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8 New Year Resolutions That Everyone in Travel Needs to Happen

It seems everyone and their dog has joined in making New Year Resolutions. From the thoroughly achievable (I’m planning to be able to order food in a restaurant in German) to the downright ludicrous (“I’m going to give up drinking in January” - my friend, Emma. She’s already failed. Twice). But wouldn’t it be nice if all across the board people made New Year Resolutions? If it wasn’t just people like me trying to lose that extra bit of flab I gained over the Christmas break (thanks, mom), but also big companies seeking to improve themselves? Or people traveling trying to be a little bit more considerate to their fellow travelers? It sure would. And with that in mind I've compiled a little list of New Years Resolutions that I’d love the travel industry, from the travelers to the big brands, to adhere to.

IN 2014 I WILL: TAKE IT EASY ON THE HDR

Big Ben London

Photo by Maurice. HDR by us.

Seriously, guys. If the building you’ve photographed actually has a hazy glow when you see it with the naked eye then I apologize and you can ignore this one. But I’m pretty convinced that most buildings don’t have that. So why do so many people insist on HDR’ing their images up to the point where they start to look like the one above? IT HURTS MY EYES! I read the other day that HDR is a bit like auto-tuning, and I totally go along with that. When done right it can be an artform in itself, but generally people just suck all the humanity out of a work of art and you’re left with nothing more than a shrill, soulless representation of something that was once real. I'm not the only one fighting this fight. There's a whole subreddit dedicated to it...

IN 2014 I WILL: STOP REPOSTING “INSPIRING” TRAVEL QUOTES

inspiring travel quote

inspiring travel quote

This one’s for my lazy marketers out there (myself included). Enough already. We get it, travel is great and some pretty great people have said some pretty great things about it, but I don’t need to be constantly reminded about that on my Facebook feed. Inspiring travel quotes, for me, very often sum up everything I don’t like about travel. It’s the snooty, holier-than-thou attitude they portray in their beautiful prose; the feeling of superiority to the rest of the populace because the speaker themselves has traveled. He/she is, therefore, more educated, more worldly and has, frankly, lived a better life. People much wiser and better than me have said these things, but some that we keep rehashing just feel kind of awkward in an age where we’re acutely aware of our privileged position to be able to travel. “Don’t tell me how educated you are. Tell me how much you’ve traveled.” In 2014, I’d rather you just didn’t tell me either. Now Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, there’s something I want to discuss. (Disclaimer: Some travel quotes are good. I don’t really want to talk about Miley Cyrus.)

IN 2014 I WILL: NOT BUY ANY MORE QUESTIONABLE ITEMS OF CLOTHING JUST TO SHOW I’M A TRAVELER

I think the best summary of these clothing items came on a comment on Facebook. Our dear Max posted the photo below, to which is friend replied "Those trousers are a proper gap year disaster." I’m talking about these.
travel trousers

Max models the cliche trousers. Crushingly gap year.

And these.
travel bag

This bag might just be outrageous enough to work. Others aren't so lucky. Photo by Kay Adams.

And these.
Jodhpurs pants

Since when did anyone need that much room? Photo by Benjamin Vander Steen.

And these.
I heart Berlin tshirt

It's true. But it's not funny or ironic. Photo by Onnola.

We've all been guilty of the odd questionable purchase on the road, but clothing like this isn't just questionable, it's cliche and tired.

IN 2014 I WILL: STOP ASKING PEOPLE TO WORK FOR ABSOLUTELY FREE

Free travel writer

Free travel writer

Oh hey there again, lazy marketer! I know you’ve got a great product, and you want to spread the word, and a great way to spread that word is to get people to write for you. I know you haven’t got much of a budget to work with, too. Believe me, I get it. Still, you know how tiresome it is creating regular content? Getting photos, writing articles, coming up with ideas? It’s also annoying for travel bloggers. And they’re making their living from this, too. If you can’t get a budget to pay people to write for you, be creative. Stop emailing busy travel bloggers because you’re clogging their inboxes and generally getting laughed at in private Facebook groups. Create your own valuable content, maybe some kind travel blogger will help you with some information (and you’ll give them a link in return), and hopefully in the end they’ll like your content enough to share it.

IN 2014 I WILL: TRAVEL SOMEWHERE THAT GOES AGAINST GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Go from this:

 Jack Sparrow Scared

Jack Sparrow Scared

 To this:

Dr Who Survived travel

Dr Who Survived travel

I’m not saying you should head into a war zone or something, but some government warnings are, frankly, ludicrous. The Australian government tells its citizens “Do not travel” to many areas of Colombia. Some, it’s true, are challenging destinations that people generally should stay away from. But they say to stay away from the spectacular Cano Cristales, which is just unadulterated silliness. And it doesn’t stop there, either. There are plenty more areas that you’re told not to go to, that I know (from living in Colombia for 3 years) are very safe (so long as you use common sense) and, moreover, are incredible destinations. Do your research, take care of yourself, exercise common sense and get out there. The world is not as scary as it seems.

IN 2014 I WILL: LIVE IN AN ENTIRELY NEW COUNTRY

Move to France

Move to France

Enough of “ballsy” characters claiming they are going to never conform again. Enough of them saying they'll leave their old, boring lives behind them and live in a caravan on the coast of Uruguay. For Pete's sake, my "ballsy" friend! Grow a pair and go already! People often cite their commitments because they're an easy excuse to be secure, comfortable and bored in their prosaic life that leaves them unsatisfied (many other people lead these lives and are totally satisfied, good on them). This time we do something about it. 2014 will be the year to actually follow through on making that big change that everyone needs in their life, no matter what dedications and commitments you have, if it's something you've dreamed about, make the move. You will be better for it. Trust me.

IN 2014 I WILL: TAKE THE TIME TO EXPLORE MY HOME SOIL

The Beatles eat fish and Chips

The Beatles eat fish and Chips

For years now I have overlooked traveling in my home country (England), in search of sun, obscure cultures and strange tidings. Essentially, I wanted to escape and eliminate the monotony of everyday life back home. However, despite the previous resolution, it doesn't have to be  that way. If you want to get up and travel you should, but we can also take in our home soil in our down time and truly learn to appreciate it. Indeed, in 2013 I had a revelation. On a daily basis I had thoughts running through my mind asking “why do I always need so much money to go traveling?”, but really, you don’t need to be a million miles from home to enjoy different cultures, incredible views and the other joys of travel. There is enough to explore right on your doorstep. So this year, make it your mission to show your country the respect and appreciation it deserves. You won't spend a fortune just to escape, you'll be happier with your life and you will not have overlooked the wonders of what's probably a pretty great country. I mean, people pay good money to come see where you live, doesn't it make sense that you should take advantage of that for free?

IN 2014 I WILL: GET MY FAMILY TRAVELING SMART

Elderly Travelers

D'awwww. Photo by Garry Knight.

Beloved, valued blog post reader, I trust you. I think you’re already making big steps to travel smart. You’re seeking out eco-friendly accommodation, you’re holding back from flying as much as possible and you’re generally subscribed to the whole “reduce your carbon footprint” way of thinking. But can you say the same for mom and dad? Or uncle Mick? These are the guys that are much more likely to be booking tours with big companies, and there are many big companies out there that just don’t give a flying flip about helping out local economies and traveling green. Get your family traveling smart. Help them book better, greener tours. If I was one of those lazy marketing guys, of course, I’d drop a plug for trip.me right now (since we boost local economies, do our best to reduce damage to the environment and seek to work with local agencies that do things right). But I won’t do that. No way. I certainly won’t ask you to recommend trip.me to your family and friends when they’re looking for travel inspiration. What do you guys take me for? I’ll just innocuously leave this here…

trip.me logo

trip.me logo

A pure coincidence, you understand. What are your travel resolutions for 2014? Let us know in the comments!