’t go to plan, make sure you have the Hostelworld app on your phone and you can cheat with the handy speaking translator.
When you try and speak to locals but pronounce something completely wrong!
5. Make the most of weekend breaks
Plan ahead and don’t waste those weekends! You don’t need to go far to get travelling and exploring. So as soon as 5pm Friday rolls around get out there, drive to a city you’ve never been to before or jump on a short flight. Planning is crucial to utilise your time well but if you go away even one weekend every two months, that’s an extra 6 trips a year!
Also, if you are savvy about it you could utilise your annual leave and tie it in with Bank holidays, extending the time you get off work and minimising the amount of holiday you are using! For example, in the UK, if you booked annual leave for 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 of April and then 1,2 and the 3rd May, you’ll actually leave work on Friday 19 April and not need to be back until Monday 6 May – all thanks to Bank Holidays, and only use 9 of your actual holiday days!
6. Get saving some money
Obviously, travel isn’t always the cheapest hobby, and being able to save up some money is vital. Some ways you could do this are to cut down on your outgoings, such as subscriptions to streaming services or music apps. It might be a little old school, but I do still love a piggy bank. Any loose change I have goes straight in there and once it’s full I’m always surprised and how much I have put away.
7. Explore your own country
I spent the summer exploring castles and lakes that I haven’t been to since I was a kid and I love rediscovering the beauty of my own country. I mean, there’s a reason people come to England and I seem to have forgotten why! You could even go and stay with a friend who lives out of town for a few days and get them to show you their neck of the woods.
8. Live in the moment
Sometimes we get caught up in the stresses of everyday life and forget to actually enjoy what we are doing! It’s important to stop, switch off (especially our devices) and take in the moment. Be present in the room and appreciate all that we have around us.
9. Start a travel journal
A great way to keep track of all your adventures and the amazing places you have been, is to write them down. Pen and paper is best in my opinion. Looking back at the end of the year to relive all those great moments is a wonderful feeling and will get your travel bug excited for the next year.
10. Try something new
Set yourself a goal to not do any activities you have done before while you are away, and not to eat any dish you have tried before. You’ll be amazed at how many new things you can fit into one day. Avoid the continental breakfast and see what fruit has been grown locally.
Take a Muay Thai Kickboxing class if you are in Thailand, go on safari in Sri Lanka or grab a surf board in Portugal.
If it’s something you wouldn’t normally do, then it’s exactly what you should be doing!
11. Reach out to an old travel buddy
Personally, I don’t see the harm in calling out the blue, although people seem to freak out over it nowadays. Why not pick-up the phone to someone you met while travelling and see how they are getting on. I bet it leads you to reconnect and may even mean more adventures together!
12. Grab a new book or find a new podcast
Check out the book exchange in your hostel, once you have finished your latest read, and see what else is on offer rather than buying a new one. You’ll have a limited selection, forcing you to try something new but you’ll also be reading what other like-minded travellers have read. You could also ask around for good podcast recommendations (I LOVE Podcasts when I travel) and see what people listen to from different places in the world. You might learn something new!
13. Stay in a crazy location
There are so many cool and interesting places to stay while you are away, and I’m not talking necessarily about the destination but more the actual accommodation. Ever stayed in a Jumbo Jet or a converted school bus, or how about a boat in Sweden?!
14. Take THAT trip
We all have a dream destination, right? Mine changes all the time, but right now I NEED to get to Rwanda to visit the mountain gorillas. That’s my thing. What’s yours? The time is now people! Stop going out at the weekends to the same bar, set money saving goals, book the time off work and book that flight!
15. Make a difference
Challenge yourself to give back when you travel and find out how rewarding it can be. You could try a volunteering programme, help teach children or even start as small as organising or participating in a beach clean-up while you are away. If we all made small differences it would ultimately have a HUGE difference.
I hope this helps to inspire you to get out there and get exploring! Set your resolutions now and come back to them again in 12 months to see how many you’ve achieved. Hopefully all of them!
Safe travelling and a Happy New Year!
About the author
Mark is an independent travel writer, videographer and tour guide specialising in South East Asia. He is usually found near the ocean, surfing on top of it or scuba diving underneath it. He likes the countries he visits to be hot and the food even hotter. Keep up with his adventures on Instagram