It’s that time of year again.
The time when we make lists of resolutions that are quickly forgotten in the chaos of everyday life. But if your resolution is to travel more this year, and you’re adamant about sticking to it, we have some tips that might just help you reach your 2018 goal.
Keep an eye out for cheap flights
One of the best ways to make your travel resolution a reality is to sign up for reminders” about cheap flights. Services like Scott’s Cheap Flights, Hopper, and the Flight Deal send newsletters and update their social media feeds with the latest deals. You can also set up reminders on many flight search engine websites for specific flight routes if you’re looking to visit a particular destination.
Getting a daily reminder in your inbox about flights is also a good way to continually remind yourself of your travel goal.
Save money regularly
We all struggle with putting aside funds for our upcoming adventures. So this year, anticipate that problem and make a plan.
Barring any emergencies, decide on a certain percentage of each paycheck and set up a new savings account just for your next adventure. Instead of eating out twice a week, or paying for Hulu and Netflix, be choosy and put some of that money aside. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be able to save enough for another trip.
Do your research
Once you have a specific destination in mind, start doing your research! Find out what there is to do when you get there, how much you can expect to spend, and what is unique about that location. Learning about the places you want to travel is the perfect motivator for sticking to those New Year’s resolutions — after all, you don’t want all that new knowledge to go to waste, do you?
Learn a new skill
In preparation (or to bide the time while you wait for your next trip), start learning a new skill of some sort. If you’re heading somewhere international, try teaching yourself the local language. Download language apps like Duolingo, Memrise, or Babbel, or find a class or online course to really step-up your language game.
If language isn’t your thing, test out some new recipes or sign up for a cooking class. An easy way to get excited about an upcoming adventure is to try some of the food you’ll encounter once you get there.
You can also improve your photography skills before you leave. Check out our archive of informative photo guides, and head out to experiment with new types of photography around your hometown. By the time you embark on your next journey, you’ll have newfound skills to improve your travel shots.
Spread the word
It may sound trivial, but the more people you tell about your plans, the more concrete those plans will become. The simple act of telling friends and family members about your travel goals can be enough to light a fire in you to actually make that resolution a reality.
Another good idea is to have some kind of physical reminder of your goal in your home. Make a poster, stick a note on your fridge, or fill an “adventure jar” with spare change or travel wishes. Seeing something that will remind you of your goal every day can help in more ways than one.
Plan a few weekend trips
If, for one reason or another, you can’t take an international trip right away, don’t get too down on yourself. Instead, plan a few weekend trips from your home city.
Look up nearby national parks or small towns that would be perfect for a 36 to 48-hour stay, or plan a mini road trip to several destinations. Getting out of your hometown and exploring somewhere new, even for a few days, can help cure those travel blues we all experience between trips.
Explore your own backyard
When in doubt, become a traveler in your very own home. Maybe you reside a half hour from San Francisco and don’t get into the city as often as you should. Perhaps you live in Manhattan but have never ventured to Staten Island. Or, it’s possible that you live in the middle of Nashville but have never experienced the Opry or visited Graceland.
Do a bit of research about whatever city you call home, then head out to explore! Viewing a familiar place in a different light, or simply doing new activities or visiting sites you wouldn’t normally, can evoke the same sense of wonder as traveling to a faraway destination.
Spend a day wandering your own city, book a local tour, or plan a self-guided photography trip. You could even go as far as booking a hotel room for a weekend to really get in that travel mindset.
Need help saving for your next trip? Check out our Budget Travel Series.