Are you ready to embrace a life of adventure? Or at least cross state lines this year? There’s no better time to make your travel resolutions than right now. Here are 6 travel resolutions to help you get on your feet and start exploring the world around you.

Your vacation days are there to help you reconnect with your family - don't miss them!

Your vacation days are there to help you reconnect with your family – don’t miss them!

  1. Use ALL your vacation days.

This might be the most important resolution you make — and keep — with yourself. A staggering 55% of Americans don’t use all of their vacation days from work each year! Are you one of them? Get of the all-work, no-play train! Vacations increase productivity, reduce stress, and even lessen the risk of heart disease. Promise yourself, and your family, that in 2017 you’ll make using those vacation days a priority — so you can make memories, rejuvenate, and reconnect with loved ones, instead of letting your opportunity pass you by for another year. 

  1. Try something new.

You might vacation at the same destination every year, and there’s nothing wrong with that — home is where the heart is, but for some, that means visiting your heart’s “true” home on vacation! This year, though, shake up the daily vacation routine with something new you’ve never done before. It might be riding a roller coaster you’ve been chickening out of for years. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to take a boat out on the water and pilot it yourself for the first time. It’s time to knock the sand off your feet and set sail for new adventures! 

Okay, maybe pushing yourself to try something new doesn't have to go to this extreme... but a slightly smaller roller coaster could work!

Okay, maybe pushing yourself to try something new doesn’t have to go to this extreme… but a slightly smaller roller coaster could work!

  1. Make a dedicated piggy bank just for vacation fun.

Even if your vacations are already budgeted and paid for, thanks to a timeshare, vacation club membership, or a savings account, there are always extras for your trip that need funding. Have you passed a theme park or a fine restaurant year after year, wishing you could visit someday? Or do the kids simply dream of buying that unlimited arcade card and going wild for once? A piggy bank that gathers all the family’s spare change can yield surprising results after just a few months! Label the bank with what you’re saving for — that fancy meal, the arcade adventure, a behind-the-scenes tour you’ve dreamed of — and let it inspire everyone to drop in their pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

  1. Share your experiences.

Maybe you’re already living a life filled with travel and adventure. It’s time to inspire and help others to do the same! You might start with leaving helpful reviews on TripAdvisor or Yelp to share your favorite places, and hints for others to get the best experience while they’re visiting. But why stop there? You might find you have so much to say, you can write entire blog posts dedicated to your favorite travel destinations. Starting a Facebook page or Twitter account to connect with other travelers (and aspiring travelers) is another awesome way to share the experiences, and helpful tips you’ve picked up along the way.

Starting a blog to document your travel adventures can inspire others to follow their dreams!

Starting a blog to document your travel adventures can inspire others to follow their dreams!

  1. Be a duck.

Travel inevitably has its ups and downs. There are moments when the weather is too oppressive for your outdoor plans, lunch isn’t sitting well, and you’ve misplaced your room key. It’s going to be okay! These passing inconveniences can seem like mountains that stand in the way of your entire vacation, but in fact are literally molehills. You’ll stumble, you’ll brush yourself off, and you’ll go on having fun. The oppressive weather is perfect for the pool, you can take a nice nap to sleep off lunch, and the front desk can print you a new room key. Ahhhh… deep breaths! Let travel mishaps roll off your back like water off a duck’s back. Did you ever see a duck having a bad vacation?

  1. Prioritize travel.

Has it been a while since you’ve managed to go on vacation? Do you think every year, “well, next year I’ll get to take my dream trip”? Put travel first on your list this year, and keep it there until you’ve had some adventures. Start a travel fund and weigh every non-essential purchase against what that money could do for your travel fund. Maybe some items in your closet can work for another season — that’s several hundred dollars for your airfare. Maybe you don’t need to buy a bottle of water every day at lunch — that’s forty dollars a month towards your trip. When you start thinking in terms of how much closer your dream trip can be, you’ll find yourself saving money you never realized you were spending.

This year can be your year of adventure — or at least set you up on the right track to start chasing those travel dreams you’ve had for so long. Six simple travel resolutions are all it takes to get started. Your adventures are waiting!

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