New year, new you? It doesn’t get much fresher than a Monday, January 1 start date to establish a new goal or commit to a change. As travel industry aficionados (and great conversationalists with thousands of seasoned travelers riding our shuttles each month), we often uncover great tips and travel advice. Whether you’re looking forward to a cross-country road trip, regular business travel or that next big family vacation in 2024, take a page from our playbook and make utilizing these tips part of your New Year’s resolutions.

Research, book and engage.

Even if you’re no stranger to pre-travel homework before heading to a destination, the phrase “the early bird gets the worm” couldn’t be truer when planning a spectacular experience. Advanced research rewards you with ideas and opportunities. Pre-booking experiences, buying tickets and securing reservations is a travel best practice, especially if you’re trying to gain entry into a popular event or restaurant. “Winging it” sounds so adventurous and enticing, but it risks missing out on the most coveted experiences a destination has to offer. (Bonus Tip: Travel volume is high and parking capacity is strained at many airports, so not having a parking reservation is also risky. Who knew?)  

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, the real education begins. Whether in a new city or a location you’ve visited before, challenge yourself to speak with locals to gain a better sense of your surroundings. Try that hole-in-the-wall restaurant, visit a neighborhood market or walk a stretch of town favored by locals. While fast food is cheap, convenient and familiar, make it a goal to avoid experiences that can be had in Anywhere, U.S.A. Seek to understand a location’s personality and charm, attributes that are often best expressed by its small businesses.

Pack like a minimalist.

Instead of seeing how many items you can cram into your luggage, cut back on the bags and simplify your wardrobe altogether. Why worry about baggage (literally) if you don’t have to? Leaving a little extra room in your suitcase also allows you to save that space for souvenirs and tchotchkes from your travels.

In addition, with an abundance of delivery services for local goods and rental equipment – with everything from baby gear to beach gear – packing for a big vacation doesn’t have to fill every luggage shelf on the Fast Park shuttle. (No judgement here, we promise!)

As for wardrobe essentials, unless your itinerary calls for an array of climates and weather conditions, focus on shirts and undergarments and reuse pants as much as possible. Look into laundry options along the way, if necessary.

Document your journey.

It’s important to live in the moment, even if that means leaving your devices behind for the day or spending hours away from cell service. Equally important, however, is capturing the best memories to help make them last a lifetime. Even a wholesome family photo from one our parking lots could end up on our social media feeds when you tag us @thefastpark.

Don’t move onto the next destination or activity if you’d regret leaving without a photo or video – who knows the next time you’ll be back? If you’d rather stay unplugged while enjoying the outdoors, invest in a disposable camera or take up journaling to record your adventures instead.

If you have a way with words or skill with a camera, consider reviewing your destination and/or experiences in an online review forum. This harkens back to our first bit of advice – do your homework and lean on those who have been there and done that. If you have first-hand experience and wisdom to share, pay it forward and let future visitors know what to expect, what to avoid and what simply can’t be missed! As a pre-travel destination, we know that guest reviews carry much more weight than a slick advertisement. (Review Fast Park...sorry, we couldn’t miss that plug.)

While adopting any of these tips in the New Year may help enhance your 2024 travel experiences, we also love hearing from our guests when they venture on a road less traveled and make a vacation experience uniquely theirs. Either way, we thoroughly enjoy experiencing the world through the eyes of our guests and look forward to shuttling you off to your next travel adventure.