A friend of mine recently asked me on Facebook what my travel resolutions are for 2009. To be honest I hadn’t given it much thought, but when I put my mind to it there are some long standing travel habits that I, and all of us, could all stand to improve upon.
The more you travel, the more you tend to skimp on planning out a trip. Going off the schedule for a day of adventure can be fun at your destination, but ends up hurting your pocketbook before you even get there.
- Start Looking For Tickets Early – Infrequent or travel newbies are usually good about searching every and all airfare and hotel search engines months before booking a trip. The more we travel the more we wait around for ‘good last minute deals’, which, are almost never as good as a regular fare from 3 months ago according to Farecast and AirfareWatchDog.
- Don’t Just Be Content With Orbitz – …or Travelocity, or any other single airfare search engine. Expand your ticket search to include some of the search engine search engines like FareCompare and Kayak. Also, don’t forget to check the ‘deals’ pages on the websites of individual airlines, since airline usually hide their best deals from online travel agents.
As exciting as traveling is, enough backpacking, hiking, or shark diving gets old if you don’t vary your experiences and expand your awareness of the options in front of you.
- More Local Travel – Consider a road trip in your area and explore the sites, cities, and natural wonders around where you live. Start by looking up a bigger city in your area and Google around to find what might be in the outlying areas.
- Staycate – The term has gotten a lot of criticism by other blogs and writers but I find the concept a great way to unwind if you do it right. Here are the worst things to do on your staycation.
- Take More Pictures!
- Determine 3 Places You’ve Never Been To And Plan A Trip To One – There are still places of the world I’ve never even thought of visiting for one reason or another. No matter why these places haven’t made in on to your travel radar, look over a Google map and pick 3. Take 5 minutes and do some online research – there, now you’ve added another place to cross off your list.
- Keep Better Track Of Where You’ve Been – Taylor recently made me think about how poorly I track the cities I’ve visited. In fact, we all lose track of our adventures by not taking pictures, keeping in touch via temporary email, or writing about our experiences.
Your Really Long Standing Bad Travel Habits
Almost all of us are guilty of at least one of these. Now, I’m not promising you’ll be able to, but here are some bad habits you can cross off your list in 2009.
- Packing at the last minute
- Stop obsessively checking airfare deals
- Being scared to fly (Here’s how to relieve your anxiety about flying)
- Taking more than one carry on (Keep to a single one)
- Not having a travel budget. (All you need is a simple one)
- Being an impatient jerk (I’m sure all of you have flier etiquette)
- Not having fun at the airport
- Missing out on some other great travel blogs
Even if you don’t feel like changing anything about the way you travel, you need to reevaluate yourself and habits as a traveler from time to time. Whether you’re partying too much, arriving at the airport way to late, or still eat cheeseburgers in Bangkok there are plenty of ways to enhance and vary your travels and travel smarter.
[photo by: discoodoni]
Great points. I’m guilty of always packing at the last minute and can’t even remember the last time I came to the gate earlier than 10 minutes before departure. This year, I know exactly what travel resolutions to make… and keep.
After years and years of cutting it last minute, I missed my first flight ever at the end of last year! I’m determined to not cut it *as* close as I have in the past.
Good luck with your resolutions!
Not only do I think people will start to think about local travel options due to declining economic conditions, but it’s a blessing: is far too easy to forget the world right around us.
And in addition to taking pictures, written journals are a great way to capture thoughts and memories.
A small budget makes us more creative travelers, and I’m glad it has forced me too see and appreciate what I have nearby.
I going to try to see more of what my local city offers – festivals, events, … In my case, Sydney has a rich array of things to do and they are often poorly communicated.
@ Mark H:
Seems like so many cities don’t target the population that lives in and around them! My local area here, Washington DC is the same way.
So many people around here I know haven’t been to the major or any minor sights…and there are more than quite a few to name!