The new year brings the opportunity for a new start. It’s a time when we reflect on the past twelve months and decide what we want to change – or continue – over the coming year. At Rough Guides, travel is always at the heart of our plans. Here are the new year resolutions that we think should shape your 2016.

1. “I will travel more responsibly”

It’s never too late to look at how you can have a holiday and do something good. Travel can be a powerful force for social and environmental change. You might want to think about spending more of your money with local businesses, offsetting your carbon impact or even volunteering. We’ve run down 7 ways to travel better to help kickstart your year.

Canoe, sunset

2. “I will tick one big sight off my bucket list”

This is the year to start taking some of those bucket list trips, and planning ahead early will help you find cheaper transport and accommodation. See how many experiences you’ve ticked off our rundown of 50 things to do before you die, then check out our full guide, Make The Most of Your Time on Earth, for even more inspiration.

3. “I will take a digital detox”

Forget about the latest gadget, going unplugged will be one of the biggest travel trends in 2016. Over 65% of Rough Guides readers think we need to start using social media in moderation and taking a trip without screen time is one of the best places to start. Learn how to part from your phone and check out these 19 digital detox “hotspots”.


4. “I will seek out new and unusual experiences”

This year we’ve chilled out in a red wine spa in Japan, been locked in an escape room in Budapest, taken a tour of the world’s kinkiest sex museums, got drunk off a cloud of gin in London, taken a tour of a robot hotel in Japan and braved Mexico’s island of haunted dolls. Resolve to join us on our quest for the weird, wonderful and memorable in 2016.

5. “I will get up to watch the sunrise at least once”

Yes, there’s nothing worse than dragging yourself out of bed in the dark, but the rewards are well worth it. Some of the world’s most amazing experiences happen as dawn breaks. Think about hot air ballooning over Bagan, marvelling at Monument Valley, watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu – or just getting a new perspective back home by making an early start for a local trip.

Myanmar / Western Burma / Bagan / sunrise from Shwesandaw

6. “I will learn more about world geography”

Can you list all the capitals of the world or name every European country? If not, this is the year to stick a map on your wall and start learning. Try these quizzes for starters: name the states from their outlines; guess the countries from their shape aloneidentify these tricky island chains.

7. “I will go on a microadventure”

Going on an adventure doesn’t mean buying a round-the-world ticket. Meet National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Alastair Humphreys. He’s pioneering the concept of the microadventure – a “5 to 9” trip that fits around your working life. He believes adventure is a state of mind – and so should you.

Italy, Eastern Tuscany, nr Borgo San Lorenzo, small red car travelling on mountain road, view from behind

8. “I will travel somewhere out of my comfort zone”

It’s good to challenge yourself once in a while. Taking the odd relaxing beach holiday is all well and good, but it isn't the most rewarding form of travel. Think about exploring icy lakes in Siberia, remote islands off the coast of Chile or the far northerly reaches of Canada. We’ve selected 20 places to travel if you like a challenge to get you started.

9. “I will embrace the great outdoors”

Especially once winter has rolled in, it’s easy to focus on cosy nights in, meals out and indoor activities. But to get the most from travelling, you need to get outdoors. Explore the USA’s stunning national parks, visit the most beautiful places in India or discover some of the world's most colourful destinations.

Sunset, outdoors

10. “I will challenge my misconceptions”

Think Madeira is only good for beach holidays? Think Bolivia is dangerous? Think Adelaide will always play second fiddle to Melbourne? Think Pittsburgh is dominated by heavy industry? It’s time to challenge your misconceptions – and we’re here to help. Keep an eye out for our latest reports from the road.