As 2014 sinks out of sight like a bright, round pink sun and 2015 rises on the horizon promising a blank canvas of opportunities, don’t write a list of the things you’re going to do (or not) – lose weight, clean out your closet, or get fit. Instead think about all the things you can do to get more out of your travel experiences next year. Whether you have no trips planned, already have several adventures booked or even if you’re halfway through a RTW trip already, these are all easy (and fun!) to do.

Oh and P.S. you’re going to need a few of jam jars for this.

Hvar Island Sunset

1. Start a travel savings jar.

Put all your loose change in there at the end of every day or week and you’ll be surprised how much you’ve got by the middle of the year. It may be enough for  a plane or train ticket somewhere new. Alternatively, keep saving until you reach a specific goal.

2. Use a completely different mode of transport.

The last few years have seen me try cycling to and around new destinations – though admittedly not always crossing country borders. Next year, I’d like to walk to a nearby city, or maybe to the coast for a short stay. Choosing to travel differently has helped me make the most of the journey and not just the destination.

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Which different mode of transport are you going to try in 2015?

3. Find ten places you’ve never heard of before but would maybe one day like to go to.

Too often we wait for the inspiration to come to us and introduce us to a new destination, be it Travelettes’ latest blog post, the most recent images on our Pinterest feed, or where your friends on Facebook have just returned from. Make 2015 the year you discover new and exciting places. Be brave and rip up (or at least put aside) your bucket list of places you’ve long wanted to go to and find ten places that are completely new to you.

Some tips for finding these places:

  • Think about a country’s second, third or fourth cities.
  • Search through our archives until you find the name of a destination you’ve never heard before.
  • Get an atlas, a globe or a map and search for place names you’ve never heard of. Then get on Google and research them until you’re liking what you read.

It may seem a strange task to do, but how often do you go somewhere that you’ve literally never heard of or been told about before? Make 2015 the year you lead, not follow.

4. Learn a new skill that will help you travel in 2015.

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It could be a new language (I’m still battling with Dutch!), a first aid course, a new vocational qualification or maybe you could learn to teach English as a foreign language? It could be something that helps you get volunteer or paid work abroad or maybe you could go on a photography course to help you document travels with better photos in 2015? Whatever it is, enjoy the journey of learning before your journey of travelling!

5. Help/connect with travellers in your own city/country

If, for whatever reason, 2015 means you need to stay put more often than you would like, don’t be disheartened! One of the best parts of travelling – meeting fellow wanderlust-addicted souls – can still become a reality when you’re at home. Maybe you have a spare room or couch to offer a visitor through Airbnb or Couchsurfing? Do you know your city well enough to be a tour guide? Or maybe you love cooking and like the idea of impressing travellers with your culinary skills? You don’t need to lose the social side of travel, just because you’re not travelling yourself.

6.  Celebrate travels past.

How often do you look through photos from a previous journey? When was the last time you dug out a photo album (yes, one with real life photos you can hold in your hands) and flicked through it, taking the time to remember where you were one, two, three or more years ago. You’ll be amazed how many memories come flooding back. This is best done with a glass of wine and a travelling buddy by your side.

 7. Send postcards to your friends abroad (and ask for one back!)

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Where you live is abroad and foreign and interesting to someone else, and I’d be very surprised if you can’t get your hands on a postcard of your town, area, or city if you tried. (Top tip: Try post office or tourist information points!) Send a postcard to friends of yours who live in other countries and ask for one back… If you can’t go explore the world, the world can come to you.

8. Find the smells that remind you of your happy places.

Next to music, nothing takes me back in time… or around the world, like smells.

The instantly recognisable smell of fresh basil always makes me think of Italian food so I always make sure I have a plant on my kitchen windowsill.

The musty scent of sandalwood whisks me back to the uber luxurious Selman hotel in Marrakech. That’s why I have a sandalwood candle on my desk.

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The floral blossom of jasmine takes me back to Thailand. That’s why I have a jasmine hand soap in my downstairs loo.

The delicious scent of coconut takes me back to several girlie holidays where I would cover my body in coconut scented sun protection. That’s why I always like to have coconut shampoo.

Which smells take you on a journey? Identify them, then get shopping for candles, reed diffusers or shampoo. Relive your travels in the comfort of your own home.

9. Give the gift of travel.

Remember that guy who needed to find a woman called “Elizabeth Gallagher” to join him on a round the world trip after he broke up with his ex? Well, motivate by some of the emails he received from those who couldn’t travel but really wanted to, he set up A Ticket Forward, which aims to help those with health, financial or other constraints to achieve their travel goals.

While the majority of us aren’t able to fund all the travels we want to go on in our lifetime, I’m sure many of us are much luckier than most, and you don’t need to buy someone’s RTW ticket to contribute. You can give as little $25 towards somebody’s trip or you can read and support some of the individual stories people have shared.

10. Start a “Good Things 2015” jar.

Good Things 2014 Jar

I did this in 2014 for the first time and I can’t wait to open it up on 31st December and go through the scraps of paper, the concert tickets, the receipts, the festival wristbands and Champagne corks I’ve squeezed in there, all reminding me of happy days in 2014. I’m definitely doing it again next year, I may just need to find a bigger jar… (You can read more about this good things jar tradition here.)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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This post was written by Frankie Thompson who was a Travelette from 2012 – 2015. Originally from London, UK, Frankie was nomadic for several years before settling in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she lives with her Australian partner and baby boy. She spends her time buying vintage dresses, riding a rusty old bike around the canals and writing books inspired by her travels. Frankie blogs about travel, writing and motherhood at As the Bird flies blog.