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We’re not going to lie to you and say that getting to the gym and eating right are at the top of our to do list in 2015. We will, though, try to be better travelers and more informed experts.
Below you’ll find the resolutions Skift’s staff has for travel in 2015. It’s not so much a list of places we’d like to go (although you’ll find some picks) as it is ways we want to get there and what we want to know when we arrive. And while some choices may be pretty specific to what we do here on a day-to-day basis, we think you’ll find a few ideas you can identify with, too.
Dennis Schaal, News Editor
I am so sick of hearing about lifestyle hotel brands that I am going to boycott all of them in 2015 and I will stick with big-box hotels like the New York Hilton Midtown that’s so crowded you have to get a ticket for the elevator. OK, most of that was a lie and I actually like some of the lifestyle brands, although I rebel against their trendy coolness. I do look forward to mobile check-ins and mobile checkouts, and La Quinta texts when my room is ready.
Then I am going to do my best and live the Skift brand — i.e. change and transformation — and will patronize every disrupter I get a chance to use. Uber for car rides, Airbnb and Flipkey for apartment stays, independent hotels when called for, Rome2Rio for door to door excursions, Skiplagged for hidden-city airline itineraries, Kayak’s hacker fares for other flights … I pledge to use them all and I’ll enjoy every friggin’ disruptive minute of it. Apologies to no one.
Davina Chesterson, Project Manager
This year, I resolve (a lot of things):
To read more, generally, but also books about travel. I want to learn about and get excited to visit new places and have my agenda ready.
Write more. Restart a blog/website or Skift-related and write about my travels, people I meet, and photos that I take so they are harder to forget.
Be more Skiftish (or Skifty?) Meet more people in the travel industry, primarily those in startups and understand how they are building their brand and why they exist; where was the gap in the market and how will their products or brand be useful to me and our team?
Keep our team on track. Be communicative, practical, and smart when it comes to planning and executing the road map. Balance priorities and see projects through from beginning to end.
Un poco mas: Practice more duolingo Spanish (since I already covered Portuguese for the World Cup).
Anthony Derico, VP of Ad Sales
My resolution is business-travel related. It is to evangelize and elevate the Skift brand globally by finding and attending non-traditional pure-play travel industry conferences in order to connect, network, and develop relationships with high-level marketing and strategy executive decision makers at global brands (ex. Verizon, Adobe, HP, Panasonic etc.). Also, in concert with this resolution, I resolve to be the silent traveler by allowing my iPhone to do more of the work for me when I travel from foregoing the paper boarding pass with mobile check-in and replacing the antiquated plastic room key with keyless registration to using mobile device to find dining recommendations and book transport.
Samantha Shankman, Reporter
When it comes to travel, my resolution is to explore more of my own backyard. Of course, I’m looking forward to hopefully several trips to new countries or cities in 2015 but I also want to make time for exploring new cuisines in Queens, see if the Hudson Valley is actually a hipster’s heaven, or just take the Staten Island ferry for sunset ride. We get so caught up in bucket lists and Instagrams of foreign places that I want to time to enjoy the amazing culture and attractions located a subway or train ride away, without needing to document every second of it.
When it comes to writing and reporting, I want to tell more of the stories that no one else is telling, from sniffing out scoops to relaying the untold stories of the people — both executives and locals — that make travel possible. I want to listen better, to draw lines between unseen connections, and write more colorfully, so stories are not only informative but enjoyable. And I look forward to launching new edit products from podcasts to series in the new year.
Simon Yi, Director of Marketing
I’ve tried many of the sharing economy services that are out there, from the big players like Uber and Airbnb to the more obscure startups like EatWith or SoFarSounds. Despite the legal and safety issues that need to figure themselves out, I’m a huge fan of the movement we’re seeing towards authentic experiences. With that said, I’ve only enjoyed this sharing economy from the consumer’s point of view.
My resolution this year is to experiment with being a host on one of these services. I loved staying at an Airbnb in San Francisco and Berlin and seeing those cities like a local, but I want to help grow the community of people seeking authentic experiences. By offering my place to stay in Brooklyn or by preparing a Korean meal to share together in our home, I’ll help someone experience something new and hopefully become more open minded and empathetic to a different perspective. My girlfriend may need some more convincing, though.
Jason Clampet, Co-Founder and Head of Content
I’m going to become a master of the weekend. Working at a startup doesn’t provide many opportunities for long getaways. It does, however, make you want to escape.
But living in New York doesn’t give you the same opportunities as you’d find in, say, Los Angeles, where you can choose between the beaches of Mexico, skiing in Big Bear or Tahoe, the wine and food of wine country, a Palm Springs desert indulgence, or a road trip up the Pacific Coast.
Lacking that, in the new year I’ll seek out two-to-three day breaks between D.C. and Boston that can be reached by a family of three in a car or by rail. Montreal for a food indulgence? Sure thing. A Rhode Island coastal spot for crashing waves? Yes. Martha’s Vineyard for a great carousel? Why not. A Jersey shore spot that doesn’t bring to mind the Jersey Shore? Oh please.
I’m buying a paper map, too — the combination of iPhone and Google Maps still burns through the battery too quickly to be as reliable as paper and ink. I’m going to try to turn my soon-to-be eight-year old into a backseat expert navigator, and rely on my wife to play DJ for our rides.
And if things go wrong, there’s always next weekend.
Marisa Garcia, Aviation Editor
I tend to have aims more than make resolutions, and remain open to the adventure of life coming up with its own plans for me. I’d like to expand my coverage of airlines providing exceptionally good Economy cabin comfort. If airlines could lend me a hand and introduce more comfortable Economy cabins, it would be super. If Wall Street could stop picking on the few that do, that would be awesome.
I’d like to travel to as many airports as possible where I don’t have to stand in line to check-in with my already pre-checked electronic boarding pass and no luggage, only to find out that the check-in desk has changed and that I’m now standing in the wrong line (though the right airline’s name is still clearly listed on the display above the agent) but I have to make the queue again anyway and then, after crossing that hurdle, I get to be a lab mouse in a hidden security maze that would thrill your average Minotaur, only to find, at the end of it, that three out of a possible six TSA security gates are working, and they’ve got no cheese. Yes. I’m looking at you LAX.
I want to access more free high-speed Wi-Fi on my EU and International flights. I’d probably catch up on lots of email, be super-duper productive and impress my friends on Twitter. Probably.
As a writer, I’d like to break less aviation news, much of it is pretty broken already. I’d also like to use fewer words to say what I mean and overcome my addiction to irony.
Joyce Manalo, Data Analyst
I plan to be more resourceful by keeping a hawk’s eye on Airfarewatchdog and Travelzoo for travel deals to international destinations around $500. I realize that I haven’t been able to take advantage of these resources and rewarding myself with an actual vacation since 2013. In the meantime, I will spruce up my go-kit, complete with a pack list, prepaid SIM card, and a mobile international data plan.
Dani Haigh, Sales Executive
Enough of waiting until the last minute before booking flights and spending an extra $100, this year is the year that I book all my travel in advance. I also plan on finally mastering the art of travel points and getting a credit card that will pay for my honeymoon next December completely on points. Any suggestions? Shoot me an email! Finally, I resolve to make the most of the weekends that I’m not traveling, and explore New York City and all of its boroughs (except maybe Staten Island).
Greg Oates, Hospitality Editor
I resolve to never again type the words “authentic” or “experiential,” and severely cut back on “millennial.”
In 2015, I’m going to travel less but better. I’m going to write my first e-book about DMOs’ shift into economic development, continue my progress toward becoming a TED speaker, and convince at least one other person that the meetings industry is the most exciting sector in tourism. I resolve to better understand how tourism impacts communities worldwide, learn how to shoot/edit video, and read something outside travel trade. Mostly, I will finally visit El Cosmico and grasp its mañanifesto after DMAI in Austin.
Dan Peltier, Reporter
I’ve been to more countries than I have U.S. states, so one of my top travel goals this year is to make it to more of my own backyard. So many of us think just because something is close by or that a state is a short flight away that we’ll make it there “some day.” It gets a spot on the bucket list but may never see fruition. Every country varies culturally depending on what city or province you are in, and the U.S. is definitely no exception. To learn more about the American identity is something I will strive to do this year, the good, the bad and the parts I wish I never discovered.
Between my interstate travel, I’ll be focusing on making more friends in each place that I visit. Despite all the backdoor and hyper-aware travel advice I’ve gathered, I’ll be the first to readily admit it’s easy for me to get caught up in the main touristy traps of a place and sometimes turning my back on the true story of what’s going on. By doing this, you lose the chance at actually seeing a place for what it is and interacting with the people who call it home, and more importantly you miss learning about yourself. I resolve to be a more sociable traveler and always be on the lookout for interesting characters to meet, isn’t that what traveling’s all about anyways?
Matt Heidkamp, Ad Sales Specialist
Vacation for a lot of my friends and family members means a four-night stay at an all-inclusive tourist trap– which is all well and good if all you seek during what little time you have off is relaxation and bottomless daiquiris. There’s a whole weird world out there that’s unexplored by the masses, which is why my resolution for 2015 is to open my friends up to more interesting travel experiences.
Adventure lies outside the norm and off the beaten path. Convincing a few friends to take the road less traveled would make for a year worth talking about.
Rafat Ali, Founder & CEO
For me, everything about travel is personal, in business and in life. In business, 2015 is about breaking the silos of the mind, through breaking the silos in the travel industry. It is what we have tried from the time we started Skift in the summer of 2012, and 2015 needs an even bigger push from me and Skift. We have built Skift around talking about the travel industry outside of their own self-defined and self-constricting silos, in a big picture way, and it is our job to make travel industry understand the larger context in which travel operates, and portray travel’s larger role reflecting the geopolitical realities of the world.
In life, I am about to have a baby, and the resolution we have is to build a family life around travel. Too many Americans make having-a-baby a travel full stop in their lives, due to the perceived hassles in traveling with a child. We want to make sure we are not one of them, and even in its first year (towards the latter part of it), take the child on trip to India and UK, two countries we have deep connections with. If we can construct our lives around travel with the child early on, it will hopefully be passed on to the child as well in the future years.
Johnathan Ross, Developer
I don’t feel that I do enough when I travel, outside of just getting to the destination. So my resolution is to do more active traveling. Instead of going places just to “see” them, I want to experience everywhere I visit. Ideally I’d like to get to know a bit of the history of everywhere that I visit. If it’s a place I revisit, I’d like to learn something that I didn’t already know.