What is your New Year's Resolution in 2018?
Top Reasons Why You Should Make Traveling More Your Number One New Year's Resolution
Is your New Year's resolution to travel more this year? If not, it should be! Consider traveling more as a solution for your other New Year's resolutions too like getting healthy. Working on your beach bod? Joining a gym may be daunting, but there is no better motivation than an upcoming beach vacation in Costa Rica,right!
A simple Google search for "What is the most popular New Year's resolutions?" shows a survey of the most common resolutions in North America.
Stay fit and healthy 37%
Lose weight 32%
Enjoy life to the fullest 28%
Spend less, save more 25%
Spend more time with family and friends 19%
If you think about it, all of the top New Year's resolutions can actually be tied to travel in one way or another. How so you ask? Well let's break it down.
#1 New Year's Resolution - Fitness & Health: Traveling is good for you!! No really, travelling for pleasure is actually beneficial to your health. Studies according to www.health.gov show that active travel such as biking, hiking, and other adventurous activities are proven to lower health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, depression levels and much more. Also, getting outside in fresh air in general is shown to improve health. Needless to say, Costa Rica's National Parks or maybe bird watching in Panama are a great places to start if you prefer a less physical vacation.
The benefits of travel are not just physical, traveling is terrific for your mental health as well. Think about it, anytime you are in unfamiliar territory, your senses are heightened and you are focused on taking in every single detail. This not only sharpens your mind, but also gives you the chance to get a whole new perspective on things. Having spent over 10 years traveling throughout Central America, some of the little things that used to bother me in the US just seem trivial not. Travel is not just an escape, but also the best way to clear your mind and refocus...thus leading to a better night’s sleep which is actually tops my list of resolutions. In fact, studies show that after just 2 days of vacation, nearly 90% of those surveyed felt they could finally relax and leave their work stresses behind.
#2 New Year’s Resolution - Losing Weight: Well unless you are traveling to some sort of weight loss retreat, trekking the Himalayas, mountain climbing or some other super physical sport centered vacation, you most likely will not lose weight while on vacation. (Um, especially in Paris or anywhere in Italy where the cheese is magnificent, the wine exquisite, and the pastries and baguettes are to die for...5 kilos in 5 weeks!) However, travel is a great motivator to get in shape and lose weight. Planning for your summer vacation is a great motivator to keep you in the gym routine, walking those extra steps and cutting back on that extra slice of pizza. The great news is, once in the Tropics, the fruit is so much more delicious than you will find anywhere else in the world and your healthy eating habits will be richly rewarded.
#3 New Year's Resolution - Enjoy Life To The Fullest: Well this is a pretty broad resolution and can have a different meaning for everyone. However, I think we can all agree that sitting at home in the same town you were born and raised and never venturing out is not exactly living life to the fullest. Travel enables you to venture outside of your comfort zones, meet new people, try new things and experiences you would never have the opportunity to enjoy back home. Thanks to the internet, our world has shrunk immensely and there are so many different cultural experiences, adventures and fun activities that are all just a click away. There is no better time than now to enjoy life to the fullest.
#4 New Year's Resolution - Spend Less Save More: You may think travel is a huge expense so that it is not really related to this resolution, but I disagree. Like losing weight or getting in shape, a dream vacation is a great motivator to start saving your cash. If you consider the health benefits of traveling, it is important to save out money to travel more. In fact, next to health care, vacation time is second most sought after employee benefit when people are seeking employment. And you cannot enjoy your life to the fullest if you never take your vacation time off.
Best advice here is to plan well ahead, set goals, and look for deals. A great way to learn to budget is to set small goals and accomplish them monthly. I usually save to buy flights one month, lodging a bit later, then start booking my activities one at a time closer to time I arrive. This way when I get to vacation, I still have some spending cash and the big items are already paid for. This is a great way to go about budgeting for all the financial goals you set this year.
# 5 New Year's Resolution - Spend More Time With Family & Friends: Again, what could be a better way to spend more time with family and friends then exploring a new country together. Traveling in small groups creates lifetime memories and builds bonds that are not easily duplicated back in our day to day lives. This could be groups of friends or just your extended family.
I have really noticed a trend of multi-generational travel in recent years and I love it. Three generations or more all traveling together. Cruise ship vacations departing Los Angeles or Florida and navigating the Panama Canal have been on the rise. Whole families are choosing to do activities together in several of the ports. Custom sightseeing tours are very popular in Mexico where everyone clamors to see the Mayan ruins within only a short time in port. Both Costa Rica and Panama have custom tailored guided tours that can accommodate all ages and abilities and have been a big hit for our clients.
In the end, it does not matter if you go it alone or travel in groups. There are benefits of traveling no matter what your travel style or who you are traveling with. And the benefits of travel altogether is definitely something to consider. This is why I believe traveling more should be at the top of your new year's resolutions this year. So set your travel goals for the next year and watch as all your other goals neatly fall into place.
Oh, and if you are part of the 60% of the population that does not make New Year’s resolutions, then add traveling more to your bucket list or whatever other motivational tool you use.
Have fun and happy travels in 2018!