Did you know that with a bit of planning and preparation, travel can be an awesome form of self-care? 

Travel is a great way to break out of our daily routines. It can recharge us, inspire us, and even give us time to reflect on our lives and the future. But if you don’t take time for yourself throughout the day and treat your body with the same respect you treat it at home, it can also be extremely stressful, fast-paced, and anxiety-inducing.

Here’s how (and why) travel can be a great form of self-care:

Travel helps you start a new routine

Travel helps you start a new routine

Are you trying to get rid of an old habit, or attempting to start a new one? An upcoming trip can be the opportunity you’re looking for. With everything “normal” out the window (the food, the weather, your bed) — our minds are more easily adjusted to something new!

Tip: Take a brisk walk to grab a snack a half-mile from your hotel. Since you’re probably headed out anyway, it could be the motivation you need to form a new healthy habit!

Unfamiliarity makes you more mindfulUnfamiliarity makes you more mindful

Going somewhere new demands that you pay attention. When you’re navigating your way through a foreign city, absorbing all you can around you – there’s not a lot of time to be in your head about the past, or worrying about the future. Traveling opens up your senses to the world and this is one of the reasons vacations (even short ones!) can feel relaxing yet adventurous! Remind yourself that recreation for your mind needs equal parts rest for your soul.

Tip: Put away your phone, sit up straight, and absorb all the details you can around you. Do this for four straight minutes. Your muscles will relax and your mind will feel positively stimulated!

Exploration can turn into exercise

Exploration can turn into exercise

Consider going for a walk or jogging in your proximity to do some sightseeing while getting your heart rate up. If walking/running isn’t available to you, a bike ride is another great option. Plus, the fresh air and a hit of endorphins will do wonders for your mental state! Remember to bring your phone, both for navigation purposes and for safety. 

Tip: Google Maps is a great choice for navigation and directions. You can always download the maps for a particular region before you arrive, so even if you go off of the cellular grid (or don’t have a SIM card for the country you’re in), you can still navigate safely!

Not everyone can afford to go on a vacation, whether it’s because of financial restraints or an inability to get time off work. 

Regardless of whether you’re trekking on a wondrous mountain trail, going to the living room in your sister’s house, or taking a walk to your favorite cafe — travel of any kind is a departure from our normal routines. Your main priority should be regular healthy practices and prioritizing your mental well-being above all else!

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