New year, new you? Every year, it hits January and people seem to decide to make life changes and resolutions. I’ve never really bought into the hype about New Year’s Resolutions. I went through a phase in high school where I made them every year (and they were basically the same, every year), and then quit doing it—besides promising myself that I’ll be better about flossing my teeth.
But this year, I wanted to share a few resolutions you can do in the New Year—all about travel! If you dream of traveling to different places and seeing new things, it will probably take a serious commitment to make those dreams happen. So, here are 8 travel resolutions for the New Year, for you!
1. Get a passport
Something like 60% of Americans don’t have passports—which is totally shocking to most people! Although considering how large and diverse the US is, I can kind of see why this is. BUT, there’s no way for you to travel internationally without your passport. So if you don’t have one, get one! It takes roughly six weeks and costs $110 (plus a $25 “execution fee” for first-time adult applicants). You don’t want to miss out on the chance for a trip because you don’t have a passport! Already have a passport but it’s expired? Renew it asap!
2. Start saving money/get serious about budgeting
Make this your year to prioritize travel: start saving money for your next trip! For some people, it might not be all that difficult to save extra cash for a trip away. For others like myself, it can involve serious budgeting, sacrifices, and (most likely) long hours at work. But trips do cost some money, and there’s never a better time than the present to start saving money and budgeting out an exciting new trip. Here are 10 little ways I save money for travel!
3. Explore your own area more
Travel doesn’t necessarily have to mean going abroad and visiting a different country. If you want to find a new way to travel, start with your very own backyard! Explore more of your city, county, state, or country! Last summer I promised myself I would see more of my own country—and I started with a road trip in my home state of Minnesota, and another two trips in the Midwest! Now that I’ve moved, it means exploring more of Yorkshire—quite the undertaking!
4. Really get to know your city
Staying with the theme of exploring your own backyard, this New Year make an effort to really explore the city you live in! Be a tourist in your own city by visiting attractions and museums, wander around a new neighborhood, hit up a restaurant or bar you’ve never been to before. Again, you can find ways to travel without leaving your own city—it doesn’t always have to be international! After spending so much time exploring both Minneapolis and St. Paul, I have a huge York Bucket List that I’m constantly working through!
5. Come up with a dream bucket list
Another great starting point for traveling: make a bucket list of all of your dream trips! Mine is about a mile long and I’m constantly adding to it. Bookmark articles, make a photo collage, anything to keep you inspired! And once you have a dream bucket list, think about the next trip you want to take—and start planning!
6. Go somewhere completely new
On your next adventure, go somewhere you’ve never been before: maybe it’s a new town or an area you haven’t explored yet just for the day. Or you could do a weekend city break to a city you haven’t visited. Or a road trip out of state. Or jetting off to a new country! But wherever you go this year, try to go somewhere completely new, that you’ve never visited before.
7. Have a themed staycation
So maybe you can’t actually travel anywhere for a while—due to work responsibilities, budget concerns, anything. But you almost always can have a themed staycation for yourself! Decorate your house, order (or cook) special food, put on a movie, and have a night in! You could do a Mexico theme with tacos (or burritos or enchiladas or fajitas…) and set up your living room to be like a beach (sand optional!). Or get some Union Jack flags, cook up a full English breakfast, and watch the King’s Speech. You get the idea—make it fun!
8. Try going solo
I love traveling solo, and I firmly believe it’s something everyone should try at least once in their lives. So make this year the year that you take your first solo trip! It doesn’t have to be a big one—even a daytrip to someplace nearby counts! But hang out with yourself and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. Maybe you take a weekend away and hate it—but hey, at least you tried and you know now that you don’t like it! Solo travel will challenge you like nothing else, but is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.
Over to you! What are your resolutions (travel or otherwise) for the New Year?!