‘Tis the season for resolutions. According the U.S. government some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, volunteering to help others, becoming more educated and managing stress. 1 Did you know you could fulfill all four simply by making a goal to travel more in the new year? (By the way, traveling more often is also a popular resolution.) With voluntourism, travel for fitness and cultural travel opportunities on the rise, getting out of the house and away from a hectic and all-too-often busy life can help you stress less and focus on what’s important in the New Year.
Voluntourism Rising in Popularity
An interesting travel phenomenon is occurring worldwide. More and more people are traveling not to indulge themselves, but to volunteer in orphanages, help to build schools and teach English. It’s called voluntourism and it’s one of the fastest growing trends in travel.2 While destinations like Peru, South Africa, India, Kenya and Australia are popular places to volunteer abroad, stateside destinations also exist. California is the most popular place for health-related voluntourism in the U.S.3
Worried about cost? Voluntourism isn’t always expensive. Some volunteer organizations ask that volunteers fundraise to pay their way to volunteer travel.
Get Fit with Adventure Travel
You don’t have to be a die-hard adrenaline junkie to incorporate fitness into your travel plans. You can, however, fulfill two New Year’s resolutions at the same time if you travel and include fitness into your trip. Now more than ever before, with popular culture geared toward health and fitness, (who hasn’t heard of the Biggest Loser®, Fitbit® or downloaded some sort of diet plan or fitness app) it’s no wonder that the travel industry has caught on. You don’t have to look far to sign up for travel fitness boot camps in various places around the world. Boot camps incorporate fun, camaraderie and exotic sights and experiences all in one trip.
Boot camp isn’t for everyone but there are still plenty of adventures to be had while traveling. Try incorporating a hiking, biking or other mobile activity into your agenda while you travel. It can be just that simple.
Get Cultured in Education
Education isn’t lost in travel. Traveling overseas can help you learn about cultures, heritage and traditions long since forgotten by most of the world. Enrich your senses and invigorate your mind. Reading books is one thing, but experiencing life first-hand in a foreign country is quite another. Up-and-coming 2015 travel destinations to engage your mind can be found in Corsica, Columbia, Japan, Romania, Haida Gwaii or Hyderabad, India.4
No matter where you decide to travel in the new year, make sure to plan ahead and in such a way that your trip away from home allows you to unwind and de-stress. The purpose of travel for so many people is to relax and indulge the senses. Focusing on helping others through voluntourism, getting educated through experiencing different cultures or traveling for fitness can help you do just that. Of course, remember, that even the most prepared travel plans sometimes go awry. Flights get cancelled, luggage gets lost and medical emergencies happen. Why not take the “what-if worry” out of your 2015 travel with a travel insurance plan that has 24/7 assistance services?