Self-care is an idea that gets a lot of attention these days, and with good reason. Taking control of your time, body and health can lead to a more authentic and fulfilling life.
And what traveler doesn’t want the same from their travel adventures?
Practicing self-care during travel help can help us to better connect with our experiences and make the most of our precious time on the road. In the end, undoubtedly that’s something we all want from travel!
Self-Care & Travel
While people may have different ideas about what self-care looks like, the heart of self-care is about engaging in activities that promote optimal health of the mind, body, & spirit.
It’s the small day to day actions that help us to find energy, balance, and fulfillment. It’s the simple things that lead to healthier travels.
Self-care is a way of being present with ourselves. Yet, in today’s stressful world it seems like a pursuit that desperately needs more time and attention.
But, with a bit of planning, practice, and intention it can be done. As Marie Forleo says, “everything is figureoutable”!
So, what does practicing self-care look like on the road?
Since everyone’s needs differ in one way or another, self-care needs a personalized approach.
What is important is that you do what you need to do, to best take care of your health & well-being.
Although we will each will have different practices, routines, and rituals on the path to well-being, good self-care comes down to listening to your body and intuition.
Planning, and then being flexible with your needs on the road.
Think about how you can best empower & take care of yourself!
I”m a big advocate of wellness travel, travel that enhances health & well-being.
With a little bit of travel planning, we can all add some well-being magic to our travel adventures.
Since well-being is a huge priority for me, I’m always gauging how to best take care of myself. Both at home and on the road. So, here I am sharing a few of the ways I practice self-care while traveling.
Adding a few of these into your self-care plan will help you keep your energy up, stay sane, and make the best of your travels.
By nature, most vacations provide ample opportunities to walk while you take in the sights. Luckily, research shows that walking has plenty of mental and physical benefits!
Beyond sightseeing on foot, you can find plenty of other opportunities to stay in shape during travels. Take part in an outdoor pursuit, swim at the hotel pool or do yoga in a park.
You can always pack a jump rope, yoga mat, exercise bands, or seek out a gym if that is your thing.
Still on my bucket list is yoga with baby goats, yep!
Get Quality Sleep
Although it may be tempting, don’t skimp too much on sleep while you are on the road.
In addition to making sure you get enough shut-eye, pack a few items that will help support better sleep. Take things like warm socks, a travel pillow, or whatever else is a part of your normal bedtime routine. Like a journal.
Heck, I have been known to pack a flannel sheet in my suitcase on more than one wintry occasion! And a pillowcase is a small piece of heaven that can double later as a laundry bag.
Eat Foods That Fuel
There are lots of yummy and unique opportunities to fuel up on the road.
Take advantage of your location and dive into the fresh, seasonal specialties that support the local food culture.
Eat real foods that will nourish your body. And find selections that speak to you, so you can savor and enjoy every bite.
Also, don’t forget to pack healthy snacks to keep your energy up and avoid the “hangries” later.
Have A Few Stress Busters
There are always stressors that arise during travel.
Whether it be transportation delays, tightly packed schedules or dealing with traveling companions who tap dance on your last nerve 🙂
Self-care often gets sabotaged when stress kicks in. So, have a few “go-to’s” for keeping stress at bay.
Quick and simple things like deep breathing, taking a moment alone or writing in a journal can all help you to relax and stay positive in the midst of travel challenges.
Allow Yourself To Unplug
Travel is the ultimate time to recharge. To take a break from the demands and distractions of the modern tech age.
Finding ways to digitally detox on the road can give your brain a break and help you better engage with your experiences.
Take a mindful photo walk (with a real camera), go tech-free at meals or simply set times to check-in with your electronics.
Spend Time In Nature
I don’t know about you, but I always feel better after some well planned time with mother nature.
Just being in nature is an easy way to add happiness to your day. A stroll in the park can be calming and a day hike can be invigorating.
The good news is that just about anywhere your travels take you, there will be a patch of green or body of blue somewhere to explore and experience!
Find small ways to work in your daily nature fix. Walk along a lake or a river, listen to the birds in the park or sit and soak up the sun.
Make time for a long hike or an outdoor adventure. Or if you’re really keen, plan a tech-free vacation that revolves around the outdoors.
Act Like A Kid Again
Life needs space for fun & laughter. Not just adult commitments and responsibilities.
You know, those things that all too often leave us stressed and depleted…
Take advantage of travel time to release a few inhibitions and do something that will bring you joy. Even if it’s silly!
Dance in the rain, visit a video arcade or go to a carnival. Laugh. Be curious. Peek around a corner.
And whatever you do, be sure not to worry about what other people think!
Connect With Others
One of the best ways to experience other places is to interact with locals.
Visit a local coffee shop, town square or place of social gathering. Like the beach, which is a personal favorite! Talk to others, share, laugh…and make your travels richer.
And don’t forget about friends and family who may be far away. Reach out if you need a pick me up or simply to share a highlight of your day. Buy a thoughtful present for someone you love or even send a postcard, yes some people still do that!
Practice What Centers You
This will look different for everyone, as spiritual values and experiences call us to connect in different ways.
Make time for whatever speaks to you. Prayer, meditation, contemplative experiences or spending time in nature.
Take time to appreciate the beauty of the location, sit in stillness, carve out alone time or simply ponder the wonders in front of you.
It’s vacation time. Time away from the daily grind. Indulge a bit!
Do something fun at your destination. Step out of your comfort zone, and try something new or different.
Or go ahead and splurge on that expensive drink and sit near a famous landmark or dine at a fine restaurant. The options are endless, so just do something you otherwise wouldn’t!
Undoubtedly, this may be the best part of practicing self-care while traveling, so be sure to take it all in and enjoy it!
Find more good stuff here in The T & I Self-Care Travel Guide.
When we are healthier we are more present to authentic, connective & mindful travel experiences.
Certainly, that’s something we can all get behind!
until the next time…
… live well – travel well – be well
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