Self improvement is often cited as the main reason more than 40 percent of Americans make New Year resolutions each turn of the calendar. For travelers who love to globe trot seeking new experiences, resolutions can result in more meaningful, productive and self-enrichment travel. Visiting remote villages, castle hopping throughout Europe, or tasting innovative cuisine at a local food festival can all be part of your New Year resolutions. Here are nine resolutions that are sure to set the stage for a year’s worth of exciting travel.
Go Off the Beaten Path
Take time out during your next city travels to see some of the surrounding countryside or an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood. Henrik Muehle, general manager of Flemings Mayfair, London, suggests playing a round of golf in the country or enjoying dinner in a non-touristy local area such as Ziani, a London neighborhood Italian restaurant. The countryside outside of most major cities is usually brimming with interesting attractions and allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
There’s a natural tendency to want to see everything when you travel to new places. Neil Weidberg, President of Heritage Tours, advises people to move more slowly while touring. Hear a private storyteller in Marrakech, Morocco, and learn about his life in a rural mountain community. Visit a semi-isolated tribal community in Madagascar and see the lemurs. Travel to Israel and go bird watching and hiking in the lush Hula Valley. Taking time to slow down and relax rejuvenates your inner time clock which ultimately affords you the opportunity to do and see more.
Embrace Sustainable Travel
Betsy O’Rourke, Chief Marketing Officer for Xanterra Parks & Resorts, recommends striving to incorporate sustainable business practices into your travel. Always pack refillable water bottles and fill them after security because it’s healthy, inexpensive and keeps plastic out of landfills. Bring protein powder as a backup for a quick meal. Just add water and it’s very light to carry in a Ziploc bag and takes up little space. Check out some of the eco lodges and eco tours that are becoming more readily available at tourism destinations around the world.
Unplug from Social
Cell phones and iPads have become essential components of travel. However, Andy Levine, founder of DuVine, thinks travelers should resolve to unplug more often from social and engage in conversation with random people on trains and in cafes. Chris Cameron, Guest Relations Manager at The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach, Florida, believes that electronic devices can disengage us from all human contact. His suggested New Year resolution for travelers is to collect all personal electronics, iPhone, pads, pods, and laptop and lock them in a hotel room safe for a complete 24 hours. He challenges hotel concierges to come up with one-on-one activities to encourage gadget free quality time for the guests they serve.
Experience New Places
About nine in 10 of Florida’s annual 80 million annual visitors have been before. Sure, Florida can be a great vacation, but it’s nice to mix it up a little. The joys associated with traveling to new locations are very important to Ian Kynor, Director of Sales at STA Travel, whose advice is to experience at least two places new in 2018 such as a national park or a new city, or fly to a new country that you have never visited. Tiffany Harrison, US Marketing Manager at STA Travel, says to embrace the unexpected and make the most of a new journey.
Get Back to Nature
Nature based travel can take you to some of the most pristine and resplendent places in the world, including Torres Del Paine, Chile, or Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand. The U.S. also has its fair share of magnificent sites. Paul Ridguard, General Manager of Executive Hotel Le Soleil New York, recommends traveling to the Adirondacks in upstate New York to see some of the country’s highest mountains. Zip line in the mountains and to go white water rafting in order to experience a few shots of adrenaline. Take in the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, a stunning 250-acre National Historic Landmark that serves as a major educational institution.
Visit Historical Sites
From Stone Age cave paintings to Olympic villages, traveling to historic places can be an awe inspiring journey. Marie Voyer, concierge at Auberge Saint-Antoine Hotel, Quebec City, suggests traveling to Normandy, France to taste the finest ciders, explore thousand-year-old abbeys and walk along the beaches that bore witness to such courage, resilience and renewal. Want someone to do all the planning for you? Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution’s worldwide travel program, offers cultural and enrichment experiences with over 350 departures on all seven continents.
Check Out North American Destinations
True, there’s a whole world waiting to be discovered. However, Michael Holtz, SmartFlyer CEO and Founder, proposes spending more time visiting North American locales. Charleston tops his list because there has been so much buzz and new development in the city. Foodies should try the Brooklyn culinary scene, especially Blanca, a reservation-only restaurant offering upscale tasting menus.