Travel Resolutions for an Adventure-Filled 2020 - United Hub

Travel resolutions for an adventure-filled year

By The Hub team

If past years have taught us anything, it's that resolutions are made, but more often than not broken a few months into the new year. This year make resolutions that you are sure to keep — resolutions that are achievable and that you enjoy checking off your list. Read on for 10 travel resolutions that are worth considering for a year full of adventure.

1. Go someplace new

View of high spire towers of Tyn Church in Prague

View of high spire towers of Tyn Church in Prague

It's easy to get into a routine, traveling to the same places to visit family or friends. In 2019, make a resolution to go someplace new. Maybe it's a destination you've always dreamed of exploring or one that recently popped up as a place you'd like to visit. Whatever the reason may be, it's time to check it off your list.

2. Stop making excuses 

A woman traveling

It's easy to put things off because the timing doesn't feel right, making promises to ourselves that next year will be the year. Instead of putting off that trip, make this year the year you go because timing may never be exactly right. Things can always come up, so instead seize the opportunity and take the chance to explore something new because there's a strong chance you won't regret it — you'll likely forget why you put it off in the first place.

3. Pack light 

Two men traveling through an airport

It's easy to stress out before a trip when it comes to what to pack especially if traveling to a new destination. In the new year, make a resolution to not only pack lighter, but to also pack smarter. Try downsizing your suitcase — a smaller suitcase means you'll have to prioritize exactly what you're bringing on the trip and while on your trip, likely thank yourself for opting for the lighter, easier to manage suitcase.

4. Be a conscious traveler 

Just because you're on vacation, it doesn't mean you have to throw your good habits out the window. Travel with a reusable glass bottle that can be filled up once you've passed security at the airport, recycle trash like newspapers, paper cups and magazines onboard, take public transportation when possible and be mindful of sustainable practices while visiting public places while on your trip.

5. Get out of your comfort zone 

A person parasailing over water

Its easy to fall into a routine. This year make a resolution to go outside of your comfort zone by trying something new. That could mean taking a class while on vacation, learning a new sport, trying a new cuisine or taking the trip you've always wanted to take.

6. Unplug 

A woman practicing yoga

We live in a society that is always on, so it can be hard to completely disconnect when on vacation. In 2019, try unplugging more often. Turn off email and social media notifications while on vacation. Doing so will only enhance your experience because the more present you are, the more you'll enjoy your surroundings. Uploading that photo to social media can wait.

7. Go on a solo adventure 

A woman travels through Asia

Taking a solo trip isn't for everyone and that's okay, but if you do enjoy traveling by yourself this year could be the perfect time for a solo adventure.

8. Immerse yourself in the culture 

A woman celebrating the Holi festival in India

You've spent hours traveling to reach your destination — not to mention the hours you put in to plan your trip — so why not immerse yourself in the culture of the city you're in. Communicating with locals by learning the language, even the basics will do, will help make your interactions more meaningful.

9. Explore your own city 

The golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Sometimes a staycation can be worthwhile as there are surely hidden gems to discover in your own city. Pick a weekend to explore a new neighborhood, dine at a restaurant you've been wanting to try or see an exhibit that you've been putting off.

10. Inspire others 

Once you're back from your vacation, inspire others by sharing your adventures with them like tips and tricks you learned along the way. Their trip may not be to the same destination, but the benefits of travel are universal.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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