Happy New Year! I'm a big fan of New Years Resolutions. In my life they have provided the opportunity to goal-set and maintain focus. Don't get me wrong, I've also had those resolutions which go nowhere, like workout 5 days a week no matter what, or eat salad everyday---both doable but not necessarily achievable every.single.day. So, this year I resolve to make REALISTIC travel resolutions.
Pack Lighter My desire to pack lighter has always been 'a desire.' This year, I want to turn it into a full-on resolution, not a '2 steps forward, one step back' type of thing. Looking back, I had glimmers of hope this year. I went to Napa for 6 days with just a carry-on, it wasn't difficult, even with a little shopping in San Francisco. The only sad part is that I wasn't able to bring back any wine due to the limited liquids carry-on rule. Oh well, there's always shipping. I took two steps back when I went to Europe and Africa in one trip. Packing for so many different climates threw me for a loop and sent my packing methods into my teenage angst bring everything phase. This was really dumb since we were on the move every 2-3 days. I've learned my lesson. I promise. 2011 Update - Every trip I did in 2010 was with my carry-on, including a two week adventure exploring eastern Canada and the Maritimes!
Take Another Last-Minute Getaway Jetsetting somewhere tropical for the weekend has always been a HUGE excitement/goal of mine. I was lucky enough to achieve it in 2009, going to Maui for an extended weekend. Since it was such a positive experience, I resolve to do it again. If this idea sounds good to you, here's how. 2011 Update - I'm addicted. All throughout the year I did extended weekend trips to destinations like Palm Springs, Scottsdale, Portland and most recently for 3 days to Maui.
Travel Credit Card with Lounge access Although I love my travel rewards credit card and have booked many-a-trip with the points, I realize there's a flaw: it doesn't have an Airline Lounge Access component. Looking into it recently, I found that I get a discount to Priority Pass. Depending on how much I travel this year, a Priority Pass membership might be in my near future. 2011 Update - Haven't got a Priority Pass yet, but still hoping to!
Be Smarter About Amassing Points with ONE Airline and ONE Hotel Group This year I made bigger strides forward in this arena, but admittedly, I still have a long way to go. I resolve not to just book the cheapest flight, but to book flights and hotel stays (still within a reasonable price range) which match the major airlines and hotel groups with which I collect points. For some travellers, this is an easy task, for the web-savvy, price-conscious, mid-to-high-end travel shoppers, this is a more difficult. Either way, I'm up to the challenge. 2011 Update - Have continued to be diligent about collecting airline and hotel points, and booked a few trips and hotel upgrades with points. Who doesn't love free travel?
Sort Through My Airline Points This year I started sorting through all my airline memberships and categorized each membership and the points to date in a spreadsheet. I know, pretty organized, yet perhaps a little old-school. This next year, I want to take this to the next level by deciding which airline loyal program memberships make the most sense (given where I travel, where my home airport is and how I like to travel) and then gift the rest of the points! 2011 Update - Done and done, and now I have an app for that!
Go to Australia!!!!! Here is what beckons me in Australia: snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, taking a harbour tour in Sydney, navigating Fraser Island, embarking on a sailing tour of the Whitsundays and so much more. This is my year to go to Australia....I hope! 2011 Update - Australia is the trip that I keep meaning to take, then something comes up. This will hopefully change in 2011, with a tentatively planned trip Down Under in the spring!
Go on the Oasis of the Seas I had my first taste of the flowrider (and on-ship surfing and body boarding simulator) on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas and I've been longing to go back ever since. Just this year, they came out with a new, bigger and more impressive ship: The Oasis of the Seas featuring dual flowriders, a zip line, aqua amphitheater and all the other activities normally featured on Royal Carribean's ships. 2011 Update - After The Oasis launched, its equally impressive sister ship The Allure came out in December. I can't wait to try both, but didn't get a chance in 2010. Hopefully, I'll set sail on one of these mega ships in 2011.
[photo by Electric Images]