Our 2018 New Year's Travel Resolutions

Though social media may make it seem like travel just spontaneously happens (in the best weather and with the most flattering selfie angles) the truth is that even for professional travel writers, there's a lot of planning and thoughtfulness that goes in to making a trip happen. At Oyster, we're constantly on the go and brainstorming ways to make our trips more convenient, fulfilling, and all around better. There's nothing we can do about the weather (and we're working on the selfies), but with a new year for travel opportunity coming up, we decided it was a good time to think about what we want to accomplish on the road. Here are our 2018 New Year's travel resolutions. 

To Brush up on my Spanish Skills

Street at The Orchids Hotel

"I haven't had to speak fluent Spanish since I was in the Peace Corps in Paraguay almost eight years ago, and my skills have definitely faded. But with an upcoming trip to Colombia for 2018, it's high time I get back into the habit of speaking Spanish. There's something so freeing and immersive about communicating in the local language while on a trip. I'm signing up for an immersion course, practicing with Spanish speaking friends, downloading Spanish language apps, and listening to reggaeton on my work commute. ¡Bogota, allá voy!"  – Megan Wood, Editor

To Finally Visit Devils Tower

"I’ve found that coming up with a generic resolution doesn’t really work for me (read: I never stick to it), so I’m going to go really specific. Call me a huge nerd, but I love the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and I got it set in my head awhile ago that I’d make the road trip out to Devils Tower in Wyoming. Of course, it hasn’t happened yet, and I’m kicking myself for not going this year -- the 40th anniversary of the film. So, I’m going to make it my mission in 2018, and if it doesn’t pan out, you better believe it’ll be my 2019 resolution, too." — Stefanie Waldek, Editor

To Spend Smarter Abroad

"Next year’s travel goal: to become a savvier shopper. This doesn’t mean I have a wild spending problem I need to rein in, but rather I want to buy more and shop smarter when abroad. Usually on trips, I’m too intimidated to haggle, I feel like I should save for “worthier” travel expenses, and I’m worried I’ll get buyer’s remorse for something I can’t return. But this misguided sense of guilt and tendency to second-guess myself means I’ve let things I would literally cherish my whole life slip away. 2018 is the year I flip the script: I’ll do more to support local economies and will come home with more tangible memories of my trip." – Anne Bauso, Associate Editor

To Take a European Cruise

Exterior on Viking Gullveig

"I’ve visited Europe many times and I’ve taken a cruise, but I’m determined 2018 will be the year I do both. At the same time. In many ways Europe is best seen by a cruise. After all, some of its best cities were built up around its ports. (Looking at you, Barcelona.) Whether it’s a river cruise sailing down the Rhine or a Mediterranean cruise crossing the Balearic and Adriatic seas, I know it’ll give me a new perspective on each country and how they’ve been visited for centuries -- by ship.” – Maria Teresa Hart, Senior Editor 

To Revisit my Favorite Places

"My travel resolution for 2018 is to go back to places that fill me with joy. It can be hard to justify revisiting a destination I’ve previously traveled to over a new spot, but this coming year I feel drawn back to my college town of Austin, where my sister got married in Sedona, and Mexico, which I visited once when I spent 10 days in the coastal town of Manzanillo. Although my list of bucket-list travel spots only gets longer with each passing year, certain cities and countries evoke such fond memories that are strong enough to pull me back. Fortunately, on the second (and third and fourth) trips, there’s less of a need to sightsee, and I can spend my days enjoying the city more like a local.” – Lara Grant, Editor

To Finally Leave Paris

Pont des Arts

“I have a problem with Paris -- it prevents me from seeing the rest of France! I've been fortunate enough to visit the city more times than I can count (thanks to dear friends who let me crash in their apartments). Whenever my trip is longer than a week I promise myself that I’ll take a side trip to one of the country’s 17 other regions, and it never happens. I just can’t bring myself to get on the TGV and leave. But 2018 will be different. I’m determined to go farther afield, maybe to Brittany or the Loire.” – Rachel Klein, Editor

To Travel With Respectful Intention

“For 2018, I’d like to be more cognizant of how my travel habits are helping or harming local communities, cultures, and lifestyles. I think we all  have a tendency to gravitate toward whatever shred of familiarity that we find in an exotic, unfamiliar destination without recognizing that such familiarity often speaks to larger issues of globalization, gentrification, and displacement. It’s time to change my own sometimes blind way of moving through new spaces and to look at ways travel can illuminate what’s already there rather than replace it with what we bring from home."  – Kyle Valenta, Senior Editor

To Keep it Local

Beach at the Blue Lagoon Resort

“2017 was filled with some epic long-haul journeys – I island-hopped in Greece; road tripped around Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia; surprised some friends in Israel, and snorkeled and sailed my way through St. Barts (humblebrag). And while each of these international trips was unforgettable, and will forever hold a special place in my memory (and Instagram feed), my new year’s resolution for 2018 is to explore places a little closer to home. Every trip need not be a week-long excursion across the globe, and after visiting Santa Fe, Nashville (for the solar eclipse!), and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this year, I am excited to check out even more U.S. destinations during shorter weekend jaunts. Colorado, the Berkshires, and Charleston are at the top of the list, as are national parks like Antelope Canyon and Yosemite. There’s even so much in my home state of New York that I have yet to see and do, like hiking in the Adirondacks. Trips come in all shapes and sizes, and weekend getaways, usually a short flight or quick drive away, are a perfect way to get out and explore when money and vacation days are both tight.” – Alisha Prakash, Editor

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