With 2016 just around the corner, the time has come to reflect on the year that has past and look forward to the one to come.
What did you guys accomplish this year? Where did you travel to? What did you see?
We help people book their dream sailing holidays, so we’re in a unique position to talk to customers from all over the world about the travel they have done and the travel they’re most looking forward to.
So, in the spirit of the approaching new year, we asked our customers about their 2016 travel resolutions.
And we were surprised. Rather than committing to promises like losing 10kgs or organising their finances, they came up with some pretty inspiring and helpful travel related goals.
Here’s a round-up of the ones we liked the most.
On a scale of one to ten, how hard do you find it to leave your phone at home while you head out for the day? How often do you check your texts and emails during the day? It’s too often. Isn’t it.
We realise that smartphones and iPads are useful tools for travelling. However, the whole point of a holiday is to escape the daily grind, relax, and unwind. But this is impossible to accomplish when we’re surrounded by devices that connect us to all our troubles back at home. So during your travels next year, make a serious attempt to disconnect. You’ll be more attentive to the places you visit, more involved in the experience, and you’ll feel so much better for it.
This brings us to our next resolution. Disconnecting allows you to immerse yourself in the destinations you travel to, but there are so many other ways to do it.
Here are some tips:
Getting to know the people is the only way to truly get to know a destination. Without them, you’re just another tourist. The best way to do this is to ASK QUESTIONS. Ask taxi drivers, cafe staff, waiters and waitresses about their favourites spots in the city. Ask the service staff of local hotels or the marinas you dock in — it’s the only way to get the inside scoop.
They say we learn more about ourselves when travelling solo than through any other experience. Exploring a foreign destination alone takes a lot of courage and confidence, but the benefits are almighty. Not having to worry about anyone’s else’s schedule or preference is great, and not having a partner to consider allows us to truly be ourselves. You just have to make it past that initial stepping-out of one’s comfort zone.
The more educated you are about a destination, the better prepared you’ll be to experience it. Spend time on sites like Lonely Planet, Conde Nast, Tripadvisor, and destination-specific websites. Write down notes and addresses of all the things that interest you. What we like to do is print out a map and mark all the restaurants, galleries, museums, bars and other sights we wish to see. That way, we’ve got all the top spots on hand when we need them. Also, the more research you do before leaving for your holiday, the less you’ll need to rely on your smartphone.
It’s easy to create these goals at the beginning of the year, but we all know how difficult it can be to save for them. Other financial expenses arise during the year and our travel goals get pushed aside. But it’s important to make a conscious saving effort for your 2016 travel plans. If you don’t, they’ll never come into fruition. Purchase one less coffee and put away just a few dollars each day, or cut back on a couple of nights out each month. Create a budget that makes you accountable for a travel savings fund. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it can add up!
Travelling can be hectic and stressful. It can leave you time sensitive and concerned about checking everything off your to-do list. Stop. Forget about closing times and bus schedules and fitting in that hike before lunch. Take a look around. What do you see? What do you smell? What’s the temperature like? Touch the soft sandstone of the wall of that church. Listen to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore in the distance. Observe the locals in their natural habitat. Slow down and actually enjoy the experience of being in this place you’ve worked so hard to get to. Take a deep breath and make the most of every second.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, it’s okay to have big goals. The key is to work on them and not to wait too long before turning them into a reality.
So, what are you waiting for?
Make a move and start planning your 2016 sailing holiday now.
Do you have a NY resolution? Tell us about it in the comments!