27 New Years Travel Resolutions From Top Travelers and Writers

As 2012 ends and 2013 rapidly approaches, we all find ourselves looking ahead to the New Year. While some get caught up in the festivities and some don’t-all of us review our 2012 and look ahead to the new year. So as one of the world’s most traveled people and a travel writer, I got to thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in the next year travel wise and I thought I would ask some travel friends and colleagues as well. So without further adieu, here are my and 26 others’ new years travel resolutions.

“As I sit here 15 destinations away from completing the Travelers Century Club list of 321 countries and territories, I hope to make a serious dent in that number. As I have gotten closer to the end, it has become much more difficult and more expensive. I hope to visit 9 of these destinations by May including 3 Antarctic claims, Falkland Islands, Juan Fernandez Islands, Kiritimaki (Line/Phoenix Islands), Tristan de Cunha, St. Helena and Ascension Island. I will likely finish the rest of the Antarctic territories next Winter-whether that falls in 2013 or 2014 I don’t know yet. My biggest challenges with completing the list remain Wake Island and the British Indian Ocean Territory so I hope to make headway with those destinations and stop getting foiled by bureaucracy. I have had 2 trips to each destination cancelled in the past 2 years; which has been really frustrating. I also look forward to visiting the Paracel Islands in May on a very exclusive boat with a who’s who of the world’s most traveled people. Those really remote destinations aside, I look forward to whatever the world has in store for me as I am pretty much booked up through May. I know it will be fun but I plan to travel less this year than in the past few years. I will focus on my book, doing more television and working with more major brands. I will also spend more time at home with the people I love and try to have a somewhat normal life!”

Wendy Perrin is the Director of Consumer News & Digital Community at Conde Nast Traveler and runs the massively popular blog, PerrinPost.com. She is also an incredibly nice woman and a pleasure to talk to!

“On every trip I’m going to try an activity I’ve never done before. I’ve found that doing something for the first time—mastering a new challenge—makes a trip vividly memorable and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment that lingers long after you get home. So, when I hit the slopes in Tahoe tomorrow, maybe I’ll do something crazy like take my first snowboarding lesson…with my nine-year-old.”

Charles Veley is the founder of MostTraveledPeople.com, one of the word’s most traveled people, a software executive, and a personal friend who I enjoy talking to and drinking wine with greatly.

“My resolution, as I face a UA (United) redeye tonight, is to continue flying VX (Virgin America) as much as possible in 2013.”

Andrew McCarthy is an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler and author of best selling, The Longest Way Home. He has also appeared in a few films including St. Elmo’s Fire, and Weekend at Bernie’s.

“To leave the iphone off when traveling.”

Pam Mandel is a cofounder of Passports with Purpose, the travel blogger’s fundraiser. Her personal blog where she documents her travels and her obsession with the ukulele is NerdsEyeView.com. I had an entertaining breakfast with Pam and others at TBEX in Girona, Spain this past fall.

“Here’s the thing — I don’t think the big adventure is travel, per se, it’s the whole living on earth that’s the adventure. So I don’t make resolutions around travel because who knows what the fates will send my way. I have some ideas about what I’d like to see or where I’d like to go in 2013, but the equations are complicated, a sort of money + time / responsibilities (unforeseen circumstances) + (aging parents)… so mostly, I try to keep myself in a place where I can say yes when adventure comes knocking. I guess I resolve to keep saying “Yes” when the chance to travel comes up. It’s probably not as simple as, “2013, Borobudur,” but that’s how I roll.”

Annie Fitzsimmons is a freelance travel and hotel writer. Her work has appeared in numerous major publications. She also writes the popular blog, Hotel Belle, about hotels and life in New York City. Annie is a neighbor of mine in NYC and I look forward to drinks with her again in January!

“My resolution is to travel more with my family and friends and to keep creating travel content that people can really trust. I’ve had the great privilege of writing stories about far-flung locales like China, India, Jordan, and Peru but this year, I want to plan more trips, even short weekend getaways, with family and friends. We travel to see the world and be outside our comfort zone, but I love experiencing it with people I can be totally myself with and relive memories with them in years to come.”

Kim Mance is the host of Galavanting TV and editor-in-chief of GoGalavanting.com, an online travel magazine. She is also the founder of the popular travel conference TBEX and a good friend with exquisite taste in cars.

“My New Year’s Travel Resolution is to never tread new territory without using a new pair of lenses. You know … perception lenses. Many years ago I ruefully and pitifully received a speeding ticket from a state trooper in Kansas, which made me immediately speed through the rest of the state as fast as possible and get a second speeding ticket. I never wanted to return to Kansas. But a very recent road-trip, a good old fashioned road-trip, brought something that only travel often brings: the unexpected. Like the guy named Chuck who passionately sells fossils in the middle of nowhere near Monument Rocks in Western Kansas while telling stories of local fossil hunters. And the waitress who couldn’t believe it was “so busy still” at 1:30 pm when I stopped in for a late diner for lunch amongst two other tables (out of ten) in Scott City. Or the hilarious student-films shown in Emporia, near their cheek-pinching cute downtown, while I stayed glued to local TV at a roadside inn. I am resolute to never travel with the same pair of glasses on. Whether rose colored or not. Even if in Kansas.”

David Farley is the author of “An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town”, Contributing Editor at AFAR magazine, a really nice guy learning how to become an editor for books and a neighbor of mine in NYC.

“For the coming year, in terms of travel, I hope the chatty person next to me on my various flights will take more sleeping pills. I want to log more time with the Amish. I want to keep getting those travel PR press releases telling me what the nudists think about certain world events. Finally, I’d like to figure out why even the dumbest movies seem brilliant at 35,000 feet in the air (and, bonus, why, when I’m on that metal tube jetting through the heavens, I always end up crying by the end of said movies).“

Daniel Walker is a Canadian who lives in Costa Rica. He is one of the world’s most traveled people and once drove around the world in a Rolls Royce! He will be a part of a very exclusive group of travelers to sail to the previously inaccessible Paracel Islands in 2013. I can’t wait for the trip!

“My New Years Resolution is to organize myself out of my companies so more time can be dedicated to the constructive, pleasurable, exciting and informative art of adventure travel. The 2013 list includes the rest of the Philippines, South New Zealand, the States of India I’ve not visited, South Sudan plus the Paracel trip.”

Pam Barrus is the current President of the Travelers Century Club, a super smart and interesting lady, and a good friend of mine. She is based in Orange County.

“I’ve never made a New Years travel resolution in my life. I just walk out the door and leave.”

Robert Reid is the US Travel Editor for Lonely Planet, a big Oklahoma University sports fan and an interesting guy.

“I want to learn how to play harmonica from real-live harmonica players in Appalachia somewhere. It’s sort of travel’s great diversion — a portable instrument that you can play anywhere. Plus there’s nothing better sounding than a well-played harmonica. But I don’t know how to play one. In North Carolina, there’s a folk school with all sorts of folksy classes, called Joseph C Campbell Folk School. In one, they teach you how to build a dulcimer then how to play it. That sort of thing always appeals to me. Taking a class, learning something, as the bulk of a trip. All in the key of C.”

Christine Kloner is one of the world’s most traveled people and the most traveled American woman. She, along with her Australian husband Noel, are very good friends of mine and are fantastic wine drinkers and dinner companions!

“My New Year’s Resolution is to become fluent in Spanish.”

Gary Arndt has been traveling the world since March 2007. In that time he has visited over 110 countries. He runs the popular travel blog, Everything-Everywhere.com. I have met up with Gary on 3 continents and recently went to a Muay Thai fight with him in Bangkok.

“My goal for 2013 is to slow down and try to spend more time in the places I visit. My 2012 schedule wasn’t sustainable.”

Kirsten Alana is a professional photographer, writer, teacher and social media consultant based in NYC. Her personal blog is AviatorsandaCamera.com and I owe her because she helped me greatly when my site crashed back in April.

“My New Year’s Travel Resolution for 2013 is to be more purposeful about where and when I travel. I enjoy it so much that I think I’ve spent the last few years saying yes more than no because I crave the new experiences and new places but it’s worn me down. 2013 may bring less travel but hopefully, the places I do visit will be all the more special because of that.”

Chris Richardson is the Aussie Nomad and also runs the popular RTW Labs where he helps bloggers with technology. He is the guy I use to run the technology updates and all other things on my site.

“When it comes to travel, Europe has been my world for quite a while. What’s not to love when there is a whole range of countries with their own traditions, languages and ways of life all stacked up next to each other? For 2013 I want to make some time to sample more of what the world has to offer including my home country of Australia. Europe will always be my love but it would be unfair to the rest of the world to just skip it.”

Chris Christensen is the host of the Amateur Traveler. It is a popular online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations. I did the show a few months ago talking remote Australian Islands. By day Chris makes software.

“I resolve to get to at least 2 continents outside the U.S. next year. Not so easy as it seems when you have a day job.”

Jen Friel is the founder of the popular lifestyle/dating blog TalkNerdyToMeLover.com. I met Jen at a hotel event in LA last summer. Her site is extremely entertaining.

“Two places I need to go next year: 1) Hawaii for relaxation 2) Egypt for adventure…I’ve had a fascination with both places my entire life and as long as they have Wi-Fi on the ship going down the Nile I can make it happen!!”

Johnny Jet is the founder of JohnnyJet.com. He has been featured in many major publications and he has hosted a show on the Travel Channel. I spoke on the Jetset Social panel with John earlier in 2012.

“My New Year’s Travel Resolution for 2013 is to visit more countries that I haven’t been to and try and get more American’s to travel internationally.”

Matt Stabile runs TheExpeditioner.com and is a lawyer by day. I run into Matt at seemingly every NYC travel event and he’s a really great guy.

“My 2013 New Years Resolution is to finally travel to India. I’ve been putting it off for a while because I was reluctant to go to such a large destination if I didn’t have enough time (which in my case is usually two weeks) to see everything. However, I decided that this year I won’t let that hold me back, and that I should remember that there will be plenty of times in the future to go back to places I like and see more. The fear of not seeing it all should never hold someone back from ever going at all.”

Rick Calvert is the CEO and co-founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo. I met Rick at TBEX in Spain this past fall.

“My New Years Travel Resolution is to visit places I have never been to before. Ireland and Australia top my list. And I resolve to visit at least three of these states: Alaska, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Vermont, Rhode Island to complete my goal of visiting all 50 states.”

Jeff Shea is a unique traveler who has visited the vast majority of the world and has also climbed the seven summits including Mt. Everest from multiple directions. He will also be a part of the very exclusive group of travelers to sail to the previously inaccessible Paracel Islands in 2013.

“My resolution is to explore the jungles of the vast uncharted area in Southern Venezuela/Northern Brazil on foot and escape alive.”

Matt Long is a luxury adventure traveler at heart and has been featured in many major publications. He runs the popular travel blog, LandLopers.com. I have recently done some work with Matt on a project for Marriott in NYC and LA.

“My Travel Resolution for 2013 is to slow down. I’m guilty of speeding through new destinations way too fast and I know that my experience suffers as a result. That may mean I see fewer places, but the experience will be made all the richer for it.”

Benny Prasad is an Indian musician who has the world record for visiting all the world’s countries in the fastest time period-all on an Indian passport. He plays his unique guitar wherever he goes. I met Benny in Samoa and spent 5 days with him on an arduous yacht to Tokelau a few years ago.

“My new year resolution is to travel to 25 to 30 countries rather than the average 50 countries that I do, and inturn spend more quality time with people & culture.”

Matt Kepnes runs the popular travel blog, NomadicMatt.com, and has been featured in several major travel publications. I’ve hung out with Matt in Vegas and Spain.

“To see Bhutan.”

Mary Anne Been is the owner of JetsetExtra.com and the JetSet Social. She is an avid traveler and along with her husband, Jason, are very good friends of mine.

“In 2013 I’d like to do more family travel. Including my kids in my travels around the world is something that would not only give them opportunity to see the world, but grow as individuals.”

Andrew Hickey is the former Brooklyn Nomad and currently the social media manager for G Adventures and connoisseur of fine Guinness. I met Andrew for a beer in the West Village some months back.

“My New Years travel resolution is to travel more…with family. While I get to hit the road often, it is rare that my wife and son are with me since it is work related. I plan to take a few weeks off in 2013 and get away without thinking about blogging, social media or emails.”

Markus Lundgren is a Swedish diplomat who works at the Swedish Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. He has been to nearly every country in the world and is amongst the world’s most traveled people. I spent 5 miserable days with Markus on a small yacht trip from Samoa to Tokelau a few years ago.

“My New Years Travel Resolution for 2013 is to visit the three remaining sovereign nations I have still not been to, including a road trip from Western to Eastern Canada. Happy New Year!”

Sharing is caring!


  1. wow!

    besides taking my business to the next level, 2013 will be a year of visiting new places for me & sharing them with those who would like to go there but might not make the time. i hope my travels inspire others outside the “travel space” to explore, let go & get out there. isn’t that why we do what we do??

    also, near & dear to me is traveling in order to give back. i will seek out another place to do a Habitat for Humanity build in 2013!

  2. My resolution is to finally get to Africa in 2013!

  3. Great post! Mine is to get to another continent but I have to save for that first, so it may be until 2014 until I do it.

  4. Great post Lee, I really enjoyed running through this list of people, some I know and some are new to me. You bridge the gap nicely.

  5. Very cool Lee. My resolution is to get a new job so I can afford to travel more and stop reading your site so much!

  6. Thanks for including me in this awesome list of travelers, Lee. Cheers to achieving all our goals in 2013!!

  7. What about visiting a country which is not on everyone’s travel map? Madagascar could be a good example. Amazing biodiviersity, Unique culture, Unspoiled beaches and landscapes. Less than 250 000 tourists per year.

  8. New Year’s resolution? To kick so much ass in 2013 that you ask me to participate in this for 2014. People will ask how you got me to give you a quote and you’ll just say, “I knew her when…” I guess I better get busy, huh? 😉

  9. I never make resolutions because I’m only setting myself up for disappointment =) Having worked in the magazine and guidebook industry for 10 years–and now on contract for a ship company–my travel schedule is never one I can plan too far in advance, so I’m just happy if I can finish the year having seen some new places and met some new faces! Speaking of, I hear you’re one of those people I will be meeting/traveling with in 2013…

  10. Simon Winchester says

    Mine is definitely to finish off visiting the Pacific Island countries I have not been to. Would love to visit the Parcel Islands, very green eyed indeed! First up, Antarctica next week!

  11. Oh dang, I should’ve included juggling. I’ve always wanted to go somewhere and learned to juggle. Thanks for including my anyway Lee…

  12. virginia pereira says

    Hi Lee, I loved your blog and your 2013 travel resolutions, great post !, I will definitely continue following you to get some tips from your trips.

Speak Your Mind