January is traditionally the month when we all try and make changes for the good. Resolutions for the year are often to kick bad habits and live healthier and happier in the 12 months ahead.  A great way to do this is with the 12 Trips Challenge.

What is the 12 Trips Challenge?

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The idea behind the 12 Trips Challenge is a simple one: take a holiday, city break or short trip once a month throughout the coming year to help you explore more of the world and make the most of any time off from work or commitments that you have. It’s not about taking huge trips all the time, but shorter ones, possibly closer to home, that allow you to switch off and unwind and therefore improve your quality of life.

By splitting your travelling up into 12 sections, it means it is well spread out and gives you something to look forward to all through 2017. As soon as you come back from one destination, you’ve got another to start planning for. What could be better than that?!

How to plan your trips

With so many low-cost airfares about, there’s no better time to undertake the 12 Trips Challenge. How you go about organising it depends on the way you prepare for your holidays, but the first thing is to commit to completing a dozen trips in 2017.

A great way to make sure you stick to your resolution is to create a grid with each month of the year and your travel plans in it. A big chalkboard or whiteboard is perfect for this. If you are all about the planning, then you can work out exactly where you’ll be heading off to from January to December. The more spontaneous you are the more gaps you can leave for an off-the-cuff trip to surprise your partner and perhaps even yourself.

Taking 12 trips will likely mean changing how you plan your time away. Of course, you can include your annual summer holiday or ski trip in the challenge, but it is the smaller jaunts that will unleash a different kind of travel in you. Think about European cities that you’ve always wanted to visit and never got round to and don’t limit yourself to places that have featured on your radar previously.

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Here are our top tips for the 12 Trips Challenge:

· Look at flight deals for the dates you have available without set ideas of where you want to go. This will mean you broaden your horizons and keep costs low.

· Find out when key festivals and events are taking place in a destination and match it to the corresponding month. This will give focus to your trip and help to offer an insight into the local culture.

· Plan to visit family and friends, as this feeds perfectly into the 12 Trips Challenge philosophy.

· Think about a skill you’d like to acquire – such as cooking authentic food, practising a language or learning yoga – and plan a trip based on a course.

· Don’t be afraid to do your 12 trips with different people, as this will allow you to spend quality time with your partner, friends and extended family.

Share your experiences

Most people don’t need to be reminded to document their trips and just think of the photos you’ll have from all of the amazing destinations you’ve visited in 2017. Be sure to share them on social media using the hashtag #take12trips and #MonarchAirlines which is also a great way to look for inspiration about some of the places you could go and ideas for activities as part of the challenge.

Having started her travelling career at the age of five on a trip to Africa with her family, Emma has gone on to visit more than 45 countries across the globe. Highlights have included taking part in a tango lesson in Argentina, seeing Victoria Falls from both sides and getting lost among the streets of the Albaicin in Granada.

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