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Travel resolutions for 2014

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I’m working on my travel resolutions for 2014 at this very moment. However, most of those resolutions are solely focused on locations that I wanted to visit—destinations that would make 2014 stand out over all the others. Well, Scott McCartney, ‘Middle Seat’ columnist for WSJ.com, has a number of resolutions with regards to his travel behaviors that have made me stop and reconsider my own list.

McCartney tells 'WSJ Live' that his number one travel resolution for 2014 is to avoid baggage fees. He recommends being aggressive on how you pack and only take a carry-on (hotel laundry is cheaper than the baggage fees these days). If that won’t work, and I do think it is more difficult for women than men, he suggests taking a serious look at the airline credit card options. Many will not only give you early boarding benefits, but also will waive your baggage fees. These credit cards do have membership fees attached, so do the math before diving in, but for frequent travelers, this might end up saving you quite a bit of money.

In 2014 McCartney is also resolving to achieve and maintain elite status. Like the interviewer, I thought this was only a benefit for the road warriors, and not at all cost-effective for the occasional airline passenger. Apparently, this is no longer the case with some airline advantage programs have mileage requirements as low as 25,000. Take a look at the video for tips from Scott McCartney on how to rack up those miles in some creative ways.

Do you love diving into the comfort food when in an airport? I can sympathize. It’s often cheaper than the healthier options, and the comfort it provides makes the hassle of airline travel seem not quite as annoying. Alas, as McCartney points out, those calories still count even when on vacation. He is resolving to try to make healthier eating choices while traveling in 2014, and I might join him in that resolution.

Are you curious about his other resolution? I’ll give you a hint: it has to do with being nicer to the person stuck in the middle seat. Be sure to watch his interview to hear all his thoughts on making 2014 the best year of travel yet.

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