Ways To Practice Self-Care When You Are Travelling

Thinking about taking care of yourself while your traveling may be the last thing on your mind. After all, traveling is one of the best forms of self-care. But it can be really easy to ignore warning signs and neglect your health when you are off exploring. So here is a rundown of ways to practice self-care when traveling.

Why does self-care matter when traveling?

If you’ve ever got ill while traveling, you will know firsthand that it can really spoil the whole experience. Feeling run-down, exhausted, or just not feeling your best is just not a great recipe for an amazing time overseas.

Unfortunately, the reality is that it's potentially more likely that you will have a lapse in your mental or physical health when you travel. There is long periods of time spent on planes, in airports, and on other transportation, time differences (jet lag guys!), and so many activities to squeeze in that getting sick is always a possibility.

So establishing a self-care routine or at least practicing self-care daily will help to safeguard you from sickness, keep your energy levels up, your mental state clear and your body ready for all your adventures.

These are all easy ways to take care of yourself whenever you travel.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

The most important meal of the day should never be skipped especially when you travel. As your first meal after fasting overnight while you sleep, it replenishes the glucose in your body to boost your energy levels and alertness. Breakfast also provides other essential nutrients needed for good health.

So even if you are not really a breakfast person, just having a healthy light bite with your morning drink will help you stay at your best.

Stay In Accommodation With A Kitchen

If self-care and eating healthily means cooking your own meals then staying somewhere with a kitchen is a good option for you.

for you means cooking your own food and having your own space to create and prepare healthy meals then make sure to always go for accommodation with a kitchen when traveling.

Going out to eat and experiencing the local food culture is wonderful, but if you’re traveling for a longer period of time, it can get tiresome and expensive.

Being able to prepare your own meals according to your nutritional needs is a self-care ritual in itself when traveling.

Eat Some Healthy Foods

On vacation or extended travels, generally, diets go out the window. Eating more treats, trying different local foods, eating out all the time and drinking more can all lead to getting unwell. So include some healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables in your meals.

For example, drinking fruit juice or a smoothie, ordering a side bowl of fresh fruit with your brunch, or adding a salad to your lunch are all easy ways to add fruit and veg without restricting yourself.

Enjoy everything in moderation

This means sweets, alcohol, fast food, and even coffee. It’s tough to say no to that bar-crawl or late-night deep-fried goodness, but if you’re tuckered out from traveling, these things won’t help. When you’re feeling particularly sluggish and tired, it’s time to take a break from partying too much and then waking up and chugging that espresso. Swap the booze and fast food for more water and vegetables. You’ll notice a swift turnaround in your energy.

Take Multi-Vitamins

Multi-Vitamins are a great way to ensure you are still getting all your required vitamin intakes while you are enjoying all of your vacation treats.

Stay Hydrated

Keep a reusable water bottle in your travel bag to ensure you stay hydrated. It will make it easier to drink plenty of water, and you will save a lot of money too.

Keep A Travel Journal

One of the best ways to practice self-care when you’re traveling is to slow down and enjoy the present moment. So take time to enjoy and reflect on the experiences that you are having by keeping a travel journal.

Watch A Movie

After a long day exploring, get cozy in your hotel room and watch your favorite movie. Taking a break from non-stop planning, and new surroundings will help you to recharge your batteries and switch off for a bit.

Read A Book

Reading a book is another great way to relax and take a break from all your travel activities. It will encourage you to unplug for a bit and rest.

Celebrate Your Wins

Sometimes traveling especially overseas can feel really challenging and tiring. From experiencing different cultures, trying to understand new languages, and feeling conscious, you may feel drained or anxious sometimes.

So acknowledge how well you have handled difficult moments. Did you figure out how to get somewhere on public transit? Did you ask for the bill or say thank you to a waiter, did you make a new friend today? Write everything down, and celebrate all of it.

By taking time to reflect on everything you’ve done for yourself it will give you a boost in confidence.

Have Breakfast In Bed

Breakfast in bed is such an indulgence that we rarely treat ourselves to. There is no better time than a vacation to give yourself the gift of a slow morning. Order room service, put your ‘ do not disturb sign on the door and tuck into a delicious breakfast under the covers.

Get Creative

One of my favorite acts of self-care is to do anything creative. It’s easy to just get wrapped up in excursions and tours on your travels, and neglect everything outside of that.

Doing something creative allows you to express yourself. and learn more about yourself. Whether you would enjoy writing, painting, crafts, cooking, or singing, make time to do it for yourself.

Have A Chilled No-Plans Day

If like me, you always try to plan every single movement of your travels, this is your permission to take it easy.

Whether you just go to bed without setting your alarm, or wander around without an agenda for the day, it will give your mind and body a rest,

And if you feel like you need a longer break mentally and physically, try taking a whole day off from plans and activities.

Stay home ‘suite’ home

When you’re traveling, you are likely rushing around squeezing as much into a day as humanly possible to avoid missing out on anything. And that lovely hotel room you treated yourself to is left empty most of the time.

So this is a public announcement to remind you to enjoy the luxury of your accommodation. Relax in style with huge beds, plush cushions and duvets, room service, and big bathtubs.

Talk To Someone You Love

If you start feeling homesick, or lonely talk to someone close to you for free on Whatsapp, Messenger, or Skype.

You can catch up on any gossip back home, and talk to them about how you are feeling.

Make A Travel Self-Care Kit

One way to remind yourself to practice self-care while you traveling is to take a self-care travel kit with you.

Your self-care travel kit can just be the basic essentials you need on the road, or it can be an elaborate kit to pamper yourself on low days. The key is to customize it to suit you. Just ensure that it will be easy to transport in your travel luggage.

Things you could include in your kit are:

  • Earplugs
  • Eye mask
  • Face sheet mask
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Moisturizer
  • Journal
  • Yoga mat or travel towel
  • Dry shampoo
  • Body wipes

Treat Yourself To A Beauty Treatment

Book yourself a massage, facial, or any other beauty treatment that will make you feel fabulous.

Have A Spa Day

Whether you go to a spa or resort or pamper yourself in your hotel room, a spa day will reinvigorate you, and encourage you to slow down.

Enjoy a manicure and pedicure, face and body treatments, spa, and Jacuzzi, massage, basically anything that you will leave you feeling blissfully relaxed.

Laze by the pool

Having a pool day or at least spending a few hours at the pool is always a good idea. Relax, get a tan, drink yummy cocktails, read a book and just enjoy your pool with your view.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Your sleep schedule will massively impact your energy levels, health, and your mood so try to still keep a decent sleep schedule. And if you have some late nights, mix those in with earlier nights or some lay-ins.

Also include things like an eye mask or earplugs in your self-care travel kit if that will help you to sleep for a solid eight hours.

Recharge your batteries just like you recharge your devices, your future self will be grateful that you did.

Do Something Active

Whether you just do some yoga or morning stretches, or something more strenuous, sometimes our bodies just need more than the exercise it gets from walking.

Get outside in nature

Getting outside in nature is great for your mental health, and can make you feel peaceful and rested in a way that nothing else can. So take some time out to enjoy a local park or forest or go for a hike.

Enjoy The Sun

Sunrises and sunsets are rarely something enjoyed at home, so commit to watching the sunrise or sunset at least once while you are away. Or everyday if you find it beneficial.

Personally I think golden hour is the best hour so I try to catch it at least once or twice. No two sunrises or sunsets are ever the same. They all have their own unique colours and beauty, and its just a lovely way to start and end the day.

Celebrate these beautiful, peaceful moments. And don’t forget to look up at the stars too.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Live in the moment, and be adventurous on your travels. You may never return to wherever you are so say yes to new experiences. Try the local cuisine, book the tour, take a class, go in that helicopter.

Make An Effort With People You Meet

During your travels you will meet a lot of diverse and interesting people. Rather than just engage in small talk with people, make an effort to have more meaningful conversations. Hear their stories, and make connections. It will make your travel experiences richer. You also just never know who you could meet or where it could lead.

Let Go Of Expectations

Have you ever visited a destination that you had high hopes about, and then felt really disappointed when you discover it isn’t what you dreamed of.

Firstly what you see on TV, movies and social media is generally a glossed up, edited version of reality. So don’t expect everything to be like the videos and photos you’ve seen.

Secondly, you are pretty much guaranteed to not enjoy your experiences to the full if a destination doesn’t meet your unrealistic exceptions.

An open mind, and a go with the flow attitude is the best way to travel. Often you will find that when things don’t go as planned, something surprising will come your way if you stay positive and make the best of everything.

Unplug From Your Devices

It is so tempting to constantly be on your phone posting photos and videos on Instagram, checking your email or reading messages but you won’t be able to fully experience your adventures if you are distracted by technology.

Put your phone away for a few hours or days, and allow yourself to fully enjoy your surroundings. Or put your phone on airplane mode so that you are only using it to take pictures if your phone is your camera.

Your phone, and social media can wait until the end of the day in your hotel. It will do wonders for your mental and emotional health.

Slow Down & Linger Longer

Find Moments Of Calm And Reflection

Do you really want to be that person who needs a vacation from your vacation? When you focus on how to practice self-care, make sure to take some time for yourself during your trip and prioritize finding moments of calm, even during a frantic day.

Travel can get busy and stressful but, by finding a few moments every day for yourself and for moments of peace you can come home feeling grounded and refreshed.

Slow Down

Is it me or is travelling absolutely exhausting sometimes? In the past I’ve returned home from a vacation feeling like I need another vacation.

Avoid travel burnout, by spending more quality time at each place, rather than rush around trying to cram things in. You’ll have more time to really immerse yourself in a destination. It will also just make it easier for you to balance activities with relaxation and self-care.

It will also make it easier to navigate any challenges or bumps in your travels like a late or cancelled train.

Also just being more flexible with your travel plans, and giving yourself more time to travel between destinations will make your trip more relaxing. You can sleep in, or laze at the pool or just wander around without feeling like you have to stick to a strict itinerary.

Schedule Your Self-Care Time

Regardless of whether you are at home or travelling, self-care usually needs to be scheduled otherwise it gets overlooked.

Just set aside some time every day to practice self-care. It could be 30 minutes in the morning and evening, or an hour during the day. Whatever feels right for you, and works with your travel plans. What matters is that you schedule it in.

Plan Self-Care Activities

Rather than just set aside time, actually plan self-care activities for those time slots, and make it fun.

Look for relaxing places to go, and activities to do in the places you are visiting. It could be going to a local spa, using the fitness centre, getting a beauty treatment or taking a class.

Don’t Try To Control Everything

Things happen on vacation all the time. You might have crap weather on the day you had planned an outdoor activity or maybe your flight is delayed and your stuck at an airport for a bit.

Whatever the set back or disappointment don’t let it spoil your whole trip. There will always be things that are outside of your control when you are travelling.

And sometimes these surprises and setbacks actually end up becoming really fond memories. For instance, I once had a train I had booked derail, and my friend and I ended up on American TV. It messed with our plans a little but to this day its something we still laugh about.

A sense of humour, some patience and flexibility will make all the difference on your adventures.

--

--

--

Lifestyle and travel blogger on thisbritslife.com. Content creator and budding entrepreneur. A British ex-pat living in permanently in Canada.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Further beyond the cupboard of broken toys — part 5

Day 7 (February 22, 2017): Snorkelling for rocks on Antigua

5 things to do in Nagoya in 12 Hours (or Less)

5 things I learned from 50 days of living in India

Paddling the Donner und Blitzen, Finally

36 Hours in Moscow

Pinnacle Boracay Activity Guide: SCUBA DIVING

Pinnacle Resort & Villas Swimming Pools as seen from the 360° ViewDeck. No scuba diving equipment required. (Image credit: Pinnacle Boracay)

The Day After The Rainstorm

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Gemma Lawrence

Gemma Lawrence

Lifestyle and travel blogger on thisbritslife.com. Content creator and budding entrepreneur. A British ex-pat living in permanently in Canada.

More from Medium

Why we step back to take responsibility?

How to Get Ahead During These Changing Times

Be Careful What You Wish For — Visioning Works!

You’re So in Your Head, You Can’t Even Enjoy Where You At