Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Where to Use Your Vacation Days: New Year’s Resolutions from Travel Pros

by Wendy Perrin | December 29, 2014

Dear overworked friends: If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to actually take all your vacation days next year—and to make every trip truly count—you’ll find inspiration in the ideas below. These New Year’s Travel Resolutions from the pros should help anyone eke more benefit from their travels in 2015:

“I’m resolving to make every (discretionary) trip next year a visit to a place I’ve never been before. I make this same resolution every year and can’t seem to keep it, but I guess that means it’s just like all my other resolutions!” — Peter Frank

“Travel off-season because places are more authentic, and you can enjoy them like a local. Last January I visited Venice: No tourists, no lines, just locals. In November I was on Lake Como: The roads were driveable for once, and there was space in the outdoor cafes. I celebrated Thanksgiving in Paris, and it was a different city than in June: It was real.” — Virginia Irurita

“In 2015 I am going to dedicate at least one trip solely to giving back and volunteering.” — Charles Wolfe

“Intense, dedicated travel where you spend more time at one destination, not just to see the highlights but to discover the small details. Rushing from one activity to another to tick off the list might become more and more too stressful for the modern traveler. Just like Pico Iyer is writing: ‘Adventures in going nowhere.’ Having nothing planned in advance and just enjoying the place and moment can be magic.” — Debbie Pappyn

“I intend to make my personal travel in 2015 more real, using my imagination more than my income!” — Stuart Rigg

“My goal for 2015 is to see at least 1/4 of my Facebook friends in person. Virtual friendships are great, but I’m tired of only seeing status updates. I want to see the actual people! I figure this will involve several trips in addition to those that I had already planned – probably SF and NYC—but I could add some international travel as well, if I can see several people in one trip.” — Eric Stoen

“I resolve to: Pack an open mind. Listen more. Talk less. Be curious. Wear practical shoes. Dress in layers. Bring only what I can carry. Observe and mimic local courtesies. Linger. Loiter. Laugh. Accept uncertainty. Let go of the urge to control.” — Ellen Barone

“I have decided to learn to pack ‘the Perrin way.’ Additionally, I will UPS my dirty laundry home and buy new stuff during the trip—i.e., leave with 25 kilos and return with 25 kilos.” — Benoit Gateau-Cumin

“Pack less (so much easier!), buy what you need locally (great for encounters with the locals), and leave anything you don’t need behind as presents (people will have nice memories of you).” — Ileana von Hirsch

“I will fly only in premium economy on long hauls. Fortunately, Turkish Airlines has one of the best premium-economy cabins, and it’s only a few hundred dollars more than economy. I just bought this blow-up footrest to raise the height of the airplane’s footrest; if my feet are up, I can sleep.” — Earl Starkey

“I’m going to spend more intense time in a place I really love and for a longer time. With the exception of a few places, we’ve done the bucket list. Now it’s time to just sit, ponder, gaze, do the laundry, shop with locals, get off a scheduled day, get lost in a city….” — Robyn Webb

As for my own New Year’s Travel Resolution, it’s the same each year: To hightail it to whichever country is about to change forever. In 2015 that’s Cuba.  

Where will you travel in 2015?

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  1. Kathy

    I’m with you Wendy! Last weeks announcements finally spurred us to action, and moved Cuba up on our list – yesterday I booked Cuba (a 5 night Jazz and Art in Havana People to People tour) to take with our young adult daughters- a design major and saxophone player! We don’t have the vacation time because of other trips planned and the kids school schedules – we’d love to stay longer, but somehow we can manage a long weekend!

  2. P.Coonley/Serendipity Traveler

    As always some inspirational and tactical advice for traveling extraordinarily from colleagues and friends. Letting Serendipity be my guide continues to reward me with unexpected delights around the world.

  3. Betsy Shequine

    I notice every travel expert you quote wants to “slow down and stay longer.” –

    I liked Ellen Barone’s attitude focus! I’m resolving to do the things she says!

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