It happens every New Year ... By the second weekend in January, my New Year’s resolutions implode with zero trips to the gym, one hot fudge sundae too many, and epic failure in the “Mind my own business” department.
2017 will be different.
This year, I’m shifting my focus to travel-related resolutions. Counter-productive habits impacting my life on the road simply have to change. So determined am I to mend my low-down travel ways, I’m laying out below, for all to see, my 10 travel resolutions for 2017. Perhaps you can adopt a few as well.
I resolve to:
- Not over-pack
My most egregious travel sin, over-packing slows me down with elephant-sized luggage and keeps me from the freedom of grab-and–go overhead bin nirvana. It’s also seriously jeopardizing my marital bliss. Not only am I a tres mauvais over-packer, but I’ve been known to play the "helpless male" card, leaving towering piles of underwear, mismatched socks and T’s I’ll never wear on the bed for my wife to pack. No more, I promise honey.
- Not book flights based on miles
I am so over being a slave to the mileage gods. Give me a direct non-stop with a great on-time record and to heck with the miles. The older I get, the more I value my time over anything else. My top travel priority, even over price (within reason of course), is shortest travel time. Avoid mile crazy bookings like the plague is my new mantra – and I’m sticking to it.
- NEVER order room service
I get being tired, especially when a frenzied day of travel practically demands ordering in. But hey, a new city is calling – there are likely some very good eats, interesting experiences and potentially new friends right around the corner. I simply have to get up and get OUT to find it, which leads to resolution #4...
- Avoid trendy
New and hot doesn’t necessarily mean great or memorable in my book, especially with restaurants. I’m into real and genuine of-the-moment restaurant experiences where visits aren’t collected like trophies. I resolve to ask locals – not the concierge- where they like to eat and NOT where is the latest, hottest place to eat.
- Get lost
Serendipity rules on the road. Travel is all about a sense of adventure which means trying new things, acting spontaneously and being willing to let go of an over-zealous, structured daily agenda and simply give way to wandering. My wife and I took an entire day in Paris to simply walk the Marais, poke our heads into tiny shops, explore random bookstores and pick the first bistro that caught our fancy where we sat streetside and watched the world go by. I vow to make this a habit.
- Keep a travel journal
I used to do this and after discovering a years-old notebook with scribblings about a long-ago sojourn to Indonesia, I promised myself I’d take this habit back up. It’s imminently satisfying to relive past memories and explorations and a great way to document and solidify the smaller, yet no less interesting, details that invariably get lost to time. I find 30 minutes before bed putting my thoughts on paper, a great way to end my day.
- Ditch my camera
Yes, it’s great to show the folks back home via Facebook what fun you are having in Timbuktu. Yet often my camera acts as a barrier to the experience I’m actually trying to enjoy. Yes I’ll bring it along, and yes I’ll capture some cool images and remembrances, but more often than not I’ll keep my camera/phone stashed away.
- Fly on Tuesday
Simply the best. The least crowded, best on-time record day of the week to travel. If at all possible, Tuesday is my good-news day.
- Go with the flow
Stuff happens! Life is full of inconveniences, especially on the road. Expect mishaps will occur and vow to go with the flow. It’s amazing how quickly you can get back on track to enjoying things.
- Choose home stays over hotels
I love, love, love staying in an actual flat or home as opposed to a hotel – more room, fully equipped kitchens, no tourists to compete with and generally a better bargain awaits. Rental services like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway make staying in a home away from home my new number one option!
So what are your 2017 resolutions, travel-related or otherwise? Share with us on social media using #DCResolutions!