One of the main reasons why you travel is to get away from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine. After all, there’s no better way to get some rest and relaxation than to visit a city or country that’s been sitting on your bucket list for quite some time. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go wild once you arrive at your destination. It pays to be mindful when traveling because not only will it benefit your spiritual and mental well-being, but you will also create a more positive experience with the people you are traveling with and with those you will encounter during your trip.
If you want to start traveling mindfully or want to become a more mindful traveler, here are 6 tips to help you out.
Stay in a Simple Travel Accommodation
Even if you have the means to book a luxury suite, sometimes choosing simpler accommodations will elevate your experience. Affordable lodgings will take you away from the luxurious offerings of high-end hotel chains and bring you much closer to living the life of a local. Many of these travel accommodations have all the basic amenities you will ever need during your stay—all without going over the top.As such, you’re still able to travel comfortably without breaking the bank.
You can stay in a short-term vacation rental or find a low-cost eco-friendly room in the best clean hotel that’s operated locally or by a well-known hotel chain. For a more immersive experience, you can look for homestay arrangements and spend time with your host family.
Travel Light and Tread Lightly
Traveling with less baggage will make you realize what items in your life are really essential. Bringing fewer things will also help you worry less since you practically have everything you need in one or two convenient bags. Aside from packing light, you also have to tread lightly when visiting landmarks and attractions, particularly those that are of special cultural, historical, or environmental significance. Being able to determine whether or not the activity you’re planning to do is sustainable and helping the local industry leaves a great impact in the place you’re visiting.
Bringing less baggage both physically and mentally does wonders as it allows you to explore your surroundings with a skip in your step and gain a greater peace of mind.
Remember to Take Things Slow
You shouldn’t be wrestling with time whenever you’re out visiting the sights. The main reason why you’re doing this, after all, is to take a break from your fast-paced lifestyle. As such, do yourself a favor and slow down.
Taking a pleasant stroll in the city streets, visiting a nearby park, and silently appreciating the scenic views for a few minutes will help bring you to a state of calm. Taking things slow will also give you a better chance of observing the locals’ way of life—and maybe even befriending one or two of them.. It’s also acceptable to stay one or two days in your place of lodging and just do nothing. Temporarily refraining from seeing more of the destination will give you time to reflect on the things you’ve already seen and experienced, while letting your body recharge.
Detach From Your Electronics
Traveling is the perfect time to set aside your electronics and just be in the moment. You can miss a lot of things when your eyes are glued to your smartphone’s screen, making it more difficult to appreciate the sights and local culture surrounding you. There’s nothing wrong with taking photos, but don’t let it consume the entirety of your trip. Some of the best memories are made by using your senses, so pack away your smart devices and take in the sights, tastes, sounds, and smells of your environment raw.
Respect Local Custom and Laws
You’re an outsider visiting a foreign location, so the least you can do is respect the place’s local customs and laws. Respect for other people’s cultures, traditions, and lifestyles will ensure that you’re not offending anyone, making you a model traveler for others, too. It doesn’t take much to learn about a people’s way of life. One quick search online and a few hours of your time will give you a lot of the information you need.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Don’t be afraid to try new things when you’re out traveling to an unfamiliar place. Eating native delicacies and experiencing off-the-beaten-path activities will help you further understand the local culture while conquering your fears. When in doubt, ask. Most of the time. the locals will be more than happy to explain things for you, especially when you’re interested in learning more about a certain dish, the importance of a famous site, or the history of the area they live in.
Additionally, taking the time to learn simple phrases like “hello” and “thank you” in the native language of the place you’re visiting will help you feel more welcomed. Locals are usually appreciative when they see that you’ve made the effort to understand them and to speak their language.
Bringing mindfulness into your travels is a great way to elevate your traveling experience. When you think about the things you say and do during your trip, you’ll be more aware of the diversity of the world and learn more about yourself along the way. You’ll try things you haven’t done before, make new friends, and gain a better appreciation of your surroundings, thus allowing you to create amazing memories that you’ll treasure for the rest of your life.