Did you make a New Year's resolution this year? If so, you are in good company. An online survey of 1,010 Americans by Cheapflights.com found that 63 percent of Americans are resolution makers. And, while 5 percent of those with resolution intentions cave in the first couple of days, an astounding 91 percent last a week or more. In fact, 68 percent of resolution makers stick with it for a month or more with 43 percent lasting months.
While this willpower seems impressive, we are entering the window where determination wavers. So, to help keep motivation strong (and maybe entice late comers to the resolution band wagon), the team at Cheapflights.com has done a little math. The goal: to help you see how giving up now can lead to getting away later.
"If you're looking to get away in 2015, sticking to your resolutions can be key," said Melisse Hinkle, editor at Cheapflights.com. "There are little ways, every day, to prevent that travel fund from trickling away. Stick to your guns and make the changes that are important to you. The world is waiting as your reward!"
Cheapflights.com's research shows that the top items Americans want to give up in the New Year are smoking, drinking soft drinks/soda and eating takeout for dinner.
Cutting any or all of this decadent mix from your life is a great start to being healthier and saving money. Giving up all three to kick off 2015 with a month of truly clean living would put $337 (on average) in your pocket in 31 days. In travel terms, that's a weekend stay at a four-star hotel in New York or Los Angeles.
Of course, that's just a warm up for those who really stick to their guns. The truly resolute will find their determination rewarded in many ways. We've put it in the currency of travel. After all, what keeps you going on a challenge better than a clear prize for your efforts?
- Quit smoking: For the 25 percent of American resolution makers looking to give up smoking, here are some ideas on the rewards of going cold turkey. Give up your pack a day for a month and it's roughly $186 into your piggy bank. (Maybe even more in some areas). From most cities, you can cash that in for a round-trip ticket to Denver for even more clean air. Make it smoke free for six months, and you've netted $1,116 and can start shopping for just the right all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic for a four-night stay, including flights. A year with no smokes, and you're ahead $2,232, plenty to book flights and hotel for a week visit to Australia, especially in shoulder season.
- Drop soda/soft drinks: The 19 percent of us making a resolution who want to drop soda/soft drinks from their diet can expect to replace their sugar rush with a burst of cash instead. Assuming a half-liter-of-soda-a-day habit, the payoff after one month is $76, enough to ride the famed City of New Orleans train from Memphis to the Big Easy through the heartland of blues and jazz. Once you kick the habit, though, you can look forward to pocketing $455 in the first six months, more than enough to score round-trip flights to Hawaii from the West Coast or the Bahamas from the east if you do your homework. After a year, you are $909 richer, which would easily cover an ocean view room on a seven-night cruise to Alaska.
- No more takeout meals: Cutting out takeout food for dinner is next up on the top items on our resolute respondents' list. The 10 percent looking to put down the pizza and toss the takeout menus can bank an extra $75 each month when they refrain, according to data from CouponCodes4u. Trade one month with no takeout for a New York Explorer Pass for entry to your choice of Big Apple attractions. Stay the course until the end of June for a windfall of $450, enough for two fun-filled nights in a nice Las Vegas hotel and casino. Make it all year and you are looking at $900 in savings, a nice budget for trading pizza for a piazza with a round-trip flight to Rome.
- No more bad TV: With 8.5 percent looking to cut down on watching bad TV, we say make the bold move from 200 channels to 20. Changing to a basic or starter plan saves you an easy $30 a month with most cable companies. That might only cover an upgrade to a better leg room seat in jetBlue by the end of January. However, six months down the road you will have a bonus $180 in hand, which is enough to get you off the couch and on a Wow! Airline flight from Boston to Reykjavik, Iceland (one way). After a year, your $360 in savings could mean a round-trip flight to the sun and fun of Miami.
- Give up the booze: Finally, we get to drinking alcohol, which 7 percent said they're resolving to give up. A 30-day break from booze, for a moderate drinker (two bottles of wine a week), translates into $96, enough of an entertainment budget for a Six Flags Season Pass, which works at parks across the country all summer once you've activated it at your home location. Staying on the wagon until summer, though, can free up $576, enough for a three-night getaway to a relaxing Los Cabos, Mexico resort, flights included. If you get through 2015 with your willpower intact, your reward will be an extra $1,152, which could get you a world away in the form of a round-trip flight to Hong Kong.
And, in case you are wondering, cutting these five things out for the entirety of 2015 adds up to $5,552 in cash saved. That's enough for a round-the-world-ticket!
 Pricing analysis based on figures from Numbeo.com unless otherwise stated.
Travel costs are per person, based on double occupancy unless otherwise stated.