Whether you’ve saved enough to finally enjoy your gap year and head off somewhere exotic, or you’re determined to explore beyond Europe, it’s always good to start the New Year with some travel resolutions. Lacking inspiration? Fear not - we’ve done some thinking on your behalf.
Bring your own food on flights. OK, so liquids are out at this stage - but there’s nothing wrong with packing a picnic to see you through a flight. You’ll save loads of money - a sandwich and a packet of crisps for four can set you back about £25 - and you’ll feel better for it. Avoid anything smelly, fishy or spicy though. You’ll make yourself unpopular if you go down that route. Interested in flying etiquette? You can read more about being the perfect passenger here.
Don’t be scared of trying street food. If you’re a fussy - or, indeed, nervous - eater, you probably shy away from street food and smaller, less well-known places to eat. If a stall has lots of customers and you can tell the food’s not been sitting there for hours, dive in. Still feeling a bit worried? Go for the veggie option - or try the places that travel bloggers recommend.
Go it alone sometimes. Whether it’s a family holiday or a trip with friends, if there’s something you want to do, don’t be held back by others. Obviously, use common sense and don’t just head off on a whim - safety first - but if you’ve got some spare time, explore on your own. Women - you can read travelling solo safety tips here.
Talk to more people. What have you got to lose? Here’s another top tip for you; if you’re trying to learn a new language, locals will appreciate you having a go, rather than speaking English very loudly and pointing at everything in a vaguely wild fashion. If you're single and ready to mingle, using Tinder is always a good idea. Here's why.
Break free of your usual haunts. Maybe you’ve been going to the same resort with your family for years, you’re well-known there - and it’s comfortably familiar. Go on, push the boat out and try somewhere different. If you don’t like it, fine - you can always return to your original resort next year.
Embrace sarongs. Gentlemen, this may not be your bag (although they can be used in that way, if knotted correctly). Ladies, a sarong is your ultimate travel friend. It’s a pillow, a towel and a skirt. It’s something to cover yourself with if you’re in a religious or sacred place. It’ll protect you from the sun. It can act as a privacy screen on the Eurostar. If you don’t already have one, get one.
Steer clear of itineraries. Unless you’re with a tour guide and timings are inflexible, try to avoid making a plan and sticking to it rigidly. You may find that you see more, meet more people and enjoy yourself more if you deviate occasionally; it’s not worth making yourself miserable for the sake of a few hours of traipsing around yet another ruin or market.