Every year I look out the window and remember seeing white. In my memories from childhood, the ground would be white, with much more of winter’s precipitation in the air. Everywhere you looked, the snow changed the view.
As an adult, I rarely see snow on Christmas where I live. I am 24 years removed from my hometown that is annually covered in a December snow, but the memory is as ever-as-vivid. Every year I think about returning to that place in wintertime. Despite my family’s arguments that traveling during this time is potentially dangerous (or at least annoyingly difficult), the tug of traveling home never ceases.
The new calendar is already filling up with appointments and as the shock of a new year so quickly approaching wears off, I think about changes, ideas, and trips for the new year. The idea of making changes, or resolutions, as we more romantically call them, is nothing new. Livescience.com says that New Year’s resolutions date back to at least to the time of the ancient Mesopotamians.[i] In Ancient Babylonia, citizens were required to make resolutions to the sitting king, and keeping those resolutions was considered essential to keep the kingdom in the gods’ favor. The Romans had their own tradition of swearing oaths of loyalty to emperors, and some Protestant religions often renewed their commitment to God on December 31. Similar to making Lenten promises on Ash Wednesday, for those who indulge, or overindulge on New Year’s Eve, the morning after provides a way to make some changes for the new year.
So where does traveling fit into your new year? Does the idea drum up excitement or overwhelm? If traveling is your New Year’s resolution, here’s how to get where you want to go:
- Build up to the epic vacation – If you’re a rookie traveler, don’t try to conquer the world in your first trip. Weekend getaways, girls’ trips or a location in your neck of the woods all work. A great trip doesn’t have to be about an over-the-top experience, so you don’t have to create the trip of a lifetime the first time. Planning a trip is part of the vacation experience, so be open to asking for some advice. A world-traveling friend, a travel agent or some fun travel blogs (with photos) are all great sources of information. Keep your travel goals attainable and you are more likely to try to travel again.
- Be open to many ideas – Seen a lot of your friends’ vacation pictures on Instagram? Start asking them the pros and cons of their trips. Ask about costs, the best time of year to travel, and watch a few videos about travel options. Keep a written log, or store pictures, travel websites and notes on your phone.
- Planning will save you money – Do you have a passport? If not, get one. If you are taking an airplane, make sure you have the correct identification before you step into the airport. You’ll need to set a budget, ask for time off from work, arrange childcare and make sure your luggage is in good shape! There are so many fun shopping sites to find travel clothes and new luggage (and tags). Go ahead and buy an extra phone charger – you’ll be taking a lot of pictures!