The New Year is upon us, which means one thing: time to get serious about those New Year resolutions. A fresh start is always exciting and the beginning of each brand new year is a great opportunity to think about what you want to achieve in the coming 12 months.

For most people, that means figuring out how they can improve their lives, whether it means ditching a bad habit, shedding unwanted pounds or resolving to do something better. For others, it’s about doing more – learning a new language, picking up a new skill or doing more travelling.

Travel in fact, often features in everyone’s New Year resolution list, because who doesn’t want to go on holiday and experience more of the world, right? Unfortunately, it is also one of the least kept resolutions because, as we quickly discover, it is quite often a challenge to follow through once work takes over. We know it all too well so we’ve asked the frequent travellers around the office and found 5 key tips to making that travel bucket list into achieveable resolutions.

Here are five tips for setting achievable New Year travel resolutions.

 new-years

1. Be specific

Setting the vague goal to ‘travel more this year’ or ‘go around the world’ is a sure-fire way of setting yourself up for failure. Be specific when setting your New Year travel resolutions. Resolutions such as, ‘take a trip to Tokyo, Japan’ or ‘visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia’ give you a clearer goal that you can aim for. Because you know exactly where you want to go, you can even start making plans, such as taking time off, and booking airfares and accommodation.

2. Plan baby steps

Perhaps 2015 will be the year you take that long-awaited holiday to Europe or at least, that’s what you hope to do. But where do you start? Don’t just talk about it. Set little goals throughout the year that will help you to achieve your resolution before December rolls around again. For instance, you could resolve to put aside a fixed amount of savings each month that will go towards financing the big trip.

You could look up the dates of travel fairs so you know when and where you could potentially book your holiday. The point is to incorporate the little details into your resolution so you stand a far better chance of achieving the big picture goal.

3. Think about timing

 Research the destination you want to visit beforehand to ensure you get the timing right. Find out the best times to visit – chances are you probably won’t want to go someplace where’s it’s sweltering hot or freezing cold.

Will there be any major sporting or global events taking place during the time you want to visit? Going to a place that is all set to host an event such as the Summer Olympics or the Commonwealth Games could mean fewer accommodation options and higher prices, for example.

4. Consider your circumstances

If the best time to visit your dream destination coincides with your busiest working period of the year, then 2015 might not be the right year for you to plan that trip. Likewise, if finances are tight, you probably won’t be able to take that month-long North America holiday – not this year, anyway.

If your fitness is not quite up to par, you might want to hold off on that mountaineering adventure and if you dream of going snorkelling or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef but can’t swim very well, then you are better off resolving to become a stronger swimmer first. Being practical and realistic about your resolutions is a key step to ensuring that you achieve them.

5. Share your travel resolutions with someone

travel-with-friends

In the same way that having a friend who keeps you accountable means you are more likely to exercise regularly, sharing your travel resolution with someone will also give you that extra bit of motivation to work towards achieving it.

Find someone who will be supportive of (and remind you of) your plans throughout the year or even better, someone who wants to go on the trip with you. Consider sharing it with friends via social media: this way, there’s a public declaration of your intentions.