Don’t worry about setting resolutions for 2020. We’ve got a few for you.
As we ring in the New Year, we’re looking forward to a new year filled with new travel and new experiences. Everyone’s wishlist looks different, but take some time today to imagine where 2020 can take you.
Get ready, fellow adventurers. 2020 awaits!
1. Use That PTO!
It’s the seemingly small goals that can make the biggest impact. If you’ve been skimping on using your paid time off from work, make 2020 the year you actually use it. Every day, every hour.
That doesn’t have to mean a massive international trip. Maybe you can take multiple three-day weekends, hop on a quick flight, or take a little road trip to another U.S. city. This year, don’t short yourself on the time off you deserve: Use your vacation days to get out and experience something new in the new year.
It’s an important topic for us. That was the heart of Thrifty Traveler founder Jared’s TEDx talk.
2. Start Using Points & Miles to Fly for Free
The world of points and miles can be daunting. Maybe you haven’t dipped your toes into travel rewards yet, or maybe you have lots of miles but aren’t sure how to best use them. We promise: It’s worth some effort.
Let’s make 2020 the year you start to master travel rewards.
Whether you want to fly in first class or just take more trips in economy, there’s no better way to travel more (or more comfortably) than by using points and miles. And the best part? It’s not as difficult as airlines and credit card companies would have you believe.
Read our guide to getting started with points and miles. Read up on how your credit score really works – the most misunderstood segment of travel rewards. Check out some of our favorite cards for redeeming free travel, including the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
And if you’re ready to really dive into how to use points and miles to travel for free, join us online for Thrifty Traveler University: our all-in-one travel hacking course.
3. Experience Someplace New Like a Local
Get out of your comfort zone (and the hotel) and explore your next destination differently.
Read our guides to some incredible cities and countries across the globe to get some ideas. We’ve got tips for your trip to Vietnam, Seoul, Bali, Berlin, Tokyo, the Azores, and many more. Check out our destination guides for a full list.
Try staying at an Airbnb, and chat up your host about their favorite things to do in the city. Use the Airbnb Experiences to book a bike tour or food tour hosted by a passionate local. Stay at hostels and strike up a conversation with the receptionist or barista.
These may seem like little things, but these small changes can make a big difference in your experience. You’ll get the best recommendations that you’d never find out about otherwise!
4. Offset Your Travel Carbon Footprint
This year, make a resolution that can leave an impact greater than yourself.
We love travel, but there’s no denying that flying comes at a cost to our environment. In 2019, the Thrifty Traveler team made a commitment to offset the carbon footprint from our travels by donating to The National Forest Foundation. We’ve also started planting one tree for every new Thrifty Traveler Premium member. In 2019, we planted over 1,500 trees. And we’re thrilled to continue this initiative in 2020.
If you’re looking for a way to jet-set more responsibly this year, learn how you can offset your travel carbon footprint. It’s easy to calculate and can be a rewarding part of your adventures in the new year.
5. Explore More of the Good Ol’ U.S.A.
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive – and it doesn’t have to be international.
Some of the best trips you’ll take might be within the states! Have you walked through the orange swirls of Antelope Canyon? Want to wade in the waters of Zion National Park? Never been to the Golden Gate Bridge, or Seattle’s Pike Place Market? It’s time to finally cross these U.S. destinations off your list.
Whether it’s a short weekend camping and hiking in the west or a week in New York City eating your heart out, exploring the U.S. is a great way to itch that travel bug without using up all your PTO or money.
Some of our favorite spots are Savannah, Boston, Charleston, Phoenix, Austin, San Diego, and Portland. Need a cheap flight deal to get there? Sign up for our free newsletter or follow us on Instagram and Facebook to get notified of the best domestic flight deals we find each day.
6. Lay Your Head Somewhere Magical
Make your travels extra memorable this year by upping your lodging game. How, you ask? Unique Airbnbs.
There’s a whole segment on Airbnb specifically for searching and filtering to find the most unique accommodations in each city. Stay in a castle in Ireland, a houseboat in Amsterdam, or even this epic treehouse in Bali! And these awesome upgrades from stuffy hotel rooms don’t have to break the bank. This magical treehouse is less than $100 a night.
Want to push yourself out of your comfort zone this year and try camping … in style? Go glamping in 2020 and make memories to last a lifetime. Who would’ve thought you can stay in pure luxury in nature’s most beautiful locations!
7. Snag A Crazy Mistake Fare or Flash Sale
This is what we live for.
The insane flash sale, mistake fare, or flight deal that cuts your airfare costs by 90% or more. That’s exactly what our team of flight deal analysts hunt for every single day. When we find an unadvertised flash sale, unearth a mistake fare, or find hundreds off flights to the best destinations around the world, we immediately notify our Thrifty Traveler Premium members.
We found flight deals this past year that almost seem too good to be true. Check out our top 10 favorite flight deals we found in 2019, and start daydreaming of the flight deals to come in 2020!
Make 2020 the year you get in on the action, and cross off your bucket list destination with a wild flight deal! Save $250 – $500+ on your flight so you have more to spend in your actual destination.
These are some awesome ways to spice up your travel in 2020, but don’t let the list stop there. Make your travel dreams come true with cheap flight deals, points and miles, and an open mindset to seeing the world. Cheers to the 2020!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.