Travel Resolutions

2011 Travel Resolutions

2011 New Years Travel Resolutions Last year I posted my 2010 travel resolutions as a means of keeping my travel on task and inspiring you to do the same! I look at travel resolutions as a means of improving our travel experience and planning for destinations that have been on our radar.

Looking ahead, here are the Trip Styler team's resolutions for travel. What are yours?

Trish - Editor

  • Use points & upgrades wisely
    • Airline points - I just booked a trip from Vancouver to the ABC islands (Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire) next fall for 25,000 airline points return. This is a big deal because:
      • if you're going to use airmiles, you might as well maximize them, ie. go to the farthest point within your points/destination allowance
      • there's a loophole in the American Airlines travel reward chart that makes it cheap to travel to the Caribbean in hurricane season, a flight that would normally cost 35,000 points each way
      • the ABC islands are, for all intents and purposes, outside the hurricane belt, so the chances of being in a major storm in November (when I booked the travel) are very slim
    • Hotel upgrades - Last year I didn't take advantage of any of my Fairmont President's Club (Fairmont's loyalty program) upgrades and I missed out. So, this year I'm going to take advantage, and am starting today at the Mayakoba in Mexico's Riviera Maya. I'm paying for a base room, but with my suite upgrade certificate, I'm being upgraded to an 1,100-sf signature casita suite with indoor and outdoor shower!
      • Trip Styler Tip :: every Fairmont hotel has different policies and blackout dates as far as upgrades, and some properties like the Mayakoba provide much better value than others. Look into a few properties and suss out the options before making your decision.
  • Travel somewhere by train - Ever since I took an overnight train from Paris to Venice, train travel has been on my mind. The train scenes from The Tourist movie only fueled my desire to wine, dine and watch the scenery from a glass-topped train car even more. I'd like to take a train to San Francisco and make the travel portion---versus just the destination---part of the experience.
  • Seek out pet-friendly hotels for local travel - This year I started trying to bring my dog with me each time I did a local trip. As much as @nachoking loves his kind and loyal babysitters, he can't be left sans family too much; plus, he travels really well! This past year's pet-friendly stays were at the Fairmont Olympic, Fairmont Chateau WhistlerFairmont Empress, Westin Bellevue and Ace Portland! They all worked out well, so more local getaways are planned in 2011!
  • Destinations
    • Plan a European ski trip - I stress plan because I'm not sure I'll be able to pull off skiing in the Alps this winter, but I'm keen to keep it on my radar and get to know the Euro ski and après scene a little more intimately!
    • Plan a trip to the Turks and Caicos.
    • Tour Washington's wine country.
    • Stormwatch and surf---not at the same time---in Tofino, BC while staying at the rustic yet elegant Wickaninnish Inn.
    • Finally visit Australia and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef - This has been the trip that my husband and I have been dying to take, but something always seems to come up - not this year if I can help it!

Lauren - Travel Beauty Contributor My travel resolution is to FINALLY visit the Hotel Isle de France in St Barths. I've been wanting to visit for over five years and literally visit the website once a month. This year, I'm going to go! (Even if I need to get a 2nd job to pay for it...) Editor's note: wow, like I needed any prompting to visit St. Barths. This intimate bungalow retreat looks amazing. Love the white asthetic against the crystal blue water and swaying palms backdrop.

Leah - Travel Health Contributor My travel resolution is pretty simple this year: to become a strong enough skier to go back-country ski touring for a week with good friends.

Heather - Travel Fashion Contributor I've never had much time off work for vacations, so I've usually stuck to "sure thing" travel - the places I know I'll enjoy, where the weather---and the shopping---will be good. This year, I want to think outside the travel box and try something new, maybe somewhere they speak another language. Which isn't to say I won't end up in Palm Springs again, but that's my happy place. While I've never even been to a movie theatre by myself, I'd like to travel somewhere alone this year, get a NEXUS pass and finally visit Portland (not to mention Japan, Buenos Aires, London, Italy, Croatia, Scandinavia, Napa... but that's a lot of years of resolutions).

[Photo by moi, taken at the Sandals Royal Bahamian]

Travel Resolution #8 :: Always Carry $1s

travel resolutions always carry one dollar billsEven though I already made my travel resolutions for 2010, who says you can't add to them throughout the year?  Based on recent experience, my newest 2010 travel resolution is: Thou Shalt Always Travel with Multiple US One Dollar Bills. I know, I know, I'm Canadian, but it's not like the rest of the world appreciates the loonie and twoonie like I do.  Maybe one day they will?

Now I'm not planning on being a walking bank with a wad of ones protruding from my pocket, but, carrying enough ones for all the seen and unforeseen times a tip is required is my new travel declaration.

The mental news flash leading to this resolution occurred on a recent trip to Jamaica when I only had seven $1s in my possession, and knew I'd need more.   It reminded me how easy it would have been to go the bank either before my trip OR at various intervals throughout the year in order to accumulate $1s for travel.   Second time's a charm?  Another  similar experience I had was sitting in a rental car shuttle bus back to Kahului Airport (OGG).  On the ride, I realized I didn't have any ones left; all I had was a twoonie.  Knowing that the Canadian and US dollar were pretty much on-par at that point, I handed over my twoonie as a thanks for the two-min ride.  The driver was gracious, but I know he thought I was 'out to lunch.'  Better something than nothing?  Not so much.  Appears people aren't so big on coins.

On vacation one's mind tends to rest--I know mine does.  With this in mind, I vow to let it rest while away and take 10 mins before I leave to go to the bank and make sure I have enough $1s a)so I'm never in a lurch and b)to thank people for their service 100% of the time.

[photo by photosteve101]