5 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Achieve By Traveling

05 December 2017

It’s that time of the year again, where we contemplate how we can improve our lives for the coming year. Learn a new skill. Save more money. Lose weight. If you’re a traveler, you know the best place to start checking off your goals is on the road. Because travel isn’t just about spending a night in a new place. It’s about learning more about yourself, other people, and challenging yourself to grow in ways you didn’t know were possible─ especially with one of our hostels as your home base. Here’s how to plan a trip that will help you achieve 5 of the top New Year’s Resolutions for 2018:

Resolution #1: Get Healthy

Mr. Potato Head lifting weights

Choose a destination that’s a walkable city or accessible to adventure activities like hiking, biking, or skiing. New York City is great for visitors who want to see the city that never sleeps by foot, and guests at HI New York City can take advantage of hostel-led walking tours. For the outdoors-minded traveler, pay a visit to HI Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort, located just outside Yosemite National Park and surrounded by hiking and biking trails. HI Harpers Ferry in Maryland is also easily accessible to world class hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Check out our map of hostels to find a location that will get you moving.

Resolution #2: Save Money

scene from the movie Bridesmaids reading

Travel should be accessible to everyone, and if you look hard enough, you can find plenty of free and affordable things to do. You can do things like go wine tasting in San Francisco, join a drum circle in D.C., and listen to Jazz in Chicago without spending a dollar thanks to our insider tips. Take a look at more guides to complimentary fun in major cities like New York and Los Angeles, and hit the road knowing you don't have to go broke to have a good time. 

Resolution #3: Learn a New Skill

Cat reading book

What’s great about staying in our hostels is that you never know who you’ll meet. Travelers from more than 100 countries stay with us each year, and our hostels make it easy to interact with people from different walks of life. You might learn German slang from your roommate or how to play a few chords from an Aussie guitarist in the lounge. And perhaps there’s a Japanese chef on vacation making dinner in the kitchen who helps you with your knife skills. There is constant information and skill sharing among our community of travelers, and it’s easy to be a part of it ─ you just have to say hello.

Resolution #4: Volunteer

scene from the movie UP

If you’d rather be a traveler than a tourist, then you probably crave local experiences. And what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than by giving back to the community? Hostels like HI San Francisco City Center and HI Washington DC do ongoing work with service organizations, and all our hostels are closely connected to their communities and can help you identify an impactful opportunity. If you’re traveling in January or February, grab 9 friends and you can stay for free for each day you volunteer 2 hours through our Great Hostel Give Back program!

Resolution #5: Get a Better Job

girl pretending to work on computer

While you’re out meeting new people and discovering new places, you’re also becoming a more qualified job applicant and opening yourself up to career opportunities. You’ll be building your cultural competency so you are better prepared to work with people from different countries and cultures. Some of the skills you learn in #3 may just give you the edge you need to beat out other candidates when you apply for a job. You might even meet your future boss or co-founder cooking up dinner in the hostel kitchen.


Think about it: you can plan an awesome trip along the California Coast, vacation across Cape Cod, or hike the Appalachian Trail, while satisfying your New Year’s resolutions at the same time. We think 2018 is going to be a very, very good year.