“Travel more.” It’s certainly at the top of our resolutions for the new year (and every year, for that matter). Here are 7 more resolutions to make the most out of your travels in 2014.
Slow down your travel.
Savor the fleeting moments when you’re not at your desk buried under work or stuck in rush-hour traffic. Revel in the experience, whether that means lingering at a 4-hour meal or a tossing out the museum list for a long walk with no target destination. It’s easy to pack your schedule on a trip, afraid that you’ll miss something, but you won’t be able to fully appreciate a different culture unless you take the time to experience its nuisances.
Don’t let a “dangerous” label deter you.
Of course, we aren’t advising traipsing around a war-torn country without taking any precautions, but rather suggesting that there are places that are inherently dangerous— whether they’re crime-ridden or full of wild and hungry animals – that shouldn’t be avoided because of fear alone. Be safe, but don’t cross off visiting some of the world’s best places — like Brazil, Nicaragua, and Colombia — altogether just because their reputation is a little dicey.
If your funds in 2014 are stretched, traveling locally is an easy resolution to keep. Why be a spontaneous intrepid explorer only 3.5 weeks out of the year? Instead, use your weekends throughout the year to explore other sides of your city or state. You don’t have to leave the country to try a new adventure; try delving into your city’s underground foodie scene or joining a local hiking club.
Be in the moment.
Sure, that sunset will be a hit on Instagram. And, yes, we know your friends will “like” that shot of the village boys playing soccer. We’re all for preserving travel memories, but too often the moment is over before you know it, and you missed taking it in while you were trying to document it on your camera/smartphone/tablet. If you resolve to fully be in the moment in 2014 – you’ll always have your mental snapshots.
Volunteer on a vacation.
Experts are forecasting that voluntourism will be on the rise in 2014. While a yoga retreat or spa trip may seem like likely choices for a feel-good vacation, more and more travelers are getting addicted to the long-lasting good vibes lending a hand can give them. REI Volunteer Vacations offers nature lovers a chance to protect the great outdoors while enjoying it. Or spread your love of yoga on a volunteer trip to Kenya with the Africa Yoga Project.
Get your heart pumping.
If you’re like most of us, right up there with “travel more” is “workout more.” Want to get out on your bike more? Take a bike wine tour to jumpstart your love for cycling (and wine). Perfect your handstand at a yoga festival in Hawaii. Or dust off those skis for an alpine workout. The options (and calories to burn) are endless.
Take it from someone who has lost way too many minutes on a trip shuffling through things she never wore nor used in her luggage. If saving the checked baggage fee isn’t enough motivation, just think the lighter your bag is the more nimble you will be on travel days. Who wants to knock over a few glasses with a monster suitcase in that tiny Italian café as you get your last cappuccino before the airport? That’s so 2013.
Tell us: What are your travel resolutions for 2014?