What are your 2009 travel resolutions? Ask your friends and business colleagues and you’ll hear different answers. I’ve made my resolutions but want to hear yours.
The following responses are some (not all) I’ve received from the frequent fliers whom I’ve polled:
- I’m going to travel only business or first class. No more coach for me. Nice if your budget or boss allows it.
- I will upgrade wherever and whenever possible, by using the miles I earned by having my ass on so many flights!
- Please spare me from trips with multiple legs for the sake of saving a few dollars.
- I want to travel less for business and more for pleasure.
- I am going to take my wife or a child with me on business trips, when or if possible.”
- I will try to add some “measure of pleasure” to my business trips. It might be just going to a local museum or eating at the most unique restaurant in town. Better yet, I’ll ignore the TV and reconnect with out-of-town friends.
- I’m going to add on a day or two at either end of the trip (especially if it’s overseas) to see some of the area rather than only an office environment.
- I will wear loafers when I travel by air, remove my laptop and all metal BEFORE I get to security and wear a tear-away belt. But I will not be rushed to the extent that something is forgotten on the conveyor line.
- While traveling by air, I will stay away from families with small children and senior citizens (no offense, they’re just slower).
- I will seek out travelers who look like road warriors and follow them.
- I am going to bring my own meals for my flights. I’ve gained too much weight eating junk food (expensive too) sold at airports.
- Now that gas prices have come down, I plan to do more driving.
-Whenever possible, I’ll take the train rather than endure the hell that awaits travelers at today’s airports.
- I’m not going to postpone seeing family and friends who are getting older or with whom I haven’t had the time to connect because I’ve been ‘too busy.’
My personal resolutions definitely include many of the above but comprise others.
- I hope to be able to share some of my favorite places with people about whom I care and discover other destinations with people who are passionate about travel.
- Yes to flight upgrades. No to accepting the first room because it’s easier than appearing nasty and demanding a larger room or one that has been renovated.
- When there’s an executive floor, I’ll always opt for it, since the extra service is a real boon in addition to being able to use the lounge. Free breakfasts and cocktail hours are generally included and more than likely, these floors end up with my saving money.
My recent stays at the Four Seasons Hotels in Hong Kong and Bangkok must have set them back more than a few pennies. Hotels compete for customer loyalty on these “special” floors. I ate everything in sight, sipped tea and ate crumpets at the appropriate hour, drank champagne at cocktail time accompanied by a huge selection of delicious hors d’oeuvres (skipped dinner) and didn’t have to pay for WiFi. Plus, I could work in the lounge while my travel partner was sleeping.
- I’m not going to be intimidated by negative news reports from going to a city or to a country unless there’s out and out war. Obtaining visas may be cumbersome. But doing so is worth the effort.
- Not being a ‘tour type,’ I’ll spend the money to hire an English speaking driver to give me an off-the-beaten track tour of a place I’ve never been.
- When it comes to the regular must-sees, there’s so much information on the Internet that last year’s guide books may be obsolete by the time they’re printed and for sale.
- No more rushed trips that leave me feeling cheated as I’m heading to the airport. I hate knowing I only saw the tip of the iceberg of what there is to see. Allow enough time for serendipity.
- Travel is one of my main passions. But being prepared and flexible is an essential part of the experience. Develop ways you can relax when there’s stress. How about a personal mantra?
What are your new year’s resolutions? Are you already considering specific destinations? Let’s hear them and anything goes.
Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis.