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Travel Resolutions and Top Destinations for 2024

Becky Hart | Jan 4, 2024

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Have you made any of these common new year’s resolutions: exercise more, get organized, eat healthier, be better with money.

They’re all great goals to have, but they’re also really difficult. Heading into the new year, make some easy travel resolutions you’ll love keeping. Here are our top travel goals and a few picks for the best destinations to visit in 2024.

Travel Resolutions for 2024

1. Resolve to make more time to travel.

Time isn’t something we can magically create more of, but we can resolve to use it in ways that match our life’s priorities.

One of the most common reasons we think we can’t travel more is because of work obligations. The good news is that you can, and should, ask your boss for more time off.

One way to do this is to combine work travel with a vacation. It’s popularly known as bleisure these days and is an efficient way to sneak in some away time without burning all your PTO.

You could also test the waters of a digital nomad lifestyle. If you work remotely already, it may be easier than you think to pick up and work from anywhere without too many changes to your current situation. Instead of being in your guest bedroom-turned-office in Boise, you could be finishing those reports from a cabin in Aspen.

When applying for a job, you can bargain for PTO the same way you negotiate your salary or a corner office. Just be real. Let your boss know what is important to you, and if that’s time to travel and recharge your batteries so that you can be a more effective team member, they might just be willing to help with your resolution.

Consider a gap year. Yes, adults can take these. Call it a sabbatical if you think it makes you sound more mature. Regardless of how you say it, you’ll get some valuable time off while you develop personal and professional goals.

2. Resolve to make travel meaningful.

If you’re going to spend the time and money to travel, you should make sure that experience is a meaningful one. What that looks like can vary from person to person. So how can we make our travels meaningful?

Meaningful for some might be voluntouring. For others, it could be slow travel, settling in one place for a little longer than usual to get a more authentic feeling for a place, living more like a local and less like a tourist. And for another traveler, a trip might be meaningful because you’re spending quality time with family, or taking time out to focus on wellness.

Break the status quo and seek an alternative travel experience that leaves you feeling fulfilled, not like you just checked another box on your to-do list.

3. Resolve to step outside your comfort zone.

Travel puts us in new and exciting situations. Sometimes they might feel a little too new and exciting, but that’s okay. Try to lean into the challenges that present themselves during a trip. You might be surprised by how much you learn about yourself and how much confidence you walk away with.

Stepping outside your comfort zone doesn’t have to be as extreme as bungee jumping in New Zealand or eating sheep head in Mongolia. Eat (a coffee and a croissant, not sheep’s eyes) by yourself at a cute café, ask a stranger for directions, or try the gelato flavor you’ve never heard of. Travel solo, climb to the top of a lighthouse instead of settling for a ground-level view, attempt to bargain at a local market.

We’re not encouraging you to do something unsafe, but if you have the chance to try something you probably wouldn’t at home, now could be the time to be bold and take a chance.

4. Resolve to learn a foreign language.

How many of us have made this resolution in the past only to have the workbooks and flashcards end up in the back of the closet with other abandoned hobbies? This year, change your mindset about what learning a foreign language means and increase your odds of success.

Instead of telling yourself you’re going to be fluent in Japanese, resolve to learn just enough to hold your own in common travel situations. Pick up a few key phrases that help you get from the airport to your hotel. Learn how to identify food names so you know what you’re ordering at a restaurant.

Set smaller, bite-sized goals. We bet that the sense of accomplishment you get from meeting those more modest milestones will provide the motivation you need to stick with it.

You can also try our favorite ways to practice a foreign language abroad.

5. Resolve not to overpack.

Some people pack light and wear that accomplishment like a badge of honor. It’s not just something to brag about, though. Packing light has its benefits.

If you’re flying, the less you pack, the more money you could save. You can either avoid paying the extra fee for a second checked bag, or you can avoid the fees altogether by only traveling with a carry-on. In most cases, this means saving you $35 or more each time you fly.

Regardless of how you’re reaching your destination, having fewer bags means there’s less to keep track of. And if you’re traveling with kids, you know the hassle of not being able to start the day’s fun because you can’t remember which bag their favorite stuffie is in. Keep your baggage to a minimum to help keep your sanity. (It will also help with that “get organized” resolution you’re working on.)

You might be thinking, “This is great, but how can I pack less for vacation?” We have you covered with these 10 common overpacking mistakes travelers make and how to fix them.

6. Resolve to be a responsible traveler.

It doesn't matter if you don't have a summer to commit to volunteering at a refugee camp. You can be a force for good when you travel, no matter where you go and how long you’re there.

Research your destination so you know the cultural, religious, and legal requirements to fit in and avoid making an offensive faux pas. Choose travel companies — hotels, airlines, tour operators — that strive for social and environmental justice where they operate.

Be kind to strangers. This includes the person at the airline ticket counter, the cab driver, the hotel housekeeper, the random person on the street, your own travel companion, and everyone in between.

Celebrate with cultural sensitivity. It's thrilling to visit another location at holiday time. Remember that these celebrations might have deep cultural or religious meanings and should, therefore, be treated with respect. What might seem simply like a colorful spectacle to you could be a tribute to someone else’s ancestors.

Stay open-minded. It can be exciting to compare what you see at your destination to how you live every day at home. Just don’t pass judgement because it’s different. Your open-mindedness can also lead to spontaneous opportunities you might have missed otherwise, and that sounds like the start of an epic travel story.

7. Resolve to stay healthy when you travel.

"I'm on vacation!" you say as you order another dessert and a third bottle of wine. And why not? You should enjoy yourself and cut loose on vacation.

Go ahead and try the local delicacies. That’s part of travel. Just remember to indulge in moderation (yes, that’s a thing). Another drink might sound like a good idea in the moment, but if it leaves you feeling awful later or makes you miss an early tour the next morning, was it really worth it?

It’s also important to build some time into your itinerary for rest. Even on active vacations where you’re hiking and mountain biking, give yourself time to breathe. Schedule a day of rest when you arrive to get over jetlag, or plan to get some extra sleep partway through your trip when you’ve been on the move for a few days.

Leave gaps in your daily schedule so you can take advantage of unexpected opportunities like the theater performance in a park you stumbled across. Sit at the café for an extra hour and watch the people for no other reason than because the weather is nice and you’re enjoying yourself. You might be surprised how rejuvenating and fulfilling it can be to just go with the flow.

Finally, if you’re used to exercising at home, try to stay active when you travel. That doesn’t mean you have to keep up your habit of a five-mile run every morning. Just take an extra walk along the beach, or enjoy some yoga and stretching in the evening to help your body stay limber and your mind focused.

For more, check out these nine practices to keep you healthy and happy when you travel or try our guide to wellness retreats.

8. Resolve to be a smarter traveler.

Being a smart traveler starts before you even leave home. As you make reservations, confirm that the information for your destination is correct. AI travel planners are fantastic for trip inspiration — you could file them under the mantra “work smarter, not harder” — but they can be somewhat dubious in their accuracy. Double-check the details.

Once you’ve done your research and made all your travel arrangements, protect them (and yourself) with travel insurance. If you need to cancel your trip, travel insurance might be able to help reimburse you for those prepaid, nonrefundable expenses. If you get sick while you’re abroad, travel insurance can help you find and pay for treatment.

In the best-case scenario, you won’t need to use your travel insurance. That means everything went according to plan and you stayed healthy. But we all know things happen. And when they do, you need to be prepared. Learn more about how travel insurance can help you before choosing the plan that best fits your situation.

Once you’ve begun your trip, be smart with safety. Stay aware of your surroundings, avoid venturing out on your own after dark, and stay up to date on weather advisories. Travel apps are a great way to do this.

9. Resolve to take “the trip.”

You know what we mean by “the trip.” It’s that adventure you’ve been dreaming about and haven’t turned into a reality yet. Maybe you’re starting to wonder if it will ever happen.

Before you get discouraged, hear us out when we say it’s always possible. You might have to get creative when you plan, but you can travel.

If you’re short on cash, look for accommodations that let you pay for your stay by working a bit. If you’re short on time, ask your boss about a bleisure trip like we mentioned earlier. If you don’t have anyone to travel with and don’t want to go solo, join a tour group. If you don’t even know where to get started, talk to a travel agent and let them help you make arrangements.

While we’re making vacation travel resolutions, promise yourself that this is the year you stop procrastinating and start making it happen.

10. Resolve to introduce someone else to travel.

You have travel stories. Share them! You have favorite destinations, lessons you’ve learned on the road, tips and tricks, and pictures of amazing adventures. Encourage someone else to have eye-opening travel experiences, too.

  • Take your partner to a destination you visited before you met.
  • Introduce your kids to one of your own childhood vacation spots.
  • Volunteer with an organization that teaches kids about camping or leads them on other adventures.
  • Assist your local tourism board by providing “insider tips” for their website, brochures, or social media accounts.

Top Travel Destinations for 2024

There are so many places to see, so where do you start? Here’s where we predict savvy travelers will explore in 2024.

1. Hoi An, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi often get top billing when it comes to best cities to visit in Vietnam. For something different, though, we recommend Hoi An. Its history as a key trading port means you’ll find a mixture of Southeast Asian cultures, not to mention plenty of picturesque sights, all in one spot. This might be one destination where it’s best not to make too many plans. Simply give yourself the freedom to wander through the Old Quarter and see what you can find in the moment.

If you’re planning a trip to My Son, a ruined temple city in the jungle, Hoi An is a good place to start.

2. Paris, France

Paris earned the honor of hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. For some, the extra crowds and activity might be a turnoff, but for others, the excitement of the games could make this the go-to destination in France.

If you've never been to the City of Light, you won’t want to miss classic sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. If you’re looking for somewhere a little more off the tourist trail, check out an underground tour of the Sewers of Paris. Or go the other direction and climb all the way to the dome of Sacre Coeur, some 272 feet (83 meters) up. It’ll be a test of physical stamina — and mental fortitude if you’re afraid of heights — but the views of Paris from there are something you’ll never forget.

3. Namibia

Namibia is especially well-suited for travelers who crave a break from the ordinary. It offers natural landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world and is home to all the Big Five animals: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and African buffalo. That’s also why Namibia is one of the best places in Africa for a safari.
To the north, admire the diverse wildlife at Etosha National Park. Sossusvlei and Deadvlei lie to the west with beloved landmarks characterized by towering red sand dunes, “tree skeletons,” and spectacular desert views. And just along Namibia’s border with Angola lie the Epupa Falls, a gorgeous network of waterfalls that’s worth a morning hike.

4. Belize

Belize has the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, which is perhaps the biggest reason this Central American country is a mecca for scuba divers and snorkelers from around the world. Explore the living coral, swim with endangered sea turtles, and catch a glimpse (or 500) of all the colorful fish.

When not on one of the islands or underwater, a stop in the mainland’s Cayo District should feature visits to Maya sites like Caracol, located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. It’s also a hub for rainforest excursions.

5. Monterey, California, USA

U.S. News & World Report named Monterey one of the Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA for 2023-24. Once you’re there, make your way to Cannery Row. It always makes the list of recommendations, so it’s a bit touristy. It’s worth following the crowd, though, as there are plenty of quirky shops and seafood restaurants to help you refuel.

Monterey also has a surprising number of museums given its size. Two of my favorites downtown are the Cooper Molera Adobe and the Colton Hall Museum and Jail.

6. Woodstock, Vermont, USA

Vermont is best known for two things: gorgeous fall leaves and winter skiing. This northeastern U.S. state has much more to offer, though.

We hate to state the obvious, but those colorful leaves come from trees, and some of those trees also produce maple syrup. Visit a tree farm to see how the syrup is harvested and made. You won’t be able to stop yourself from buying yourself a bottle of pure Vermont maple syrup before you leave.

Vermont also has more than 600 dairy farms. The grazing land makes for some picturesque drives, and many of the farms do tours and cheese tastings.

7. The Cotswolds, England

Rather than just a single city, the Cotswolds are a whole region of English countryside. And it’s a stunning one at that. A trip to the Cotswolds can include stops at Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, and Worcestershire (pronounced WU-stuh-shuh). You can rent a car — it’s only about two hours from London — or join a tour if you’d rather let someone else figure out how to drive on the left.

Best Islands to Visit in 2024

1. Perth, Australia

It might be a big island, but Australia is still technically an island. While Sydney and Melbourne tend to get most of the love from travelers, we encourage you to branch out to Perth in Western Australia, especially if you’re a foodie.

In between dining and sampling local wines, enjoy any number of water activities since you’re on the coast and book a First Nations tour to experience Perth’s Aboriginal culture (the city’s Aboriginal name is Boorloo). Take a day trip to Rottnest Island for the quokkas, the happiest little critters you’ve ever seen.

2. Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui is one of the largest islands in Thailand. Even so, it’s small enough to drive all the way around in just a few hours. On your tour, you’ll find plenty of beaches for snorkeling or just enjoying free time in the sand. There’s also the Ang Thong National Marine Park, Wat Phra Yai (also known as the Big Buddha Temple), and Secret Buddha Garden.

Thailand is a popular destination for budget travelers, and it’s still possible to find inexpensive accommodations on the beach at Koh Samui. If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, though, it won’t be hard to find a five-star resort.

3. Paros, Greece

We’re not sure how anyone can choose among all the Greek Isles, but if you have to pick, go with Paros. You’ll find white sand beaches and lush mountains, but missing will be the crowds of more well-known islands like Santorini.

For nightlife, shopping, and food, make Naoussa your home base on the island. To get away for some peace and quiet, head for Lefkes. This traditional village was the island’s capital in the Middle Ages, and you can still enjoy its nooks and crannies overlooking magnificent views of the Aegean Sea.

4. Menorca, Spain

Many of the Spanish islands have a playtime reputation. And why not? Heavenly weather, delectable foods, and extravagance galore. For an island with fewer crowds and more relaxation, try Menorca, the “little brother” of Mallorca.

You’ll find the same water activities you’d expect of most islands in the region — sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing — but there are also shipwrecks to explore. Don’t forget to visit the wineries, sample the cheese made on the island, and eat all the seafood. Finish your day at a cliff and cave bar, and you won’t be disappointed.

5. Valletta, Malta

Another gem in the Mediterranean, Malta may be especially enticing for solo women traveling. In our experience, the public transit system is easy to use, it’s relatively safe getting around on your own, and there are plenty of English speakers if that’s a concern.

Valletta is the capital of Malta, and the entire city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To say it’s a beacon of traditional culture would be an understatement. Visit any number of museums and historic sites, take a break for a lunch of fine Italian-Maltese cuisine, then see where parts of the first season of Game of Thrones was filmed.

Travel Insurance for Your 2024 Resolutions

Whether your travel goals are to get away more often or to finally take that once-in-a-lifetime trip, let Seven Corners protect your investment and your health with travel insurance. We offer a variety of plans to meet your needs — from coverage for single trips to annual plans — so you can get away with peace of mind. Contact our licensed travel insurance experts or get a quick quote online today.

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