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Thursday
Jan092014

New Year Travel Resolutions

It’s 2014 and we’ve got a whole year of adventures ahead of us! But what are the New Year resolutions at the top of Goodtrippers’ list?

Image courtesy of Frontier Australia.

Visit a new location

With so many places in the world, we’ll never have enough time to cover them all – but we’ll give it a try! Though it can be tempting to return to a favourite place (be it near home or far away), surprise yourself by going somewhere you’ve never been before. It may become your new favourite destination...

Try experimental travel

With information at our fingertips nowadays, it can be all too easy to get bogged down in guide books, reviews, travel forums, magazines and social media to tell us where to go and what to do. Whatever happened to ‘stumbling upon’ that undiscovered little cafe, or turning a corner to face an unexpected view? While research and recommendations are definitely advised for many trips, why not let whim guide you now and again? If you need a loose structure it can be as simple as walking between to randomly selected points on a map, to creating a game such as collecting ‘colours of the rainbow’ in photo form.

Face your fears

Travelling can often lead to scary moments – an unknown country, not speaking the language or travelling on your own, to taking part in extreme sports and eating unusual dishes. By all means remain street smart and safe wherever you are, but that doesn’t mean that you should shy away from irrational fears. On your next trip vow to do something, however big or small, a little scary – whether that’s ‘butterflies in the stomach’ or ‘heart in the mouth’ type scary. The adrenalin rush will ensure it makes a great travel memory!

Eat local food

Getting to know locals is key to understanding a different way of life, and if you want to try out new experiences then food is a great way to start. You’ll learn a lot about a country or community from its food, and the social rituals associated with eating will open your eyes (and mouth) to a whole new world.

Don’t support animal exploitation

If you’re an animal lover it can sometimes be hard to resist opportunities to get up close and personal with some creatures, particularly if you’re offered the chance to ride an elephant, feed a lion or stroke a bear. However, all too often there lies a sad tale of animal cruelty behind the tourist ‘attraction’ or even under the ‘conservation’ banner. The animal kingdom is not a giant petting zoo and responsible tour operators and organisations will ensure animal welfare is paramount, rather than go for the quick buck. Do your research to ensure that diving trip, game reserve, wildlife tour or volunteer project is the real deal.

Learn a bit more than ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’

You’re off to a foreign-speaking land so you’ve read-up on how to say the basics – ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘hello’, goodbye’ – well done, but how about a little more...? Although some still struggle to even bother with the basics, we all think we’re doing really well to say no more than two or three words in our host’s language. Learning a language is a wonderful thing; just do it for the pleasure and see if you could hold a very simple conversation with a local.

Keep being a responsible traveller

Not exactly new, but always worth remembering, being a responsible tourist can be boiled down to one word – Respect. Respect local people and culture, respect local wildlife, respect the environment. We’re all visitors here so tread lightly.

Happy New Year!

By Kerry Law, Editor, Goodtrippers 

Goodtrippers is the ‘eat / sleep / do’ for responsible travellers. Visit www.goodtrippers.co.uk for recommended eco accommodation, organic restaurants and cafes, and volunteering projects. You can also follow us on Twitter @Goodtrippers. And if you have your own responsible travel recommendation for Goodtrippers, become a guest blogger – for more details visit www.goodtrippers.co.uk/guest-blogging.

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