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Travel-Related Resolutions to Achieve Before Planning Your Next Trip

Travel-Related Resolutions to Achieve Before Planning Your Next Trip

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Learning a new language also builds self-confidence. You don’t even need to enroll in an actual academy to improve your bilingual skills.

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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.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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