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 2017:
Resolution #1: Get Healthy
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
We believe travel should be accessible to everyone. That’s why we created the HI USA Free For All, which lists the coolest, local favorite things to do in 10 major U.S. cities. 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. You’ll find over 100 uniquely fun things to do across the country, so check it out!
Resolution #3: Learn a New Skill
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
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
HI USA helped organized the White House Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship, where officials from the Obama Administration and the State Department drove the point home that travel is imperative to our global economy and a necessity for career growth. In fact, they believe that while you’re out meeting new people and discovering new places, you’re also becoming a more qualified job applicant. So now you have the President’s seal of approval to travel ─ what more do you need?
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 2017 is going to be a very, very good year.