5 New Year’s Resolutions for the Traveler In All of Us

1. I will intentionally plan my relaxation & vacation time. Everybody needs a vacation, even if it’s a staycation. But guess what, it doesn’t just  happen. YOU have to do it. YOU have to say, “I deserve down time and I’m not going to feel guilty about taking it.” You may give & give and be driven the rest of the year but allow yourself the time to rest and recharge. You’ll not only get the time you need to take care of you, but you’ll also be happier and more ready to keep serving with your job/family/life. To get the most out of your trip, do some research ahead of time and have a general idea of things that might interest you. This is a surefire way to not come back from your trip with only stories about how much tv you watched.

 

2. I will only travel to places that are worth my time. Hiking through a national park may sound like heaven to some but if you know it’s something  you hate, why waste the time? Likewise if big city life makes you anxious, why would you plan to spend two weeks there? There’s something to be said for trying new things and for compromise (if traveling with others). But once you’ve determined that your dislike of a certain activity isn’t based on assumptions but rather hard facts, then you can feel good about choosing something else. Your travel time is too valuable to squander on a trip you know you’re going to hate.

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3. When problems arise, I will choose to be part of the solution. We’ve all had the disappointing meal our or the hotel room that was less-than-stellar. These things are always disappointing. But you can choose to get upset and rant & rave or you can choose to look for a solution that delivers something unexpectedly good. Keep treating people fairly – yes, even difficult people – and good things will come. If you stay positive, the person handling your complaint will recognize that and they’ll be motivated to help you out of sympathy rather than being motivated to just get the annoying customer out of their face. Which scenario do you think will end better for the customer? Let the problem instances become opportunities for solutions. If you present it as such to the people who can help, I guarantee they’ll want to make you perfectly satisfied.

 

4. I will try new things, I will stretch myself, and I will grow. Now, this doesn’t have to mean traveling to a new country every 6 months (though if that’s your itinerary, more power to you). Even if you have the perfect getaway spot you like to escape to every year, you can still find something new to engage you. Studies show that people who are constantly learning and mentally engaged enjoy all sorts of benefits, including longer and more interesting lives. Choose to expand your horizons, even if it’s in small increments, and you’ll continue to find out new things about yourself. You may not always find a new favorite food or activity, but you’ll always have an interesting story and learn something new.

 

5. I will enjoy the journey as much as the ending. It’s great to finally arrive at your destination, especially if you have a long flight or drive. And once you’re there, it’s great to finally get to do that one thing you’ve been waiting for, i.e. ‘See that famous building,’ ‘visit that historical site,’ ‘enjoy that extraordinary meal.’ BUT don’t forget that those things are only small moments in your travels. The hours spent literally getting there, the miles you walk exploring, your meals, and even your downtime before bed are all precious moments in your trip. Don’t view them as somehow separate and you’ll find you’ll stop treating them that way. Not only will it make your trip seem longer but you’ll come to appreciate those times as valuable ways to connect with the people and things around you. Plus, you’ll have a lot more fun if you’re entire trip is the goal and not just one or two moments.

 

Did we miss one? Do you have your own travel resolutions? Let us know in the comments!

And if your travel plans might include Chicago, check out our website – www.rivernorthhotel.com. We offer great value in the heart of downtown Chicago, where you can find something for everyone.

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