To Set Some Goals
At the top of every year, the New York Times Travel section releases it’s annual “52 Places” feature which outlines 52 of the hottest destinations around the globe. It’s great inspiration to set some travel goals for the year as it includes places near and far. If you are new to travel, ease into it. What is a local city you’ve never been to that is within a weekend’s reach? Never been outside of the country? If you are US-based like us, consider Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands to get a taste of international life with no passport required. Our neighbor to the north, Canada, is diverse in culture as well with a heavy Asian and Caribbean population to boot, and is also home to Quebec aka “Basically France.” If you’re a seasoned traveler like us, push it. You’ve “done” Europe, but what about Asia? You know the Caribbean like the back of your hand, but do you know South America? Take a minute to sit down, take some inventory and map out what you want to see this year. And if you’re worried about how you’re going to see the world and keep your career straight, we’ve got you covered.
To Travel Alone…In Another Language
Traveling alone can seem like a scary prospect to some, we get it. But if you set it up right, it can be great. But this year, how can you remix your solo travel plans? By learning a new language along the way. If you’re Spanish is good, but not great, consider getting the ultimate boost by booking a two-week intensive course at a language school in a Spanish speaking country and building your trip around that. Sites like Language Vacation and Transitions Abroad can connect you with schools and private tutors in various countries.
To Get/Boost Your Status
Flying, hoteling, training, etc—no matter how you like to travel, it’s always better with a little status involved. But once you go down the rabbit hole of mileage programs, it can seem a bit daunting at first. One of our favorite resources has always been The Points Guy, who does an excellent job at breaking down loyalty programs and special offers/tips on accruing miles. But beyond that, once you have status it’s all about keeping it and getting to the next level, and this is our number one resolution this year. If you’re enrolled in a program, aim to get to the first elite level. At silver/gold currently? Try to make this your year to go platinum. Even if you don’t make it, you’ll end up with more points and miles to spend.
To See Home
For many brown women around the world, we share one ancestral place—Africa. So why isn’t it a top travel destination for us like the Caribbean and Europe? Let’s make 2015 the year to change that. On Instagram and online, we’ve fallen in love with Rare Customs and their site Taste Makers Africa for some African travel inspiration. From the beachy shores of Kenya to the rhythm of Accra and Lagos, the souks of Morocco and the style and design of South Africa, let’s plan to see it all.
To Gift Some Miles
We know that the power of travel is immeasurable, but not always accessible. And this is where you come in. If you have miles to spare, consider donating them to a non-profit you support or privately gifting them to someone in your life that could really benefit from a travel experience or sharing them with your homegirl who you know needs some travel inspiration. Check with your respective air miles program to get started.
To Trade “But” for “Maybe/Perhaps”
We’ve probably heard them all. “I’d be down for a last-minute trip to _____, BUT what about my ______?” The word “but” isn’t your friend when it comes to travel. This year, trade the ‘but’ for a ‘maybe’ or a ‘perhaps.’ Worried about childcare? Take them with you if you can. Concerned about the job? We’ve got you. While being able to hop around the world like Rih Rih may not be in your plans, seeing the world is available to you when you change your mindset. There will always be a ‘but’ in your life, use this year to see it differently. Maybe, or perhaps you can trade a well-deserved shopping spree for a fab weekend trip, or figure out how to turn a three day weekend into five. Perhaps you can get some of that work you saved for this weekend done while lounging beside a foreign pool because the internet is free and laptops are portable. Maybe you can see about that girl trip your bestie has been dreaming of but tucking away $20 every week or bartering some services. No matter what, you really will never know unless you try. If not now, then when?
Oh, and as we always say – our lifelong vow is to avoid any Sandals resort at all costs. Because reasons.
What are your 2015 travel resolutions, tweet them to us at @parlourmagazine or tell us in the comments below!
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