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2019 Goal: Break Out Of Your Travel Comfort Zone

ANGELA MCLEAN

Admit it: your #travelgram is not where you would like it to be.

We know how it goes—you fantasize over your dream getaway and Insta-lurk travel pages for more inspiration, but somehow keep going back to the same excuses. According to new research from the travel company Contiki, many young Canadians’ biggest regret from 2018 was not travelling enough. Luckily, there are ways to change your scenery without breaking the bank or getting overwhelmed. Read our top tips, pack your bags, and get ready for your next (or first) adventure.

 

Start Small

Why not start with something familiar, a.k.a. our home and native land? Canada, the second most beautiful country in the world, has countless hidden gems that could provide the basis for a cross-country road trip or several smaller trips. Out west, spots like Abraham Lake and Lake Louise in Alberta are straight out of a postcard (and perfect for that #travelgram).

 

Budget Accordingly

Contiki found almost three-quarters of young Canadians would be willing to trade their material purchases for memorable experiences. Instead of buying a new travel wardrobe, for example, scroll through Instagram and Pinterest and try to restyle your favourite pieces. To save money on transportation, watch for seat sales, which often happen around major holidays. Budgeting also applies to your time. Don’t discount weekend trips and consider redeye flights to start your day early.

 

Get To Know The Culture

One of the top priorities for young Canadians planning a trip is the ability to experience the local culture. Also important? Trying new things. There is no better time to be bold and challenge yourself than in a new environment. That could mean figuring out a city’s transit system (bonus: you save money), taking in a jam-packed local festival, or mastering being bilingual. The goal is to live like a local and let that enrich your day-to-day life.

 

Find The Food

For those that like to go where the food is, ensure your travel plans include digging into all the delicious local cuisine possible. According to Contiki, food is also among the top five deciding factors for young Canadians booking travel. Urban centres like Toronto and provinces known for their food scene (we’re looking at you, Québec) are great Canadian destinations. Once you’re there, sites such as Yelp and OpenTable can help locate tasty restaurants nearby.

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Bring A Friend – Or Don’t

Young Canadians typically fill their travel squad with family members and significant others, followed by best friends. It’s no surprise—some of life’s best experiences are shared with the people closest to us. Single or in need of me time? Push yourself to embark on solo travel. The growing trend allows you to relax, reconnect and live in the moment. There may be other benefits to the idea that you didn’t consider, like the fact that you’re more likely to meet your soulmate travelling than at home. That’s definitely something to think about…

 

Be Flexible

Though it is wise to plan, being open to change and spontaneity can lead to some memorable moments. As the late Anthony Bourdain—one of young Canadians’ dream travel partners—said, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay … You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

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