Travelling can be an exciting time for people. Leaving your usual routine to venture into a new environment should be a positive and fulfilling experience. However, it's easy to get burnt out from constantly moving and exploring.
I've included 4 self-care tips for travelling that can help you make the most of your holiday.
1. Stay Hydrated
This one is super important! Bring a bottle with you to make sure you always have access to water. When you're in a car, coach or plane, it might seem like a hassle to constantly go to the toilet. But it's definitely worth it to keep your body going. Dehydration has harmful effects on the body, leading to fainting in extreme cases, so you'll want to make sure to avoid that.
Do research on whether your destination has drinkable tap water and get a filter if you need it. I found out the hard way that London has hard water which is high in calcium and was difficult to swallow. This discouraged me from drinking water despite how dehydrated I felt. Luckily a friend let me borrow her water filter so I could get the hydration that my body needed.
2. Be Realistic
Especially if you're travelling to a destination for the first time - don't expect to see everything on your bucket list. Pick out a few places that are close to each other and plan according to the length of your trip. Some places you'll want to stay for hours, whilst other places might be underwhelming in person.
There are plenty of destination specific itineraries online which can help you figure out what's possible. There are also unexpected moments that you might enjoy more.
Since this is my first time in Europe, I have a massive list of destinations and landmarks that I want to visit. I quickly accepted that it's going to take a while to see it all. I also get sick of following the tourist routes and love exploring the unknown areas in new places.
3. Listen To Your Body
If you're in an unfamiliar location, give yourself time to adjust. The non-glamorous side of travelling includes hours of discomfort from sitting in small seats, confusing time zones and a lack of amenities that you'd find at home. This can lead to feeling frustrated, exhausted and irritable - which is totally normal!
Plan to have rest days so you can recharge.
Travelling is a great way to get out of your comfort zone. But there's no shame in retreating for a day or two so you can tackle the rest of your trip with excitement and vigour.
Figure out what your body needs - if your stomach is grumbling then go eat!
If you're halfway to a landmark but your feet hurt, find a bench or a cafe to sit. The landmark will still be there if you arrive ten minutes later than anticipated.
Don't force yourself to leave your accommodation just for the sake of ticking off items on your to-do list. This is something that I did during my first week in London that I deeply regret it.
4. Stay Alert
Although this isn't directly related to self-care, being aware of your surroundings can save you a lot of future heartache.
There's nothing worse than having a possession stolen or leaving something behind. Make an effort to check that you have all your belongings as you check out of venues or leave an area. Keep your luggage safe with a padlock and consider investing in an RFID passport holder or wallet.
Always exercise caution and common sense.
Try your best to blend in with locals to reduce chances of being a target for pickpockets. Especially if you're in a touristy area where thieves could be operating.
If you're a solo traveller, you could make friends with other solo travellers but remember to not be too trusting. It might feel strange at first but staying at hostels is a great way to meet other travellers.
5. Enjoy Yourself!
Remember to have fun! Whether you're in a different street, city, country or planet.
Say 'yes' to the opportunities that pique your interest, even if they aren't what you planned. If your hostel buddies invite you on a hike or a day trip, then consider your options. You might have a great time and a really interesting experience as a result.
Additionally, don't feel obligated to agree to everything.
It is your holiday and you didn't spend all that money to have a miserable time.
You're bound to make a few mistakes but don't let it ruin your day. It's okay to take the wrong bus, experience a culture clash and fall over within the same afternoon. You'll completely forget about it as you make goofy poses in front of a famous landmark or enjoy the local cuisine.
Also, take lots of photos so you can look back on your adventures.
Travelling isn't an excuse to leave your self-care plan behind! Make sure to prioritise your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Simple things like drinking water, setting realistic itineraries and listening to your body can help you avoid feeling run down and exhausted. Remember to always be alert and safe when travelling!
What are your tips for self-care when travelling? Feel free to comment down below!
If you’re looking to boost your self-care even further, I’ve made a guide to help you ‘Improve Your Self-Care in 5 Easy Steps.’
Inside you'll find handy tips, definitions and diagrams that’ll elevate your understanding of self-care even further.
Just click on the image and you'll be directed to the download page.
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