There’s no better way to start the year off right than by traveling to all of the destinations you didn’t get around to exploring To accomplish this, it’s important that you travel smart in the new year.
From snagging the best deals to making preparations for trips in advance, there’s a variety of steps travelers can take to save money and enhance their overall travel experiences. Here are four tips that you should keep in mind as you set off on your journeys this January.
- Go somewhere different
Sure, Caribbean travel is a perfect opportunity to get that tan you’ve been wanting, but it’s also fun to travel outside of your comfort zone to experience a different kind of vacation. Lonely Planet suggested taking a trip to the Shetland Islands in Scotland to experience the biggest fire festival in Europe. Get a rare taste of the island’s rich history by witnessing a parade of Vikings sporting lit torches that light up the night sky. The event usually takes place around the end of January and is one of the only times when the city’s halls are converted into party venues where everyone can enjoy a few beers and music.
The online travel source also recommended a trip to Norway, where the Northern Lights are most clearly seen in January and there’s an endless number of winter activities awaiting travelers. Hit the slopes or check out the Tromso Film Festival to turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind travel experience.
- Reconsider your travel rewards program
If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s a good idea to join a traveler rewards program to get bonuses for the miles you fly. However, if you’re a member of a program already, you should make sure you check out your other options to see if the new year has brought any deals that suit you better than your current one.
George Hobica of Airfarewatchdog told Conde Nast Traveler that American Airlines offers the best deals. Other airlines have started to require a $2,500 annual spending minimum before travelers can receive any rewards. If you don’t keep an eye on whether your company has altered its regulations, you could end up losing money.
- Travel somewhere warm, but cheap
There are many options when it comes to escaping the cold winter weather and relaxing on the sandy shores of paradise. Fodor’s Travel noted that there are tropical destinations that offer the same beachside retreats as more expensive options, but at much lower prices. All it takes is a bit of research to find the hot deal that fits your requirements – never settle for the first price you find, especially in January when many resorts offer discounts.
A few of these commonly affordable locations include Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Thailand. These destinations provide travelers with the oceanfront, sun-drenched trip that they’re after without emptying their pockets. There are also travel sites that make finding cheap deals easier that you should take advantage of as you plan your winter vacation.
- Be healthy
Staying healthy as you travel is crucial no matter the time of year. In the winter months, however, avoiding the flu and similar viruses becomes drastically more challenging. The cold weather makes people more vulnerable to illnesses, which means that germs are going to be present on the majority of surfaces.
In addition to washing your hands, getting the proper nutrients and taking the other general steps to maintaining your health, 101 Holidays explained that there are all-inclusive, health focused beach vacations that you can take advantage of as well. The BodyHoliday on the Caribbean at St. Lucia, for example, offers a program featuring healthy activities and treatments centered around enhancing the health of its guests.