Travel, it is said, broadens the mind. It also gets you off the couch, potentially makes you slightly more interesting and, if you do it right, gives you amazing memories to go with that tacky souvenir.
So whether you’re aiming to extend your intellectual horizons or just want a compelling justification for wearing a gaudy tropical shirt, consider adopting some travel resolutions for 2016.
Edward Frost, British Airways’ well-travelled commercial manager for South and East Africa, suggests these should at least include some of the following.
Face your foibles
If an irrational fear of flying is preventing you from seeing loved ones or enjoying a holiday, do something about it. Courses such as Flying with Confidence have helped people from senior executives to children overcome their fears. If you’ve not bothered to renew your passport, do it today. Not sure if you need a visa? Find out now.
Stop talking about your bucket list
It’s easier to find reasons not to do something than set the wheels in motion. Make 2016 the year you tick at least one of your lifetime travel wishes off your must-see list.
Do something different
The best experiences often happen when you’re a bit daring. Visit somewhere unusual. Leave the hotel and eat where the locals eat. Speak to strangers and learn to get by in another language.
Leave the office behind
Use all your leave. Unplug or go somewhere there’s no mobile connectivity or internet access. You don’t need to Instagram every second of your trip. Take a beautiful snap, get it framed and put it on your desk as a reminder of your holiday and inspiration for your next trip.
Bleisure travel is an awful contraction, but don’t be put off by the terminology. If you can add a few days to your business trip to see some of the sights, grab the chance.
If you fly regularly on business join a loyalty programme. You can accumulate rewards for upgrades and even holiday flights. Also consider programmes that benefit your company; it could ensure your next business trip is more comfortable.
Know before you go
It’s your responsibility to make sure you’ve got the right paperwork for the country you’re visiting and adhere to the local regulations. Check online, ask an expert or someone who’s been before, don’t make assumptions and remember that regulations can change.
Suss the shortcuts
Stop putting it off. Download the BA app so you can check in and get your boarding pass on your mobile phone. Use the bag drop to skip the check-in queues and give yourself some extra time to shop for tacky souvenirs.
Give and you will receive
If things go wrong, being friendly and polite is more likely to get you the outcomes you want, and potentially a bit more, than ranting and raving. Even when things are working as they should, being pleasant will enhance your experience and that of those around you.