The last few years have had their way of stunting our New Year’s dreams from the get go, especially ones involving travel and exploring the world.
Finally, we can set some 2023 New Year’s Travel resolutions; with some new ways to discover the world (and our own back yard), escape our day-to-day routines and most of all, have fun.
Embrace something/someplace new
It’s easy and comforting to return to the same spots year after year. You know the staff and you already like the place. But travel should be about discovery. So this year, consider something new. If you’re a summer person, pivot and visit a winter location. If you’re into warm and only warm, look past your usual destination.
A few unique warm favorites for a different experience for me include Eleuthera, a narrow, sparsely developed island in the Bahamas chain; Barbados, where hotels cozy up next to the beaches – gentle on one side of the island, wild on the other; or Costa Rica, where you can explore jungles, watch the sun set over the Pacific and visit surfer towns.
For a new cold destination, consider North America’s first new Club Med in decades, Club Med Quebec Charlevoix. (https://www.clubmed.us/l/quebec-charlevoix) a true all-inclusive experience. You can take ski or ride lessons (and get rentals) and try out the winter sports life, or hit their spa, incredible dining or outside activities like a winter train ride to a quaint Canadian town.
You can also head to a destination mountain resort, in New England or anywhere in the U.S. most resorts have plenty of winter activities for non-skiers. Jay Peak (www.jaypeak.com) even has a slopeside water park.
Weave day trips into your schedule
It’s amazing how much adventure there is to be had practically in our own back yards – no matter where we live. Rather than wait for a time when you have days and days to travel, plan some day or even half day trips.
Pick a town you’ve not explored that’s within an hour or so drive and then plan on arriving early for coffee/breakfast, map out spots to check out (open spaces, historic buildings, shopping districts, bike paths, theaters and more), then savor a late day lunch or early dinner before heading home. It’s amazing how much you can learn, experience and see in just a few hours.
While travel should be about spontaneity, in this post pandemic world, we just have to plan ahead. Resolve this year to decide now on any trips in the coming 12 months and book them. Pad them too: If you’re heading to something that requires your arrival (say, a cruise), your best bet (particularly if air travel is involved) is to make the investment and arrive to your port of call a day early. You can explore that town and not stress about missing your call.
Holiday week and seasonal trips tend to fill up quickly too. Plan now for the future.
Have an opposite day
Tend to only hit the beach in the summer and the mountains in the winter? Flip the script. A winter escape to a beach town can be special. It’s quieter (and while some shops and restaurants may be closed, at least some stay open) and gives off a different vibe. You can take winter beach walks or relax inside your beachside resort, warm and comfortable looking out over the deep blue winter sea. And mountains in the summer? Cooler for hiking and just as lovely as when snow covered.
Embrace the fun
Don’t just head to a destination; find the fun there. One of my favorite pre-trip (be it a day trip or longer) practices is researching the unique experiences, from food to activities, that make a spot interesting. It’s brought me to falconry lessons at The Equinox in Manchester, Vermont, sheep herding lessons on an Irish hillside, and so much more. Find the unique and by all means, embrace the fun in them.
Honor the experience
Take great photos and share them. Tip your servers and others well. Keep a journal of memories. Best of all: put that cell on airplane mode and just escape into whatever world you choose: for a week, a day or even an hour. Here’s to 2023.