New year, new adventures. Wherever you want to go and whatever you want to do, make 2018 your year to get out there and see the world!
Taking the leap to start traveling is the best thing I ever did for myself, and every new place I visit expands my mind even more than the last.
Are you ready to collect more stamps in your passport this year? Here are a few essential travel resolutions to make for 2018.
Save More Money for Travel
Look into budgeting apps, search every corner of the planet for affordable destinations and see what you can do to afford travelling.
Whatever your income, there is a way to make it work. You’ll be blown away at how many little daily expenses you can cut out.
Check One Bucket List Destination
Do something BIG this year. If you don’t already have a travel bucket list, make one!
Think about places and experiences that make your heart skip a beat. Then, take a deep breath and make a plan to get there.
Travel solo. Hike the Himalayas. Jump off the water tower. While it might seem scary to try something new, you won’t regret it. Trust me.
Take a Volunteer Trip
A perfect way to give back, experience culture and travel cheaply is to volunteer. There are places all over the world that need a helping hand.
Often in exchange for teaching English, taking care of children or helping out on a farm, you can get free food and board.
I volunteered for a literacy program in Bolivia, at the Paralympic Games in London, and at an all girls orphanage in Peru. These have been my most enriching travel experience. Working with the locals every day gave me a deeper sense of what life is really like for them, these are insights I never would’ve gotten from a tour bus.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Volunteer Travel
Stop Procrastinating on Planning Trips
It’s fun to talk about places that you’d love to go someday. So, why not make 2018 your someday?
Skip the overpriced nights out in the same old places you’ve been a million times and put your money where your passion is. Pick a place on the map, see what ticket prices are and start saving up to get there.
Learn a New Language
There’s no better way to connect with foreign cultures than by speaking the language. For fun ways to pass the time on long flights, flip through language books and play around with language apps. You’ll be smarter for it when you land!
Forget about boring high-school Spanish. Connect with a friendly local for a language-exchange conversation.
Watch movies in your target language. You love consuming English content, so why not watch your favorite shows in your foreign language of choice!
Live for Experiences
It’s been scientifically proven that experiences make us happier than material possessions. As much as I love getting a new pair of shoes, the thrill of new kicks always fades quickly.
Of course, it’s not about giving up all of life’s little luxuries — it’s about prioritizing what means more to you. For me, I prefer spending my time and money on experiences rather than on things.
Read More: 17 Unforgettable Trips to Take in 2017
Meet New People
Meeting new people introduces you to nuances in other cultures. If you want to experience a country authentically, you’ve got to meet new people!
Find new travel buddies at hostels. You can even join a foreign language group and chat with the locals when you’re abroad.
When I am feeling homesick, connecting with locals and other travelers is an instant way to turn my mood around.
Read More: How to Meet People as a Solo Traveler
Say “yes” to adventure! It’s too easy to get stuck in a rut, but just opening up your mind can change everything.
In 2018, one of my resolutions is to live more spontaneously. Join me as I push myself even further this year.
Go to that party, even if you won’t really know anyone there. Strike up a conversation with the person next to you on the train.
Climb just a little bit higher even if your hands are soaked in sweat!
Organize Your Time
When you’re in a new place for a limited time, organization is essential. Map out time for excursions, so that you can maximize every minute.
I’ve had well-planned 48-hour trips where I saw and experienced more than I have on two-week trips. Plan ahead and map out attractions that are close to each other to see as much as possible in a limited timeframe.
Learn to Cook a New International Dish
I’ve been eating my way around the world for a while now, and some of my best memories include breaking bread with people from around the planet. I love to bring those good vibes home and cook some of my favorite international plates for my loved ones at home.
Take cooking classes abroad or just flip through recipes online, then turn on the burners and get cookin’.
Go on a Solo Trip
One thing every woman should do? Travel solo! There is nothing more thrilling and empowering that stepping into an unknown destination on your own.
If you’re feeling nervous, start small. If you’ve never done much of anything solo, take it slow.
Go to a movie on your own then work your way up to an adventure around the world.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Solo Female Travel
Face a Fear
After facing a fear, I’m always so glad that I did! While it’s absolutely terrifying at the time, it is so liberating to just do it.