Solo Travel

The Travel Resolutions Our Editors Are Making for the New Year

A new year means new beginnings, as well as new rules for the road. And sky. And seas.
The Travel Resolutions Our Editors Are Making for the New Year

The arrival of a new calendar year is as good a reason as any to look back on our past journeys and determine some new travel resolutions for the year ahead. Whenever the holidays roll around, we here at Condé Nast Traveler like to take stock of what we can fine-tune or do better for the next time we hit the road—or sky or seas—whether it's about airport strategies or how we engage with the people and neighborhoods we find at our next destination. What worked well and what should we keep doing? What do we want to change and improve? So we asked each other to fill in the blanks: In 2024, I resolve to…

Here are some of our answers to those questions—may they invite you to reflect on your own travel resolutions for the coming year. Happy new year, and cheers to new and better adventures to come.

Engage in solo travel

I’ve always loved to travel with friends and family, and while enjoying someone’s company can make a trip more memorable, there won’t always be someone willing to take every trip with you. This coming year, I hope to take my first solo trip (and second, and third) because I think learning to really sit with that uncomfortable feeling of being alone and not having a crutch to rely on can lead to some incredible experiences. When you travel alone, you’re more likely to meet new people, try things you may have never done, and learn more about yourself. There’s something so special about exploring a new city on your own terms—doing exactly what you want and not having to think about pleasing anyone else. —Jamie Spain, travel bookings editor

Not buy a whole new wardrobe before a vacation

Every time my big vacation of the year approaches, I feel this imaginary pressure to buy a whole new wardrobe—memorable, vacation-ready pieces I’ll live in all trip long. Truth is, I love my basics! When it comes time to get dressed on vacation, I reach for my tried-and-true essentials—that white tank top I’ve had for years, my go-to pair of denim, those comfy sandals I know I can actually walk in for hours, you know what I mean. I’m hoping to win back some extra luggage space (and money) and ignore the “I have nothing to wear” nonsense before I travel in 2024. —Meaghan Kenny, associate commerce editor

Book more multi-generational trips

After getting married last year, my partner and I have been busy with big milestones—moving into a new home, remodeling it, focusing on big work opportunities—and less focused on the adventurous, winging-it type of trips we’ve always planned for just the two of us. The travel we have done recently has been less about ourselves, and more to and from family, as matriarchs have gotten older and we’ve assumed a clearer vision of what’s most important. So this year, I’d like to meld those two things together with a return to taking multi-generational trips to new places with our parents—and not just to visit them or our extended families where they’re based. My big trip of the year is (hopefully) heading back to my maternal family’s Byzantine village in Greece, which (somehow) we’ve all never been to together despite visiting Athens and the Cyclades many times, mostly separately. It’s something we’ve been saying we’d do since 2020 when my grandfather passed away—and all very My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, but hopefully with a better ending. —Shannon McMahon, destinations editor

Become a better local traveler

It seems that most of my 2023 travel was spent galavanting the world. An end of 2022 into 2023 trip to Vietnam, a ski getaway to Aspen, flights to Madrid, end of summer in Turkey and Greece, and as the year closes I’m off to South Africa. And while I’m still planning big international trips for 2024 I want to spend more energy on exploring locally. Living in New York City affords me access to so many places just a car or train ride away. I want to explore the Berkshires, somewhere I’ve never been before. Marvel at the Maine coastline from the cliffsides of Ogunquit, a small art community just north of Boston. Head up to Vermont to enjoy the fall foliage. Maybe even a road trip into Canada. —Eugene Shevertalov, associate entertainment director

Use all my vacation days

Both myself and other editors have spent years ranting about the importance of using up all your vacation days—mental and physical well being aside, you actually leave money on the table when you don’t. And yet, somehow, through no one’s fault other than my own, I forgot to follow my own advice this year. So in 2024, I am committing myself to using every single day available, whether it’s to spend a day moseying around the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan or for the longer, far-flung personal travels I already have in the pipeline: Lima, Cornwall, and Puglia to name just a few upcoming highlights. —Lale Arikoglu, articles director

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Our go-to astrologer, Steph Koyfman, on which destination will speak to you most in the year ahead.

Stop assuming that my passports will get me everywhere

I carry two passports: one in Filipino brown, another in American blue. I’ve grown so accustomed to my US papers that, in 2019, I once showed up to the airport, ready to fly to Sydney, and was told I had yet to apply for the appropriate tourist visa. It worked out in the end, but I was sorely humbled. After 16 years in the States, had I become that arrogant American traveler, who expects all doors to open for him by virtue of his citizenship? Never again, I told myself. Well, just yesterday, I was ready to fly home to Manila and learned that I had to file paperwork declaring my intent to travel to my birth country, even with my Philippine passport. I had to fill out the form at the check-in counter. Embarrassing! This is the snag when you’re a frequent traveler: You assume you know how it works, and that how it works never changes. But if the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that travel is always changing—is literally about change and adapting to new situations. Well, that said, I now resolve to always check entry requirements into my destination, regardless of wherever I go. Catch me in a few months triple-checking what papers I need to fly from New York to San Francisco. —Matt Ortile, associate editor

Buy snacks for the plane in advance

Hear me out…yes, there’s something inherently very enjoyable about strolling through Hudson News before your flight, especially if you have time to kill. And yes, there’s something satisfying about picking exactly which brand of water to buy and in what type of bottle (sports cap always, by the way). But once I get to checkout, each and every time, I think about how much better off I’d have been if I just went to the CVS on my corner and purchased my goodies in advance. Aside from not needing to drop an exuberant amount of money on airport dried mango slices, pre-packing snacks is a great way to ensure you’re well-nourished throughout your travels, especially with long-haul flights. My go-to snacks when I do remember—and I sure will in 2024—are a ziplock with fresh grapes, a granola bar, a large bag of skinnypop, and a bagel sandwich from my local spot. —Emily Adler, associate manager of planning and operations

Go deeper on neighborhoods

One of the valuable tips I learned from a friend this year was to focus on a neighborhood at a time (or two at the most) instead of an entire city or town. Pick a neighborhood to base yourself in and explore it thoroughly. It’s a great way to get a deeper sense of the culture of the place, and leaves you with more time to explore hidden nooks and crannies—instead of trying to cram a whole city in, and failing. It’s been a game-changer, especially on the shorter trips I’ve taken this year. For instance, a couple of months ago, I returned to Mexico City for a weekend, and instead of spreading myself thin to cover Roma and Coyoacán and Condesa, I stuck to exploring Polanco, a neighborhood I barely knew but very quickly grew to love: everything from its tree-lined shopping thoroughfare to my leisurely morning coffee at Parque Lincoln and my discovery of what might be the best gorditas—filled with nopal and cheese—in the city (at a makeshift stall in an underground thoroughfare). —Arati Menon, global digital director

Make sure I always have one ambitious, I-can’t-believe-I-get-to-go-there trip with friends on the horizon

I kicked off 2023 with a really special trip: 10 days in Kenya with three friends, on an itinerary that bounced from the Masai Mara to Lamu Island to Nairobi. It had felt ambitious and slightly intimidating to plan, since we didn’t have any close friends who’d been (and whose itineraries we could use as a launchpad). But through friends of friends (and their friends), and naturally some in-house Condé Nast Traveler intel, we hacked it. I spent so many months looking forward to it, which offered a satisfaction you just can’t get from spontaneous bookings. Going with friends, likewise, felt like a luxury during a time in our lives when work travel, weddings, birthdays, visits home, and couples’ trips can fill up the year before it has even started. Maybe that’s also deepening my desire to make sure I keep close ones, well, close—even if that means going somewhere far away together. —Megan Spurrell, senior editor