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At this time of year, many people’s thoughts turn to the things they ought to be doing and would like to do in the future, whether that’s joining the gym, giving up smoking or getting a new job. Though frankly, those are all boring clichés.
However, a great many of us do express a desire to travel a bit more and with that in mind, here are five New Year’s Resolutions that any travel lover should strive to achieve in the coming year.
1) Tick something off your travel bucket list
Why not make this the year that you see the Northern Lights, drive along Route 66 or scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef? Most of us have a bucket list and many of the items on it, we’re willing to bet, relate to travel. Most of these are long-held dreams, but why wait any longer? Aim to cross something off that list in the next 12 months and experience something that is truly unforgettable.
Aside from those mentioned above, other bucket list travel adventures include trekking to Machu Picchu, seeing New England in the autumn, watching the sun set over the Taj Mahal and even setting foot on Antarctica. Of course, some of these options are more extreme than others, but the feeling which comes with achieving a lifetime travel ambition is unparalleled.
2) Don’t let your medical condition limit you
It’s easy to let a medical condition dictate your holiday choices; lots of people may avoid flights or active trips in order to prevent any possible problems occurring. For many, their condition even prevents them from obtaining travel insurance. Naturally, your priorities will be different, but your condition doesn’t need to be restrictive.
There are many tour operators who specialise in ‘accessible’ travel, while the internet is a mine of information on holiday activities and medical conditions. Doing your research is key; you’ll be surprised how many other people share your desire for travel and your apparent restrictions. You may also be astonished to learn that many things are possible with the right preparation, medical advice and travel insurance – you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro with asthma. Don’t limit yourself unnecessarily; do some research and go for it.
3) Unplug and recharge
In these busy and connected times, the idea of unplugging your devices and going ‘off grid’ while on holiday is likely to prompt a combination of fear and relief. It’s a lovely thought, but is it practical? Well, we all managed it 20 years ago.
Resolve to go away and leave the phone off for the week. If it makes you feel happier, leave the hotel’s phone number with friends, so if you do need to be contacted, they can do so.
The benefits of unplugging are vast. Once you’re over any initial shock, it can help you relax without being a slave to the inbox; it alleviates stress, enables you to focus without constant distraction and it can promote sleep
4) Travel solo
There are many reasons why people choose to go on holiday alone: perhaps a partner can’t get time off work, friends don’t have the funds or no one wants to visit the location you’ve chosen. For others, the idea of exploring and being pushed far outside their comfort zone is exhilarating. Regardless of the reason, solo travel has become not only acceptable, but something that inspires and wows other people. Travelling alone is cool!
However, it’s also a bit daunting for first timers, especially those who need to bear a medical complaint in mind. To ease yourself into it, consider booking an organised trip through a specialist solo travel company, like Solos, Just You or Friendship Travel, where you can meet other travellers and not feel self-conscious. This is a great option as it allows you to experience places and activities which otherwise might be tricky or excessively expensive if arranged independently. Many offer a range of trips, from gentle city breaks to adventurous explorations, so there’s no need to miss out owning to medical limitations. Go on, try travelling solo.
5) Go travelling more often
If there’s one New Year’s Resolution to stick to, perhaps it should be this: simply to travel more. Whether it’s a three-week cruise or a long weekend just over the Channel, taking a break is good for you. You’ll feel re-energised and rested. Apparently, taking a break can make you more productive at work, improving focus and attention.
That aside, there’s a huge great world to explore, crammed with sights, sounds, smells and tastes that deserve to be experienced. Plus you don’t need to be made of money to do it. There are always lots of deals available if you shop around – especially at this time of year where airlines try to tempt you with slashed prices. Signing up to airline / holiday operator’s points schemes is also worth doing, as is opting for multi-trip travel insurance, which is both convenient and value for money.
You know you want to; make this the year in which you keep some resolutions and see more of this wonderful world.