Travel resolutionsWritten by Roger Holliday Claudia Fischer | | firstname.lastname@example.org
With January half over — and most of our resolutions already splattered, or on the brink of extinction — we thought we’d try and breathe new life into some of
those well intentioned travel-related twenty/ten goals…
In light of the Christmas Day airline kerfuffle and subsequent stringent security enhancements (how’s that for government speak?), our #1 resolution for the new decade is: “Just Do It”!
Twenty five years or so ago, following a savage and sadly successful attack on an Air India flight over Ireland, we naively cancelled a trip to the Indian subcontinent at the very last moment thereby losing not only scads of money…but more importantly…the opportunity to visit parts of a country that are now no longer accessible to the traveling public.
We’ve regretted it ever since. And would never do it again.
The bottom line, of course, is that once people start giving in to the bad guys…they win. The reality is that the chance of getting caught up in some random act of violence is so slight that it’s just an asterisk to our main point.
Resolve #2 is somewhat related. Keep It Simple. Please.
Fewer airline connections and transfers. Longer stays in each location. And packing less stuff in general. All add up to less angst and more flexibility in the event of travel snafus…from whatever the source.
In all our years of organizing and leading trips, foreign and domestic, the very best lesson we’ve all learned is that keeping things simple…and traveling light…is the best revenge.
Now it’s truer than ever. Witness this week’s announcements by major airlines that they’re bouncing checked bags fees up to $25. And that’s just for the first piece of luggage!
Where all this will lead, nobody knows. But we can easily imagine scenarios when the size of carry-on luggage will be even further restricted…or banned altogether.
Always…Stay Alert and Informed…is Resolution #3. And in today’s wired up environment this is easier to accomplish and more important than ever.
New technology in the form of sophisticated palm-size cell phones, GPS units, text messaging and Twitter–plus instantaneous 24/7 media coverage of world events–mean that there’s no longer any excuse for not staying on top of world events.
Even for non-techies, a simple AM/FM/Shortwave pocket radio will alert to any possible travel problems whether it’s adverse weather, work stoppages, airline/train delays, traffic jams or terrorism.
Invaluable English language news and travel information can generally be pulled in via shortwave even in the remotest outposts…so don’t leave home without one!
Keeping a Trip Diary..is our Resolution #4.
Much as we like to think that we’ll never forget those special travel moments–good and bad–time and tide have a way of all too quickly deleting those memories.
However, a detailed written account…aided by digital photos…will preserve those “tours of a lifetime” forever. People well met and friends made, scrumptious meals, incredible sights and cultural observations will be great reminders in the future….as well as making some fascinating reading for our kids, grandkids…or even someone on the Antiques Roadshow of 2110!
Travel of any kind, especially in today’s super stressed environment is tough on any body. Whatever the age. And whether it’s standing in endless check-in and security lines, toting bags (even light ones), taking city walking tours, climbing hotel or museum staircases, negotiating cobbled streets or hillside villages…not to mention jet lag, strange foods and congested cities…travel is hard.
So, our final resolutionary advice is: “Get Fit For The Trip”!
This probably means losing excess poundage. Starting a fitness regime like regular walking (after checking with your physician, of course!). And doing some upper body building.
And it’s not a bad idea to also have a specific goal in mind beyond just the general improvement of health and fitness. This year for us, it might be kayaking the length of Michigan’s Au Sable River…hiking the 200 mile Thames Path, again…or at the very least, fitting into a pair of cargo pants that were last wearable in 2004!