You’ve made your 2013 destination list. You’ve resolved to go places you’ve never been before and try things you’ve never done. But hold on a minute! Before you zip-line through the lush forests of Costa Rica or dine on Italy’s famous cuisine, you may want to make a few travel resolutions to ensure this year’s adventures are ones you’ll remember for years to come! With a little time and effort, even the most seasoned travelers can improve their travel experience and maximize their vacation budgets.
1. Get the most out of your airline miles.
If you don’t already have an airline allegiance, fly American Airlines. The company offers the most frequent flier miles of any airline in the industry, and American has the fewest redemption restrictions. Miles are offered even on the cheapest of fares, and they rack up quickly. In some cases, two international flights can get you a free domestic flight, depending on your destinations. You should also look for credit cards that partner with your preferred frequent flyer program to rack up the miles even quicker.
2. When in Rome…
If you’re planning to travel somewhere you’ve never been, it’s a good idea to do your research. Get a feel for the local customs. Spend some learning the language, or at least download a translation app so you can communicate with the locals. Knowing what to expect in a new country can save you time that will be much better spent enjoying the scenery, shopping, and attractions. Plus, the learning/research process will boost your excitement about the trip!
3. Strategize to the best of Your abilities.
Packing for a trek can be such a hassle. This year, resolve to put together a packing list you can use for every adventure. With airline baggage fees approaching the stratosphere, it’s important to travel as lightly as possible. Look for simple clothing that can be worn in multiple ways, consider purchasing your toiletries at your destination and discarding them before you head home, and plan on doing laundry at the hotel rather than bringing enough clean clothes for each day of your trip.
4. Learn to haggle.
More money in your bank account means more opportunities to travel. Learn to haggle on everything from airline fares and hotel rooms to souvenirs and rental cars. Frequent travelers report that Japan and Mexico are the best countries to negotiate a great deal, while the prices in China are nearly set in stone. Remember, a friendly face (and a pocket full of the local currency) will get you a better deal than an aggressive approach!
This year, resolve to make exploring the world a bit easier and a lot more fun. Your time and energy will be far better spent enjoying your vacation than planning for it. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered — put these resolutions to work and start packing!