New Year Travel Resolutions for 2014

1 January 2014

Welcome to 2014. We hope you had a great time last night but now's the time to start thinking about that list of resolutions. You know - those things that you've always been determined to do - some of which may keep being postponed. We think ‘travel more’ should definitely be up there on that resolution list but what to do and where to go? Here at Flight Centre, we’ve put together this list of travel experiences that would be fantastic to include when making your 2014 New Year resolutions.

This year, make a resolution to…

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Trek the Inca Trail, Peru

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 Machu Picchu

This iconic walk follows in the footsteps of Incas through the Andes mountain range and takes four days to complete. On the final day there’s an early morning ascent to catch the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Along the way you’ll hike through mesmerising cloud forests and admire the ruins of Phuyupatamarka and Intipata. It’s best to acclimatise to the altitude by chilling in the beautiful city of Cusco for a couple days before starting the trek. To fulfil this resolution, you’ll have to sign up with a tour company – the Government regulates the amount of trekkers at any one time.

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Cruise the Danube, Austria and Hungary

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 The Danube

Johann Strauss was so inspired by the Danube that he dedicated one of his most famous waltzes to this great European river system. Today the most popular European river cruise departs from Amsterdam and meander along the Rhine, the Main and the Danube River through Germany and Austria before arriving in Budapest. Every moment is special as you admire the Baroque monastery in Melk, tour the Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest and wander the historic streets of Vienna. This resolution can be fulfilled at any time – because all seasons are magical on the Danube.

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See the Mountain Gorillas, Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo

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 A Silverback in the Bwindi National Park. Photographer Flight Centre's Robyn Hodder-MacNeill

There are no words that can prepare travellers for the moment when they first sight the mountain gorillas in the wild. These silverbacks are truly remarkable and live in the cloud forests of Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo in central Africa. When planning this resolution, we’d advise engaging the services of a tour operator who’ll be in the best position to maximise your chance of seeing the gorillas.

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Explore Angkor, Cambodia

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 Angkor Wat

The capital of the ancient Khmer empire was Angkor, which is situated just outside modern day Siem Reap in northern Cambodia. Flourishing from the 9th to the 15th century, the empire included what is now Thailand and Laos. The Khmer constructed many magnificent temples throughout their capital but there’s one building that surpasses them all. Angkor Wat is a masterpiece of engineering and artistry. It was built by King Suryavarman II between 1113 and 1150. To fulfil this resolution it’s important to remember that Angkor is vast – so it’s best to use the services of a tuk tuk driver to chauffeur you between the sights.

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Cruise the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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 Blue Foot Boobies

Made famous by Charles Darwin when he sailed through the archipelago on the Beagle in 1835, the Galapagos Islands is a pristine wilderness where sea lions sunbake, iguanas stand majestically and bird life flourishes. For this resolution, it’s best to set aside a couple of weeks to fully appreciate the range and diversity – the landscape of each island is unique. The cruise generally involves snorkelling to admire the marine life and land excursions to check out the terrain and to experience the incredible tranquillity that pervades the region.

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Hike the Milford Track, New Zealand

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 Milford Sound. Photographer Flight Centre's Richard Culpan

It’s no secret that the South Island of New Zealand boasts astonishing natural beauty. But don’t put it off any longer, in 2014 sign up for the Milford Track – one of the country’s most impressive trails. The four day 53.5 kilometre tramp begins at Glade Wharf on Lake Te Anau and finishes at Sandfly Point, not far from the Milford Sound village. The MacKinnon Pass is one of the many highlights as you hike through the Fiordland National Park. The trek is regulated so it’s best to book early and while it’s still possible to walk in winter, most adventurers enjoy the warmer months.

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Stand over the Grand Canyon, the United States

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 The Grand Canyon

While everything’s grand in America, there’s nothing grander than the Grand Canyon. Created by the Colorado River, the Canyon is 446 kilometres long, 29 kilometres wide and descends a whooping 1,800 metres. Perhaps the hardest decision is how to experience this phenomenal natural attraction. Helicopter rides are popular and trekking into the canyon is an option but you’ll need to book well in advance if you want to stay overnight. There are terrific observation points but our pick, not for the faint hearted, is the recently constructed Skywalk, a cantilever that protrudes over the edge with a glass floor.

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4WD The Kimberleys’ Gibb River Road, Australia

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 The Windjana Gorge

Immortalised in the film, Australia, the Kimberley region of Western Australia boasts some of the most incredible landscapes in the country. And the best way to explore this rugged wilderness is by taking a four wheel drive along the Gibb River Road, which starts just after Kununurra and goes all the way to Derby. The road was once used as a cattle route but today it’s open for travellers. Highlights include the Windjana Gorge, Manning Gorge, the King Leopold Ranges and the El Questro Station. This resolution is best undertaken in the dry season because the region is prone to flooding from November to March.

Lyndon Barnett

Guided by curiosity and a sense of adventure, Lyndon travelled independently to 69 countries on six continents. As such, travel is Lyndon's only addiction. He enjoys with equal measure - scaling the peaks of a South American mountain at altitude, attending opera in a European Opera House or hunting for a bargain in an Asian market.