15 Things Every Traveler Must Do in 2016

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Resolution No. 1: Just Do It. That trip you’ve been simultaneously yearning for and putting off? This is your year, and we can help make it happen. After all, you only regret the trips you don’t take.
Resolution No. 2: Unplug. Sure, we love social media and the ways it can help inspire travel, but nothing beats getting off the grid—slow down, relax, talk, eat, sleep. Resist the urge to "check in" while you're away—we promise that your friends, family, and co-workers will all be there when you get home.
Resolution No. 3: Ask for More Vacation Time. We’re big proponents of asking for what you want—and that includes asking your employer for the extra days you need to really see the world. Read Senior Editor Jamie Beckman’s advice on negotiating more time!
Courtesy MPayne13/myBudgetTravel
Resolution No. 4: Eat Like a Local. We know you’d never order a fast-food burger when visiting Venice, right? Wherever you travel, stretch your palate, be curious, and when in doubt eat where the locals (not the tourists) are lined up. (Read Best Restaurants for Budget Travelers in Venice.)
Resolution No. 5: Travel Solo. More people are taking off on their own, without partners, friends, or family in tow—and it can be a wonderful way to see the world on your own terms and build an international network of new friends. Read our advice on how to take the solo-travel plunge.
Resolution No. 6: Be Pushy/Polite—It Really Works. We want Budget Travelers to be the smartest people on the plane, at the hotel counter, and everywhere they go—and also the nicest. Ask for that upgrade, late checkout, or complimentary bottle of champagne, but do it with a smile. You'll be amazed at the results!
Resolution No. 7: Get the Right Gear. Hawaii is a bargain in late winter if you don't mind a little rain—and L.L. Bean's must-have jacket can come in handy! Know before you go and get the travel products that will make your trip comfy and fun!
Resolution No. 8: Talk to Strangers. You don’t have to join the Couchsurfing movement to learn from locals (like these Havana street musicians)—just strike up a conversation. Research studies suggest that the more you expand your circle of acquaintances, the happier your trip will be.
Resolution No. 9: Read a Great Travel Book. Whether it’s a well-researched guidebook, a memoir of living overseas, or a beautiful novel set abroad (like Editor in Chief Robert Firpo-Cappiello’s favorite, A Room With a View), an engaging book can inspire travel or illuminate your journey along the way.
Resolution No. 11: Save for a Dream Trip. Automatically put aside a portion of each paycheck in a dedicated travel fund and cut back on pricey everyday extravagances—ditch expensive lattes for homemade coffee and spend that extra money at a souk in Morocco instead!
Resolution No. 12: Pack Like a Pro. A light suitcase saves you baggage fees. Packing a few days before you fly gives you time to carefully match a few tops and bottoms (rolled, not folded). And when in doubt… leave it out!
Resolution No. 13: Visit a Small Town. Wherever you live, we can guarantee there’s a one-tank escape to a cool and welcoming small town waiting an hour or two away. We love Grand Marais, the winner of Budget Travel's 2015 Coolest Small Town in America contest.
Resolution No. 14: Manage Your Points. Zzzz, right? Think again! Sign up for the rewards programs of your favorite airlines, get a credit card that lets you rack up points on everyday purchases, and use 'em before they expire. You and your SigOth may end up dancing the tango in the streets of Buenos Aires—on the airlines’ dime!
Resolution No. 15: Dream Big! Where in the world would you like to go next? Hold that thought and stretch it—go farther, stay longer, and push the limits of your imagination. Whether it’s cooking lessons in Tuscany, zip-lining in Costa Rica, or diving the Great Barrier Reef (above), we give you permission (and we promise to help you) go BIG in 2016!

Get the most out of your precious vacation time and money—starting with these 15 suggestions from us here at Budget Travel.

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