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Five Travel Resolutions for 2015

How to be a better weekend warrior.

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier 

 

The new year is as good a time as any to change some of your most deeply entrenched vacation habits. Here are a few ways to become a more progressive globetrotter.

1. “I will stop being a tourist”
No more excuses: Forget the trampled guidebook routes and embrace ways to explore a destination as if you lived there. Between Airbnb, EatWith, and SpinLister, an ever-expanding list of websites and apps are making it easier to engage with locals and avoid tourist traps.  

2. “I will plan an active vacation”
The beached whale look is so 1997. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking advantage of some downtime on vacation, more and more hotels are offering fitness classes and outdoor excursions. Beachside Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica is offering a free exercise class to guests during the month of January. Closer to home, the Carneros Inn offers weekly boot camps, yoga, and vineyard runs to neutralize the wine-tasting portion of your Napa trip. 

3. “I will leave my tech gadgets at home for a weekend”
No, you don’t need to Insta your flaky morning eggwich, or detail every single step of your vacation. Remember when we used to go on vacation to untether ourselves from the minutiae of everyday life, then share entertaining stories with friends upon our return? Even if for just one weekend, remind yourself what life is like beyond social media and constant communication. The West Port Hotel in Mendocino County is an ideal place to unplug, with no phones, TVs, or cell service. East Bay company Digital Detox organizes regional off-the-grid events and retreats throughout the year. 

4. “I will not over-plan my vacation”
In fact, don’t plan anything at all. Last-minute booking apps like HotelTonight and Roomer have made it easier to fly by the seat of your pants, instead of obsessing over your itinerary. And Roadtrippers has a fantastic app that tells you points of interest as you drive, so you don’t miss anything.   

5. “I will give OAK a chance”
Used to be that the only airport directly served by BART was SFO. Well, no longer. Thanks to the new BART extension that opened last fall, it’s easier than ever to get to the airport on time. SFO may have the beloved Terminal 2, but flying Oakland has its perks too—namely, smaller crowds, shorter security lines, and fewer flight delays. 

 

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