19 New Year’s Travel Resolutions & How to Keep Them

Thinking about travelling more (or for the first time) in 2020? Stick around if you’re looking for motivation and the hard truth when it comes to sticking to New Year’s travel resolutions!

19 resolutions:

1. Become a tourist in your home country/city

spellbound travels toronto sunflower field

If your work makes it a little harder to travel, go on more micro adventures within your own country or city. Once you start doing a little research you’ll see how many fun activities and amazing places there are hiding in your very own backyard! Set out to accomplish a few each month and you’ll really start to appreciate your home a lot more. 

This also goes for people who are living in another country they’re currently calling ‘home’! What can you be seeing or doing when you’re not working or with friends and family?

2. Use all your vacation days

If you’re a workaholic who doesn’t take all your vacation days each year, stop. Stop that now!! Life is too short to spend it working 24/7. I definitely understand the struggle of needing to work multiple jobs to support myself but at the same time, you need a balance. If you don’t, you’ll eventually burn out/get sick and what better way to take a break than travelling or going someplace new? 

3. Work remotely

I’m not sure who needs to hear this one but quit your 9-5 and travel in 2020! There are so many ways to make money online or continue the same job you’re already doing remotely.

Assess your skills and see how you can begin working online. It may take some time and it’s possible that you’ll have to supplement your income by taking on other jobs but that’s just part of it! There’s no shame in working a few odd jobs while you get your dream job sorted.

4. Learn a new language

Believe it or not, I’ve had this new years resolution a few years in a row. As you can probably guess, I wasn’t too successful in following through. I was so determined in the first few months (as we all are) to stay on track. I had download Duolingo and was going strong!

Sadly, there always seems to be a point in time where I ‘get too busy’ to continue – which we know is just an excuse not to continue. But hey, there’s always 2020 right? 

5. Travel to cheap countries 

spellbound travels uluwatu bali indonesia

I’m not exactly sure where this misconception that “travel is expensive” came from. Travel can be super cheap if you know how to budget accordingly! The most expensive part is usually the airline ticket but there’s a few ways around that problem …

  • Use Skyscanner’s ‘everywhere’ option – Don’t plan your trip around a certain country but instead go to Skyscanner’s website and choose ‘everywhere’ as the destination. This will show you the cheapest flights from your nearest airport for specific days or months of the year!
  • Playing around on Google Flights – If you’re flexible with your dates, Google Flights will show you the cheapest days to fly on their calendar so make use of that!
  • Check out flight deals – Most major cities have flight deals tailored to them specifically. Toronto has YYZ Deals which is great for booking cheap return airline tickets.
  • Talk to other travellers – Don’t be afraid to talk to other travellers and ask what they do to find the best flight deals. Someone I met in Sri Lanka told me the cheapest way to fly to Australia from Toronto is through Hawaii and sure enough, it’s hundreds cheaper than the routes I’ve taken previously!

6. Teach a language 

If you’re a native English speaker, chances are you’re pretty much qualified to teach English abroad in multiple countries. It definitely helps if you have a degree but it’s doable without!

There’s heaps of programs that help you get your TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and then set you up with a job afterwards. While this can be a great option, it comes at a price. I’d personally opted to do an online TEFL for under $100 CAD (thank you Groupon!) and called it a day.

7. Start a blog 

Starting a blog will not only encourage you to travel more in the new year but it’s an awesome way to keep track of the memories you make on each trip! It’s easier than you’d think to do and I find it therapeutic.

8. Travel more sustainably 

I think most people are aware of the effects of climate change but you definitely notice it lot more when you travel. With so many resources online, there are countless ways you can start travelling more sustainably. Here are some easy ways to start:

  • Pick up plastic – Our beautiful beaches are starting to get even more riddled with plastic which is a shame. Take some time to pick it up and dispose of properly if you can!
  • Use less plastic – This can seem challenging when you first start and it’s definitely a work in progress for myself. Everything seems to be covered in plastic these days but if you can start cutting out single use items more frequently and think before you purchase something, you’re already off to a good start! If you’re looking to live a lower waste lifestyle I’d start by cutting out regular shampoo/conditioner and replace them with bars that are waste free. You can find them online or at stores like Lush!
  • Thrift – If you can avoid buying new clothes and buy a used item you’ll be stopping another piece from being thrown into the landfills! I’ve been thrifting most of my new items all of 2019 and if you want to know more about it, you can read my blog on thrifting here.
  • Offset your flights – Have you stopped to think about the carbon emissions you’re contributing when you hop on a plane? There are many reputable programs where you can pay to offset your emissions. I used less the last time I booked a flight.

You can find an entire post on travelling more sustainably here!

9. Road trip 

A road trip is a great way to travel more in 2020! If you’re from Canada like myself, it’s quite easy to do a road trip to the US on a long weekend. Road trips can be heaps of fun with new or old friends and you’ll probably see a lot on your way to each destination.

10. Try something you thought you’d NEVER do

spellbound travels skydiving melbourne

Skydiving was at the top of my ‘bucket list’ for quite some time but I never really thought I’d take the leap … literally. After some convincing from a friend I met while studying abroad, I ended up going by myself. I can’t describe how amazing it felt to conquer that fear. Bungee jumping was next on my list of resolutions and (spoiler alert), I did it last year in New Zealand

If physically throwing yourself out of a moving object isn’t really your cup of tea, start small. If starting a conversation with a stranger scares you, go for it and then move on to something bigger.

11. Get to know more locals

Its’s easy to get a little too comfortable when you travel and stick to what you know – especially if you’re alone. This may be one of the most difficult New Year’s travel resolutions to follow through on but some of the best travel experiences come from meeting locals. You’ll learn a thing or two about their culture, country and life.

Some ways you can go about meeting more locals during your travels is by choosing the right accommodation. Try home-stays (you can sometimes find them on HostelWorld), CouchSurfing or Workaway to start!

12. Move a little slower

I find most of the time I’m rushing through places so that I get to see more. One of my top New Year’s travel resolutions in 2020 is to move slower through each destination.

I try to think more of it as quality over quantity and stay 2-3 days minimum at each place and two weeks minimum in a new country!

13. Utilize weekends

How do you usually spend your weekends? Instead of doing nothing or the same old, start planning new adventures for each weekend. You’d be surprised how many awesome places you’ll find near home and can use as a short getaway.

This year I used my days off or weekends to go on hikes, see sunflower fields, waterfalls, etc. All of which were no further than an hour or two drive from home!

14. Travel solo 

Have you travelled solo before? This is one of the New Year’s travel resolutions everyone should try! Whether it’s taking a trip an hour away or on an entirely different continent, solo travel is awesome.

I was once worried about travelling solo but after the first time I was hooked. Of course it’s important to stay safe while you travel so be sure to check out my safety tips for women travelling solo!

15. Go back to a place you’ve already been to

Going back to a place you’re already been to can be a fun adventure. I recommend giving it a few years so you can really see it with new eyes BUT either way, you’ll most likely have a new perspective.

It can be somewhere you went to as a child, or places you once travelled with family and want to see on your own for example.

16. Pack less 

Of all my New Year’s travel resolutions, this is most definitely something I struggle with regularly … but I’m working on it. Not only is packing less better environmentally (less weight on the plane = less carbon emissions) but it also makes your life easier.

Who wants to carry more than one bag? Not me! I find it helps if I have a seasoned packer help me out and make it into a challenge with limited items depending on the length and type of trip you’re going on.

17. Utilize your free time

Travel offers a lot more spare time than you may think. Sure, you may have a lot planned but in between the planes, busses, trains, etc., you’ll have a lot of time to yourself.

Instead of spending all that time sleeping, listening to music or watching movies, try utilizing it for something more productive sometimes.

I’m talking reading more, listening to audio books or podcasts or working on a project you’ve been meaning to start. Now’s the time!!

18. Live in a new country 

After a big change in 2020? Try living in a new country. This will change the course of your life, presenting you with new life opportunities, as well as possible career opportunities.

I’ve lived in Australia twice now and I’ll fill you in on a little secret … I’m moving to a different continent in a few short weeks! Can you guess where? Follow my on Instagram to stay up to date on the move and find more info.

19. Appreciate every moment a little bit more

While living or travelling abroad can come with many challenges, it has given me so many opportunities I could have never dreamed of! Each year I set the resolution of gratitude as a reminder to appreciate the life I have. I find it helps to slow down and really take in some of the amazing moments you’ll inevitably experience.

I’d say I’ve done a fairly good job at sticking to this one but no one’s perfect so I definitely have moments where this resolution could use some work!

Tips to achieve them:

spellbound travels wilson's prom hike

Make a bucket list 

I don’t know about you but I love a good list! I find it holds me accountable and I get more done if I have it on a list. I personally have too many bucket lists.

I’ve got a general with all the major things I want to do in my life that have to do with travel. Then I have more specific ones. When I lived abroad in Melbourne I had a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see.

When I got home to Canada I started a Toronto summer bucket list to remind me that there were some cool things to do here.

Start a list and don’t look back!

Set out goals that are achievable 

I’m pretty sure every single person has been guilty of setting goals that are out of reach or simply had too many. This can be a little problematic because then you get discouraged when you can’t reach them or it feels like a never ending list.

Limit yourself to a number of goals that seems doable for you.

Write out your list physically – we’re talking pen and paper

To figure out what I’d like to see and do for the following year, I write a list of what I previously accomplished and carry over whatever I wasn’t able to get around to, to my list for the new year. Then I add a few new things.

This is another one of the New Year’s travel resolutions I struggle with, as I try to fit too many things into one year. I can say that I do my best to put a good dent in the list! Can you really blame me though? There are too many beautiful places to discover in each country!

Set deadlines and don’t break them

Travel is one of those things I hear people say they can do at a later date, once they have a career, once they have savings etc. There’s always an excuse.

A way to stay on track with what you want to do and actually follow through is by setting deadlines. Make sure you give yourself enough time to reach certain deadlines and practice following through on them. That way you’ll start to trust yourself more and know that whenever you set a deadline you’re going to do it no matter what.

Don’t let anyone shit on your parade 

Not everyone is going to encourage you to travel. You may have parents that disapprove and think you should be working on your career or you may get comments from those who think you aren’t independent enough to travel solo.

Whatever it is, don’t let that stop you. Don’t let people shit on your parade! They’re most likely jealous that they don’t have the courage to go after things they want in the same way that you do.

Use negativity as fuel

This one goes hand in hand with my previous tip. Use those who are negative when it comes to travel or what you want to do as fuel to do it. These past two New Year’s travel resolutions are something I’ve been doing for a while now and have never failed me.

Take that negative energy and use it as motivation to fuel what you want to be doing. Prove everyone wrong!

Make sure your finances are in order 

If you plan on accomplishing everything on your list, you’ll need to have a few things figured out ahead of time. Sure travel isn’t too expensive but you’ll need some money.

If you have student debt you may want to try and get that sorted before you head off. Or you may want to work 6 months – a year to save up and feel more comfortable leaving with a little more cash.

One quick thing …

Can you think of any New Year’s travel resolutions I missed? Leave a comment below!

Make sure to follow my adventures on Instagram and I’ll be back in the New Year with an exciting announcement!


Amy xx

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