A new year always brings about a fantastic opportunity for me to declutter my life, reflect on the departing year, and align myself with my goals for the coming year. As we do enjoy travelling, I’d like to talk about our 5 travel resolutions for 2019!
1. Travel More Sustainably
The idea of travelling sustainably sounds like quite the paradox, doesn’t it? Travel in itself does carry a large environmental footprint, especially if you’re travelling by air, but I do believe there are some small steps we can take to lessen the impact.
Admittedly, I have been a very wasteful traveller in the past. I would buy plastic water bottles at the airport, take hotels’ toiletries because they looked pretty or smelled nice, and buy random (and often useless) knick knacks to take home.
Based on the above, I’ll provide a few examples of what we aim to do this year. There is no doubt we’ll be adding more to the list as time goes on as well.
We will always bring our own metal water bottles and reusable coffee mugs while travelling to avoid the need to buy plastic water bottles and single-use coffee cups. Yes, this will take up more space in our luggage, but I do believe the bottles and cups we’ll save more than make up for it.
We’ve already since stopped using hotel toiletries as we always bring our own, so we will continue to do that. The toiletries I’m specifically talking about are the wee plastic bottles that a lot of hotels provide their toiletries in, which creates a lot of waste and is really unnecessary.
We’ve also already started to be more conscious of the souvenirs that we bring back and will continue to be aware of what we buy while on holidays to avoid creating more waste. There really is nothing that we need to buy while on holiday, only items we want. At the same time, we shouldn’t deprive ourselves if we’ve come across something unusual or exotic while on holiday! We just need to find the right balance. A good idea if we’re eyeing to buy something is to take a photo of it and wait a day or two (if time permits) to see if we still want it. Chances are, we will lose interest in whatever the item was and won’t buy it.
2. Eat Healthily (As Much As Possible)
Sometimes, it seems that holidays are a great excuse to eat poorly. We can let go and worry about the consequences when we get home. In the last few months, we’ve really stepped up our healthy eating game and are determined to keep it up. We believe the 80/20 rule is good to follow, where we eat healthily 80% of the time and allow ourselves treats 20% of the time.
What we plan to do for future holidays, like our upcoming one to London, is to research healthy restaurants in advance. We’ll take a look at their menus and note down ones we want to try. This way, we are less likely to be tempted by other, perhaps unhealthier, restaurants we may pass by if we already have other ones in mind.
Packing our own snacks is always ideal, but it’s not always possible to pack for your entire holiday. We aim to visit local grocery stores while on holiday to gather some snacks, which will allow us to curb any hunger pangs throughout the day and avoid impulsive unhealthy food choices.
The bottom line with this resolution is to not be so hard on ourselves. We will simply try our best to eat healthily while on holiday while also remembering that we can indulge a bit as well!
3. Get Off the Beaten Track
Getting off the beaten track means a few different things depending on where our destination is.
Overall, I believe it’s important to not overplan our holidays, as that doesn’t allow room for spontaneity. It’s certainly important to do some research and note down attractions we want to visit, restaurants we want to try, and which neighbourhoods to avoid, but to also allow time for wandering and just seeing where the day takes us.
If we are visiting a big city we have never been to before, we will no doubt include some or most of the “must-see” attractions, but also take into consideration a few “hidden” attractions. We can also always turn off onto a random street while walking along and surely that’ll get us off the beaten track!
If we are visiting a quieter or more “exotic” destination, we may simply opt to look for places that offer seclusion, where there are no other tourists and we are surrounded by nature. I believe another great way to get off the beaten track in these places leads me to my next point…
4. Interact with Locals
This is something we admittedly have not been very good at. We are both quite introverted at heart, and it takes a lot for us to start talking to random people, but it’s not something that can’t be overcome!
I think it’s important to get to know at least 1 local (at the minimum) on a surface level. We can ask questions like what they like most about where they live, what local shops they would recommend, and their favourite attractions. The insight a local would offer is immensely greater than what reading any guidebook would.
5. Disconnect From Social Media
In our modern age of social media bombardment, where everyone is posting all of their holiday photos on Facebook and Instagram Stories-ing their lives away, I believe it’s important to disconnect and remain present as much as possible. We can get so caught up with the excitement of travelling that we want to show it off to everyone, but we have to remember that that’s taking us away from being present in the here and now.
I don’t mean this as to put our phones away completely while on holiday – we may still need to access Google Maps for directions or to search the opening time of a restaurant – but to disconnect from or at least greatly reduce the amount of time spent on social media. We can log out of Facebook and Instagram on our phones or delete the apps temporarily. This is also helpful to prevent us from mindlessly scrolling while we are waiting for our food in a restaurant or a train to arrive. Instead, we can look up and observe what is going on around us – after all, we’re in a new place, right?
Did any of these resolutions speak to you? Have you tried any before? Or do you have additional travel resolutions to add? Let me know in the comments below!