How to Become a Mindful Traveler

Our everyday lives can be full of stress and at times  frustration. For example, your morning commute can be tedious, and you might feel angry when someone pulls out in front of you or cuts you off. Then, you get to work and deal with a demanding boss or difficult coworkers. Once your workday ends, you probably find family and household responsibilities are waiting for you too.

That’s why travel can be so crucial for our mental and even physical health. Traveling allows us to step away from these frustrations and reframe our perspectives, it can serve as a gateway to life change.

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Yet, it is not enough just to go on a trip because you might take your stress with you. Instead, practice being mindful when you travel to get the most benefits, with tips like the ones below.

Go Off-Season

If you travel during the peak season to wherever your destination might be, you might not have the best experience. You may not get to see and do everything like you’d like or obtain a less stressful time with crowded places and long lines.

If you travel in the off-peak season, you can save money and avoid crowds. Then, you can explore and take in the magic of wherever you are without such a distraction from the people around you. It’s more peaceful and you can immerse yourself in what the location has to offer, rather than spending your entire trip fighting crowds.

Get to Know Your Destination Before You Go

colorful map of mexico, it is made up of 31 states, the united mexican states.

Spend time researching your destination before you ever leave home. Learn about the culture, the places you’d most like to see, the history, any guidelines or regulations, and whatever else might interest you. And if you want to fit in more and travel like a local, read a book set in the destination.

When you learn about your destination beforehand, then there’s context during your actual trip, and that can help you be more mindful and absorb things more fully.

You also won’t have that nagging feeling that you’re missing something, which can prevent you from being a present and mindful traveler.

Ask Questions

As you’re curious and questioning, you become more child-like. When it comes to exploring a new place and being mindful, being child-like is a good thing, and it’s something you might not have the luxury of in your everyday life.

So who can you ask questions to when you’re traveling? Take an organized tour, or splurge for a private tour guide. You can also ask locals and people who work in your hotel, or maybe cafes and restaurants and especially taxi cab drivers.

You can ask questions about simple things, like recommendations for where to go or eat, or even just asking directions can help you strike up a more meaningful conversation with locals.

Take It Slow

james charles winery in winchester, virginia at sunset with fireplace

Sunset Tasting with Fireplace

Sometimes, when we’re planning a trip, we aim to cram as much as possible into whatever time we have away. This is understandable, especially if you’re taking a long flight to get to your destination or you’re going somewhere you’re unlikely to visit again.

Even so, taking it slow is a better way to be a mindful traveler. Think long and hard about your priorities on your trip and then what you might be able to cut out. Savor the things you do, rather than thinking it’s all about quantity.

You want to leave time for yourself to wander, perhaps aimlessly, and get a little lost. Getting lost can be the best way to see things you’d otherwise miss.

Set Intentions for Yourself

my blood mary and my journal - a perfect start to any day.

If you want a meaningful travel experience, set your intentions to help guide what you do and your approach.

For example, maybe your intention is simply to savor new foods or perhaps form relationships with people you wouldn’t come across in your daily life.

Whatever your intention is, it will give your travels a purpose that’s integral to mindfulness.

Go Outside of Your Comfort Zone

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When you travel outside of your comfort zone, literally and figuratively, then you’re forced to be more mindful. You’re confronting new challenges, so you’re less focused on the past or the future and more so on the present, which is precisely what mindfulness is all about.

One great way to do it is to travel solo. There is plenty to love about solo travel and it offers a chance to give up on your ego. Travel can be hard at times, and things almost always go wrong. That’s okay, and when you give up your ego at least temporarily, you can navigate these unexpected situations with more patience and mindfulness.

Use All Your Senses

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Finally use and wake up to  all of your senses when you travel. Sensory encounters help root you in the present effectively and give you an enriching experience with a lifetime of memories. So smell, taste, feel, listen and touch the world when you travel.

These are seven ways to further become a mindful traveler. Try to use some of these travel tips on your next adventure to reduce stress and augment your holiday enjoyment.

Stay Healthy and Safe,  Susan

 

 

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  • Blake Renner

    Off season travel offers several benefits. I have often received free upgrades and other special treatments. But one needs to be mindful of the weather. I usually check the forecast on apps like Open Weather or Tomorrow Weather (used to be Climacell) before a trip.

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

      yes, it can certainly offer those upgrades …. and agree the weather is often a main reason for peak and off season…. stay prepared for the weather, Craig