Another year, another opportunity to make new plans and goals for achieving your travel dreams! I have my own laundry list to work through, which I wanted to share here. Hopefully this list will give you some ideas, or inspire you to come up with more of your own! Please comment below if you have some additional travel goals for 2019!
Sign up for TSA PRE and Global Entry
I’ve been considering how much time I “wasted” waiting in line at airports and cruise ports in 2018, and all of the ways in which I would have preferred to use that time. I also thought about the stress involved in getting through security checkpoints – something that can put a damper on your travel experience before it ever really begins. That’s why I want to enroll in TSA Pre and Global Entry this year. With TSA Pre, you don’t need to take off your shoes and other clothing items, separate your electronics and liquids, or – best of all – take as long getting through security. Global Entry is specific for international checkpoints at airports and cruise ports to get you through faster, including the availability of VIP lines to save time. To take it a step even further, I could enroll with Clear, which allows you through security in even faster lines using retinal scanning and fingerprint identification. But at a minimum I want to get set up with TSA Pre and Global Entry.
Be more “loyal” to my loyalty programs…
I’m a member of a number of loyalty programs – hotel, airline, cruise line, casino… but I’ve had a bad habit of delaying those coveted rewards by “playing the field” instead of remaining loyal to my favorites. While I won’t exercise 100% loyalty to any one company of each type, since variety is one of the great pleasures in travel, I will make a greater effort to be more loyal to my favored brands and rack up those rewards faster!
Become more fluent in more languages…
Due to time constraints, language study has been an ongoing challenge. My ultimate goal is to become a polyglot. I need to make a better effort at carving out more time in my schedule for accomplishing this goal. The extent to which some understanding of the language in a place you are visiting enriches the travel experience is not to be underestimated. It immerses you in the culture in a way that stumbling along in English just can’t. Your interaction with the place, and its people, is so much more authentic.
Travel writer Rick Steves, my mentor, says that no one ever got home from a trip wishing they’d packed heavier! (ricksteves.com) I couldn’t agree more. Practically with each trip I have gone on I have realized this more and more, and improved my travel experience significantly the less I am burdened with belongings that aren’t ultimately important in the grand scheme of my adventure. I’ve never found myself in a position where I couldn’t pick something up that I needed, or an adequate approximation, later in the destination. And I wasn’t fighting sore muscles and achy joints from day one, or wasting time at airport checked-baggage carousels when I could have been sightseeing!
Visit new continents!
It’s my goal to finally visit East Asia, the Middle East, and South America this year. South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and Peru are high on my wish list. And one of these days I’m determined to take a cruise that gets down to Antarctica! (Will this be the year? Stay tuned!)
Take longer road trips…
I took a LOT of road trips this year, many due to circumstances other than the intention to travel. I enjoyed every last one of them – even the repeat trips – because there is always something new to discover. In my opinion, the road trip is the absolute best way to see the country, and I can’t wait to see even more of it that way. There’s something about “accidentally” finding a hidden gem that is completely overlooked by most that creates some of the most memorable journeys of all.
Don’t overlook smaller towns…
This goal goes along with road trips – because road trips provide the perfect opportunity not to overlook these smaller towns. You never know what you’re going to find out there that’s off the beaten path! I had some amazing experiences this year in some of the most unexpected of places!
Hunt down deals more aggressively!
In my haste to lock in travel arrangements I often didn’t do as much research as I could have to find the best deals. I would like to be more diligent about that this year – and use the money I saved for one more trip than I otherwise would have taken! I posted a blog a while back on saving money on travel you can read here!:
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I hope you have an amazing, travel-filled 2019!