Not only is it a new year, but it’s a whole new decade. And if the next 10 years are anything like the past 10 — we’re talking crazy high welcome bonuses, ultra low airfare and the overall increase in accessibility of travel — then we’re excited and you should be too.
On this weeks episode of the Talking Points podcast, we dove deeper into 2020 travel resolutions and tips for becoming a better traveler with a few of our favorite influencers.
Here are just a few that we’re adding to our list and think you should consider too.
1. Travel more sustainably
While it’s great that travel has increasingly become more accessible thanks to low fares, points and miles — it also means that many destinations have and will suffer environmentally and culturally due to over-tourism. One way to help out with this issue is by making it a priority to be a more sustainable traveler.
Alyssa Ramos aka @mylifesatravelmovie shared, “My New Year’s travel resolutions are to try to do all 100% of my trips to be as eco-friendly and locally sourced as possible, which means saying no to single use plastics, always using a local tour guide, making sure that you’re only buying handicrafts and things like that. Don’t only go to destinations that are super popular on Instagram. There’s a whole wide world to see and we want to try to reduce over tourism because of social media.”
Like Ramos touched on, traveling sustainably could mean doing something as little as traveling with a reusable water bottle, to making it a point to contribute to the local economy, to visiting places you don’t see all over Instagram. Whatever you decide to do, just think about how your actions will impact wherever you’re visiting both environmentally and culturally.
2. Learn more about points and miles
The good news about this one is that if you’re reading this, it’s probably already on your list. Even if you already consider knowing the basics as enough, make an effort to learn more because when we say there’s always something new to learn, we mean it. After all, we do have a whole site dedicated to points and miles.
By expanding your knowledge of the points and miles world, the more places you’ll be able to visit without breaking the bank. And who isn’t all for taking the trip of your dreams for virtually free?
3. Travel deeper
This is a resolution I’ve had for about three years now and think everyone should add to their list. You see, the first solo trip I took abroad was to Italy for an exchange. I lived with a family for three months and they really opened up their home, country and culture to me. By the end of the summer, I felt like I had a true feeling for the Italian culture but I also got bit by the travel bug and wanted to tick more places off my list. In an effort to reach my travel goal of visiting 21 countries by 21, I rushed to visit as many as I could, as fast I could. In my haste, I missed out on truly experiencing the culture of each new place I visited. Ever since then I’ve made it a point to not just visit a place just to cross it off, but to actually experience it.
And Melissa Panetta aka @melissa or @bestvacations agrees, “[I want to] experience the culture, do things more like a local rather than a tourist.” She even offered up an awesome tip everyone should tap into in 2020, “…to become a better traveler is that you really want to be a traveler, not a vacationer. So typically what we do is we actually have friends around the world and we use one degree of separation or two degree of separations to find someone local and go to their house and actually have a family cooked meal, a home cook meal.”
4. Just book it
If there’s a trip you’ve been holding back on booking, this is the year to just go ahead and book it. Or at least come up with a solid strategy for how you’re going to do it. Be sure to set a goal date for when you want to take the trip by, and hold yourself accountable.
As Lee Abbamonte aka @leeabbamonte says, “When it comes to travel, there’s nothing you should do more than travel because it makes you a better person. It teaches you things that you’ll never learn just reading the internet or just sitting around doing nothing.”
5. Travel somewhere new
In 2020, try to visit somewhere that hasn’t necessarily been on your radar or your Instagram. It always seems to be the places or things that you didn’t plan on doing that end up being the most pleasantly surprising.
Related: Where to travel in 2020
For instance, this past fall I had a birthday trip planned to Charleston, South Carolina that got cancelled last-minute due to Hurricane Dorian. I didn’t want to throw away my planned weekend getaway, so instead I looked for the cheapest flight available for the same dates and stumbled across a low-fare to Montréal that I was able to use an AA voucher towards. My friend met me there and we had one of the most fun trips I’ve ever taken. Not to mention that we were completely blown away by Montréal as we had no expectations.
This past decade was quite the time for travel and we’re sure this new decade will have even more in store. Between becoming a more sustainable traveler, visiting somewhere new and continuing to increase your points and miles knowledge — the opportunities for becoming a better travel are endless. These are just five resolutions to get you started, but we’d love to hear what’s on your list for 2020 in comments below.
For even more travel resolutions and tips, listen to the full episode of Talking Points below.