7 Travel resolutions for 2014

Dec 31, 2013 at 8:57 p.m. ET

At the beginning of each year, I seem to write down the same resolutions. Enough of that — it's time for some travel resolutions for 2014.

Woman tourist

Go to the gym more, lose five pounds, try new recipes, read more books... It's all so familiar. So in the spirit of really kicking off the year in a new way, I decided that it's time to stop listing the same things and instead make some travel resolutions for 2014.

Go on a spontaneous trip

As a type A planner, this is especially challenging for me, but it's something I want to try. I usually try to buy plane tickets months in advance to avoid paying higher airfare, and I like the comfort of a confirmed trip. I literally have six-month countdowns to trips, and by the time I get to the destination, I am beyond ready to be there. Since it's hard to do things at the last minute with work, my goal is to request a week off in the future, and the week just prior to it, see what my mood is and book something.


I am a manic phone checker, and it's a problem. But the first step in the healing process is admitting there's a problem, right? Usually, I am pretty good with taking a technology break while on vacation, but lately, Instagram has sucked me back in. I found myself desperately searching for service in Thailand last year just so I could post a real-time picture of the sunset in Ko Phi Phi. In retrospect, that wasn't necessary — but at the time, I felt like I absolutely needed to do it. Therefore, I promise to go on one phone-free vacation in 2014.

Make friends with a local

I've had many casual conversations with people on vacation, but I have yet to make a true, genuine friend in a place I've visited. I realize that this resolution relies on finding a person who is worth forming a friendship with, but to date, I haven't made this a focus. Moving forward, I'll try to be a bit more talkative when I travel — and paired with my resolution to unplug, I might be more open to seeing new people just a bit.

Go somewhere challenging

Probably the most challenging experience I've had to date was being in Paris for a few days alone — with no knowledge of French — after my friend left before I did. I was basically a mute the entire time. While this wasn't necessarily my favorite travel experience, it did teach me to always learn a few local phrases. I also became excellent with hand gestures. Moving forward, I'd love to do more things that take me out of my element and force me to see things in a different way.

Take a solo trip

Although I have spent a few days alone at the tail end of vacations after friends had to go home, I have yet to take a vacation on my own. I always think about it, but I never follow through. Even if I just do a long-weekend beach getaway, I think it'll be nice to be in my own element and simply relax.

Send a postcard

I still have postcards saved from childhood vacations, and they are the best! Who doesn't like to receive a palm tree paradise pic with a quick message? I think that postcards need to make a comeback, and I will make sure to help with this by sending a few out this year.

Revisit past favorites

I used to think that it was a waste to go back to the same place multiple times. With my few allocated vacation days each year, I try to expand my horizons as much as possible. But there are some places that just always make me happy — like Barbados and Amsterdam. So I'll try my best to make it back to both in 2014.