Traveling is wonderful and exciting, but it's not always easy. From delayed flights to unexpected expenses, it can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Practicing self-care while traveling might seem like a luxury for some — something you can only do at home in your own bed — but that's simply not true.
In fact, I've found that traveling is one of the best times to practice self-care because you're often forced to slow down and pay attention to yourself. You might have a travel partner or be on your own; either way, you're probably taking care of yourself more than you would be at home.
So here are 10 ways on how to practice self-care while traveling.
1. Do Research Beforehand
One of the best ways to practice self-care while traveling is by doing research beforehand about where you are going. This will give you a better idea of what things you can expect when visiting a certain place. It also allows you to plan ahead so that you are not scrambling at the last minute to find something fun or relaxing to do. Doing research beforehand also allows you to plan out your meals so that you have time for both healthy food and the food that people eat when they visit a certain place or area.
2. Take Time To Relax
Another great way to practice self-care while traveling is by taking time to relax. You should take time to relax both before and after your trip so that you have time to recover from any stressors or issues that may have occurred during your travels as well as having time for yourself before leaving home again (if applicable).
3. Create A Travel Journal
Writing in a travel journal can help you practice self-care while traveling because it allows you to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. It's also a great way to document your trip so you can remember all the details later on.
4. Go On A Solo Adventure
When I'm traveling with friends or family, I love going exploring on my own for the day or afternoon. This gives me time to experience new things at my own pace and focus on what I want to see or do instead of following someone else's lead or schedule.
5. Stay hydrated
It doesn't matter if you are in Bali with its hot weather, drinking beer in Ireland or at an altitude hike in Nepal; your body needs water! I usually carry a water bottle everywhere so I can refill it for free (I don't want to buy plastic bottles), this means that I don't spend money on water and I am staying hydrated all day long. Some people think it's crazy what I do, but this way works for me and helps me stay healthy!
6. Eat well.
Many of us don't eat as healthily as we should. It's easy to get into patterns of eating fast food and other junk, especially when traveling and staying in hotels with American-style food courts. But when you're on the road, it's just as easy (and often cheaper) to eat healthy meals that nourish your body and lead to more energy when you need it most. Look for restaurants specializing in local cuisine instead of familiar international chains; grab fruit from a street vendor; pack your own snacks if you're worried about having enough food. Whatever you do, try not to rely on processed foods too much!
7. Learn some mindfulness techniques.
Taking a few minutes every day to focus on yourself — getting some fresh air and taking a deep breath can help relieve stress and help you sleep better at night. Learning some meditation techniques can also help you relax and cope with the ups and downs of travel better.
8. Create a routine that works for you and stick with it.
If you need some time to decompress after a long day, allow yourself a bit of downtime. If you need to meditate or just relax, set aside time for that too. Either way, make sure to schedule it in advance so that you don't have to think about what time will be best for you.
9. Dress appropriately.
It's better to be overdressed than underdressed while away. If you don't wear sunglasses, get them and bring them with you wherever you go. Be sure to pack a hat or wrap scarf as well; it doesn't have to be anything special — just something that covers your ears so you don't burn from the sun, and will help keep off wind and rain as well. If your destination has snow or rain, pack some waterproof boots and gloves too (or at least some indoor shoes).
9. Carry Essentials
Carry a water bottle with you when you're out and about so you can stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day boosts your energy levels and helps keep you healthy. Pack yourself a lunch that won't spoil if left at home for an extended period. If you have leftovers, that is one less thing to worry about, or if you get food poisoning, at least it won't be as bad as if your lunch had spoiled beforehand.
10. Get plenty of sleep.
It's no secret that when you get enough sleep, you feel better and your body performs better. In fact, a good night's sleep can help boost your immune system and reduce stress levels. It can also help you feel more alert and focused, which is crucial when traveling. So make sure to pack your favorite sleep mask and earplugs so you can get some rest.
Traveling is undoubtedly fun, but it can also be quite stressful due to time constraints, long distances, and challenges with communication. As a result, many of us don't practice good self-care habits when we travel. Here are ten tips that will hopefully encourage you to seek out self-care while traveling—and maybe even help some of you out in the process. You won't regret it!
11. Create an itinerary
If you want to enjoy your travel experience and minimize stress, creating an itinerary is a must. There are many benefits of having an itinerary when traveling. For starters, it allows you to organize your time efficiently so you can do everything you want without getting stressed out.
12. Stick with your normal routine.
Don’t let the excitement of the trip lead you away from your normal habits. Keep your regular routine as much as possible, whether it means eating at the same time or working out for 30 minutes every day. Maintaining your regular routine will help you feel at ease during the trip and make sure you don’t get thrown off by the new environment.