costa rica

Find your inner zen on a trip to Costa Rica. (Photo: Alamy)

Tips + Trends

Setting New Year’s Goals? Discover Surprising Ways Travel Helps You Reach Them

Find your inner zen on a trip to Costa Rica. (Photo: Alamy)

Is “travel more” on your list of New Year’s resolutions? If not, it should be. Exploring the world around you can help you meet many other popular New Year’s goals. We’ve sourced the best active vacation ideas that bring you closer to your resolutions so you start the year off right.

Resolution: Reduce Stress

There’s nothing like a change of scenery to clear your mind. Visit a nature-oriented destination, where birdsong replaces the honking horns of the daily commute. Don’t forget to take advantage of local spa services, which likely include yoga and meditation classes as well as massage. Where to go: When you listen to the sounds of the rainforest in Costa Rica, you feel like everything is all right in your world. One small caveat: Just don’t let the monkeys steal your keys.

Resolution: Stay Active

Head to the Rockies for the skiing and snowboarding. If you prefer a less vertical approach, with time to enjoy nature, there’s nothing better than cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Fresh powder and all that crisp air can have you burning calories while having fun. Where to go: If you’re a skier, then head to your favorite ski resort in Vail, Colorado. There’s a reason it’s on practically everyone’s bucket list.

Resolution: Be More Adventurous

No matter how you define adventure, it’s typically one of the top reasons to travel. You can rock climb, drive a race car, participate in open mike night at a comedy club, or take lessons in a sport new to you. Where to go: If you’re really open adventurous vacations, one idea is to throw a dart at a map and take your chances.

Resolution: Learn a New Language

If your resolution is to learn another language, there’s no better way than being where it’s spoken. Take a course before you go, pack a phrasebook, and make the effort to speak to the locals in their own language. Where to go: If Spanish is your choice, head to Lima, Peru, where you’ll find excellent shopping and ancient ruins within minutes of your hotel.

Resolution: Spend More Time with Family

One of the biggest benefits of travel is that it allows for quality time and a memorable vacation the entire family can enjoy together. Don’t be afraid to build in quiet time to simply be with one another. Where to go: Theme parks offer a host of possibilities for wowing the little ones by meeting favorite characters. But you can impress tweens and teens by having lunch with a real astronaut.

Resolution: Find a New Job

Sometimes the right choice is finding a new job and a new challenge. Take a vacation from your current job by exploring the opportunities in the city you’re visiting. Where to go: In San Jose, staying near the convention center means you might find technical inspiration at the Tech Museum of Innovation.