A majority of us want to get out and see more of the world, but very few take action to fulfill that. Travel has become one of the most perennial New Year’s resolutions, yet the hardest to execute.
There’s nothing wrong with placing travel at the top of your New Year’s resolution list, but it isn’t as simple as it seems. Studies report that only about nine percent of people feel they were successful in achieving their resolutions.
All resolutions are correlated to each other, and ever so rarely can we pursue to complete one without the other. “Exercising” for example, has to go hand in hand with “eating right.” Efforts will be partially thrown out the window if you continue consuming the same amount of calories despite your workouts. If this is the case, at least make sure your calisthenics are twice as intense.
There’s more to wanderlust than just packing your bags and leaving.
1. Make Sure Your Plans Are Measurable
Whether your carry-on baggage is an extension of your wardrobe, or your infant, be realistic in terms of money, distance and personal capabilities.
There is such a thing as a “comfort zone” when it comes to travelling. Get to know your own city, region or province first before stepping out onto faraway lands and uncharted waters – literally. Whoever said travel requires a passport or connecting flights never delighted in taking small trips.
Mix it up; go outdoorsy and hike. Then, immerse yourself in culture and concrete jungles on your next voyage. No one’s stopping you from going somewhere totally far and new, but if you’re more worried than secure, that’s not usually a good sign.
Although there are plenty of budget friendly itineraries and places to visit, don’t be easily fooled by the offers and deals you see. Cold tolerance quite low? Hit up tropical destinations instead. Pick locations you know will nourish your body and soul, and won’t put your well-being in jeopardy. Having a timeline of your plans for the whole year is beneficial if you have more than one trip planned.
2. Be Organized
Leaving everything behind (no matter how temporary) in exchange for an escapade will always have consequences. The last thing you want to think about while sunbathing and lounging in Bali is the unfinished research paper on your desk at home. Delays and failing to meet deadlines also have the ability to ruin, push back or affect your ready-made plans. Work first, before relaxing and focusing on the fun.
Always have a backup. More often than not, itineraries are never followed to the last detail. What if the bus or train system fails? No one has an extra copy of the itinerary. Your luggage never emerged from the conveyor belt. We’re not saying you should over-pack and bring things “just in case,” but it’s always a good idea to have a plan B in case of emergencies. This includes medical or car insurance, should anything unfortunate occur on the roads.
Don’t get too excited and use up all your vacation days in one trip. Spread it out instead. If planned well, your stops and destinations can all be visited and enjoyed at record times.
3. Learn How To Manage Finances Better
It may be true that some aspects of travel have become very affordable – some are even free – thanks to couch surfing, Airbnb, hostels and backpacking trends.
If the dates can be easily rearranged, stay on the lookout for promotional air fares and discounted accommodations. Know that there is a risk to jumping into things too quickly. No matter how willing you are, always remember to check your wallet. Coming back home poorer than you were before the trip is “normal” – just as long as you’re not flat-out-broke.
Try investing in travel gear that can endure every rough handling from airports everywhere. Packing cubes save you more space to avoid overweight baggage at the airport’s scale. Racking up your frequent flyer miles will also benefit you when you spontaneously book a trip.
4. Take Better Care Of Your Health
So many resolutions revolve around overall health. From losing weight, gaining muscles, toning up, and eating less processed foods, there is no doubt that all of us have one of these in mind.
Sightseeing while an oxygen tank trails behind you isn’t exactly the most convenient way to be a tourist. Traveling in tropical, oriental and Asian cities require a lot of walking. Weak knees and ankles will easily get sore and suffer.
On the other hand, if your plans include more outdoorsy activities like hiking up various mountains, prepare beforehand by building up your stamina.
Squeeze in a set of workout clothes in your luggage, try to wake up an hour earlier than usual, then go for a quick run. Travel is actually the perfect motivator when it comes to jogs or runs – you get to enjoy a new view daily, and surprises await you in every corner.
5. Reconnect With Friends
Travel allows you to connect with people, whether or not you just met them minutes ago or have known each other for decades.
Out of the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, one of them will gladly play detective with you and help you find your long lost elementary or high school bff. Before you know it, you’ll be making plans to reunite. If you offer, you might even be lucky enough to have all your accommodations covered. You just saved yourself a one hundred bucks or so, depending on the location.
6. Regulate Your Sleeping Schedule
Adjusting sleeping schedules accompanied by jetlag is one of the top struggles of travelers. Some of us are fond of booking round-trips that are on sale and red-eye flights, thinking it won’t seriously affect us.
Once you get the hang of putting yourself to sleep effortlessly, being in a different time zone and unfamiliar environments will no longer suck up your remaining battery. Refrain from relying on sleep medications and over the counter sleep aids. Ah, the advantages of being someone who can sleep anywhere.
If world leaders can travel between various time zones and still manage to run a country, getting your days back to normal shouldn’t be too difficult.
7. Learn A New Language
Although English is a universal language, not everyone you come across will be able to speak it. You don’t need to be fluent in the native language to survive in your temporary host country. Getting by with just basic phrases are more than enough. Striking up conversation with locals is the easiest way to unconsciously lessen the impact of culture shock.
Learning a new language also builds self-confidence. You don’t even need to enroll in an actual academy to improve your bilingual skills.
Work on small goals first. Once you remind yourself that your trip is a long-term goal being put to action, all the hassle and stress fades away.
We don’t always have to plan trips down to the last, little detail. Leave some room for spontaneity and surprises, too. We live in a digital world where “wifi” is an international commonly known term. As long as you can read, interact with people well, have common sense and a smartphone, you’ll never be totally lost.
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