As you start making summer travel plans, you might be busy plotting out the itinerary and creating a to-do list to prepare for your getaway. While all that “busy-ness” can be exciting, it’s easy to get so caught up in endless activities that you forget to enjoy the journey. Traveling is a great way to escape from your usual routine and can be the perfect opportunity to recharge. Still, finding ways to slow down and be present can make the experience that much more rewarding.
Here are some ways to bring mindfulness to your summer travels:
1. Be Open to No-Plan Days
if you’re always running from one activity or destination to another, your days might still be too regimented — like your usual work day. Avoid turning your vacation into another assignment where you just have to squeeze in as many activities and experiences as possible. Instead, consider having lots of unstructured time where you just go with the flow and let the day unfold. Simply letting go and enjoying new destinations and experiences as they are can help reduce stress and also help you savor the experience.
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Pack a small journal dedicated as your travel journal where you can jot down a few things you’re grateful for along the journey. Unlike your regular gratitude journal, you’ll want to focus on simple things and discoveries you found along the way. These things could be as simple as a new food you tried, a new museum you discovered, or new people you met. Don’t let those valuable experiences slip away in the busy-ness of moving from point A to point B.
3. Enjoy a Meditation Break
You don’t have to travel to a meditation retreat to enjoy a few days of bliss while traveling this summer. Think of a few venues in the place you’re visiting where you can just slip away for a private meditation session. You could also seek out meditation centers or a temple in the area if you want to connect with people in the community.
Whatever you decide, make meditation high on the priority list so you can break away for some self reflection and grounding. Sometimes all you need is about 15 minutes of quiet time to just take it all in and be more aware of your new location and experiences.
4. Put the Smartphone Away
Try leaving your phone at the hotel or simply turn it off for at least one full day. Not having the ability to respond to messages, surf the internet, or even snap a few photos will make you more aware of your surroundings. You’ll be able to focus on what’s in front of you instead of ideas floating around in your head or thinking about that to-do list that still sits incomplete. You’ll also be forced to navigate and explore on your own, asking people for directions or using printed maps to find your way, which can be a new experience in itself! Plus, turning off your phone could be part of a digital detox you start on your summer retreat.
5. Get Enough Rest
It might sound strange that you would need a reminder to sleep while on vacation, but it’s easy to overbook yourself with activities and end up being stressed and anxious at night. Give yourself some space to wind down each evening with a bedtime ritual.
A simple skin care routine, reading a book, enjoying a cup of tea or golden milk, or writing in your gratitude journal can help you clear your thoughts and make the most of each day. Plus, getting enough sleep keeps your brain healthy and helps you enjoy the day without feeling fatigued or worn out during your travels.
What are your thoughts on being mindful while traveling? Share in the comments below!