It’s a new year, and that brings new opportunities for travel: a chance to cross a destination off your bucket list or revisit a place that you love. Wherever you go at home or around the world, here are some resolutions to make your travel more mindful in 2020.
Help the planet. To save money and help reduce waste, bring a reusable water bottle on your trip instead of buying prefilled plastic ones. Just make sure you empty it when going through airport security. If you’d rather drink the bottled variety, when you get to your destination buy a large jug of water that you can use to refill your reusable bottle. At your hotel, only use the towels you absolutely need. And when you’re on the go, take public transportation or walk when safely possible. You’ll absorb more of the scenery and culture that way, too. Seek out restaurants that specialize in local food that isn’t brought in from far away. If you’re having a beer, look for one that’s locally brewed.
Be a good world citizen. Tourism is a major employer in many places around the world. Of course you’re doing your part by visiting, but in the excitement of your vacation, you can forget some important ways to help. For example, many of us don’t carry a lot of cash anymore, so make sure you have some small bills to tip the hotel staff, including housekeepers. When you’re shopping for souvenirs, search for items made by local artists and craftspeople. The items will look great on a shelf back home and they’ll be great conversation starters with friends who want to hear about your adventure. If you’re visiting a foreign country, be sure to learn a few words and phrases.
Go at your own pace. In your everyday life, you often have to be someplace. So when you’re on vacation, give yourself permission to relax and even dawdle. While it’s tempting to want to see as much as possible, especially if you’re traveling to a destination you haven’t been before, remember that the quality of your experience is what matters most. So if you feel like spending the entire day walking through a museum or hiking or relaxing by the pool or on the beach with a book, give in to that desire. Be flexible, and don’t feel like there’s a checklist of things you have to accomplish.
Try something different. While there’s nothing you absolutely have to do, keep in mind that new experiences are part of what makes travel memorable. So resolve to try something new on your trip, whether it’s a new cuisine, an outdoor activity, an arts performance or a walking tour. Even if your destination is a place you’ve been before, there are always restaurants, neighborhoods and activities waiting for you to discover them for the first time.
For help planning a trip across the country or around the world in 2020, contact your travel advisor.