Article Words : Wanderlust team | 22 December

12 travel resolutions you'll actually want to keep

Make some promises this January to ensure amazing adventures for the rest of the year...

1. I will try something new 
Cycling, microlighting, baking, batiking, paddleboarding, perfume-making – whatever! In 2016 I will have a go at something I’ve never done before, something that helps me delve into a destination, understand what makes it tick or is just jolly good mind-expanding fun.
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2. I will use more local guides
Yes, I can explore on my own. But sometimes – if not all times – I will explore with a local guide, who will better bring the place to life for me, and likely point out things I would never have known or noticed. And, if I meet a really good guide, I’ll be sure to nominate them for the 2016 Wanderlust World Guide Awards!
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3. I will remember to look up
Because March 2016 sees a total solar eclipse occur over parts of south-east Asia, I will reengage with the sky. Plus, there’s a growing recognition that such a thing might be good for me: apparently, all the unnatural light of big cities disrupts our daily rhythms, and is associated with processes that may result in chronic disease. I will prescribe myself a regular dose of dark skies – be they in Northumberland or Namibia.
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A mini camping adventure (Shutterstock)

4. I will have a microadventure
I will not mope when I’m not travelling. Instead, I will fill gaps between the big trips with microadventures – whether that means camping (carefully) atop the hill near my house, swimming down a nearby river or going for a hike in the dark.
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5. I will demand answers
Before I book my next trip, I will be sure to ask questions of my tour operator first. I will make sure I find out what their sustainability policies are, how they help local communities and how they look out for the environment. Then I will only book with companies that are able to prove their commitment to more sustainable travel.
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6. I will connect with local people
With the rise and rise of websites such as Airbnb and HouseTrip, and with the emergence of in-home dining (where local people host a dinner party for a group of travellers), there are new ways to engage with local people in foreign countries. I will embrace these opportunities to get a different take on a destination.
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"I will connect with local people" (Shutterstock)

 7. I will know my rights
If things go pear-shaped, I will know what to do about it. I’ll gen up on my rights in the instance of my flight being delayed or cancelled; I'll memorise my bank's emergency phone number in case my card gets stolen; I'll carry my EHIC and know what it covers; I’ll take out good travel insurance and know how to claim on it.
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8. I will travel light
I will endeavour to pack all I need into my hand luggage – to avoid extra airline fees, but also to help me be more spontaneous; it’ll also teach me to be creative with one pair of shorts, one T-shirt and a sarong!
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9. I will put down my devices
Yes, I will travel with a camera and a smartphone. But I won’t bury my head in them at all times. Some days I will leave them back at the hotel; I will head out to explore without a pre-ordained plan or access to Google maps. I will look at the view/monument/marketplace through my eyes, not a lens.
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Antarctica: your trip of a lifetime? (Shutterstock)

10. I will seize the day
I won’t put off that trip of a lifetime. Even if that means saving up all year, I’ll book my dream adventure in 2016. After all, you don’t regret the things you do, just the things you don’t. No excuses. This is the year!
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11. I will learn more phrases
I will not travel anywhere without learning at least five phrases in the local language: ‘hello’, ‘please’, ‘thank-you’, ‘yes’ and, maybe, ‘where is the bar?’.
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12. I will go solo
If I can’t find someone to travel with, I won’t wait until I do – I’ll travel on my own. And if I am travelling with someone else, I’ll find time on that trip to make a moment just for me – be it a day-trip away or an hour for a coffee – so I can travel without compromise and bond with the place by myself.
First time travelling solo – advice 

Main image: Backpackers on a mountain (Shutterstock)