Don’t want to give up on your New Year's travel resolution? Follow our 14 step guide and learn how to get the most out of your travel experiences this year
Just like every year, for 2017 you’ve made a list of all those things you want to do or change. That list might include a fresh new start, a do-over of sorts, or cutting back on bad habits. But the hardest item to cross off that list might be that you wished you had travelled more.
So, instead of reminding yourself of all the things you didn’t do in 2016, offer yourself a late Christmas gift from you to you, and see more of the world in 2017. Here’s how …
1. Pick destinations within your budget and start balancing!
The planning always gets easier once you know what destinations you can or cannot afford. If your budget is endless, good for you, the sky is the limit! For everyone else, all is not lost, but you do need to think a little bit more tactically about your travels.
For some destinations, the ticket fare is the most expensive part, and others (nearby weekend getaways, presumably) are cheaper to get to. It’s always good to think about the balance of your budget, so focus on places where the currency exchange leaves you at a considerable advantage or where local lifestyle is much cheaper than back home.
This balancing act is tricky to pull off, but even just trying will allow you more opportunity to de-stress, avoid overspending and get the most out of your travel experiences.
2. Start listing
We love lists, and soon you will too. Set yourself obtainable travel goals and make a list of places you could realistically visit this year, plus a few extra desirables. Then, when the moment is right and you are ready to take the travel plunge, treat yourself with a visit to one of the destinations.
It’s not rocket science, but writing these goals down will give you the encouragement you need to achieve them.
3. Be a big-mouth
Sharing with those around you could bring about surprising travel tips and anecdotes that will get you even more eager to pack your bags and go.
4. Don’t be afraid of travelling alone
Are you ready to hop on the next plane out but no one could take the time off to come with you? Don’t let that stop you: try travelling alone. Experience the freedom of travelling where, when, and how you want. The challenge can be extremely rewarding, and you might even make a couple of new international friends along the way.
Read more: The best places to travel alone
5. Get in touch with locals
The world can seem so vast, but connections can be made in one click of a button. Knowing someone where you wish to travel might make the adventure a bit less scary. Different online communities, forums, and accommodation services help you get in touch easily with people living in your next travel destination, who will be able to give you great local insights and knowledge about the place.
6. Explore your backyard
Who said travelling has to mean going far away and for a long time? Awesome things are happening all around us, and your travel goals might take flight if you start with a couple of “staycations”.
Get to know your own country, go to all the museums, and check off all the tourist attractions and sights on your list of things to see. With less time dedicated to transportation, you’ll have more time to visit, enjoy and learn more about the place you call home.
7. Find a travel buddy with similar interests
The right travel buddy can make or break a vacation, so it’s good to spend time finding the right one. That might mean that your best travel companion isn’t always your childhood friend or significant other, but perhaps a newish friend, a colleague, or that cousin you haven’t seen in a while but with whom you’d love to reconnect. In sum, don’t be afraid to mix it up.
Once you’ve found your partner in travel, be sure to discuss budget, interests, and expectations before travelling. This may inspire you to visit places that you’d never heard of before! What’s more, you can share local contacts. That makes twice as many places to visit and twice as many people to meet.
8. Connect in order to disconnect
The internet is great, and can be very useful, but it’s nice to reconnect with real-life when we’re abroad. Stop trying to learn how to say “Do you have free wifi?” in Cantonese and try out momondo places – our very own downloadable city guides – instead.
Each of the 21 (and counting!) guides features offline maps and over 150 bars, restaurants, shops, museums and more great places to visit in each city, as recommended to us by locals. Download them to your iPhone prior to your trip and use them offline.
Oh, and did we mention that they’re absolutely free?! Download them today and start exploring a city like a local.
9. Be spontaneous
If your suitcase is ready and you can book a flight at a moment’s notice, set up a Fare Alert on our website. As soon as the price for a route you are interested in has changed, we’ll let you know. It’s like a travel lottery, but you’re always a winner!
10. Embrace long layovers
Whether it’s a few hours in an airport, or a night’s stay in an unknown city, use that layover time to the fullest.
We recommend getting the longest layover possible. Not only is the fare likely to be cheaper, it will give you the chance to get out of the airport and experience that middle destination ahead of your final one. That’s like 2 trips for the price of 1!
Read more: How to make the most of your layover
11. Meet halfway for your family trips
Often times, we find ourselves far from our loved ones. Instead of always going back and forth to each other’s cities, pick a destination halfway between and meet there. It opens up so many options of places you might never have thought of visiting, all while spending quality time with the people you’ve missed.
12. Get the most out of your business trip
You might be lucky enough to have a job that allows you to travel. Obviously, going to a seminar in Ibiza doesn’t mean you’ll be spending the day at the beach. But maybe you have a bit of free time to do a couple touristy visits or even just hang out in a bustling city centre to feel the local vibe.
The main advice would be to remove yourself from the work environment as much as possible and explore at your leisure.
13. Get inspired
Maybe you have your heart set on one destination, or you could be swayed either way of the globe to any exotic place. Follow travel bloggers, or travellers on Instagram, or our momondo blog to stay up to date on exciting destinations and learn interesting facts about different cultures.
Sometimes we discover new places we hadn’t expected that are actually within reach. Plus, daydreaming about a picture of Whitsundays Beach in Australia beats staring out the window watching the rain. That is, if you don’t love rain, of course.
Read more: The 8 best islands in Thailand
14. Just go for it
What are you waiting for? There are lots of ways to travel the world, and this is your year to visit all those places you’ve always wanted to go! Sometimes over-thinking is what’s stopping you. Once the ticket is purchased, the rest is just an adventure.