Traveling is thrilling and enriching no matter where you are, but it can also be exhausting, physically and mentally. Jet lag, unfamiliar surroundings, language barriers and a break from routine can take a toll on your well-being. That’s why it’s important to prioritize self-care when traveling abroad.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to prioritize self-care during your travels and ensure you return home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated—no more exhausted than you were before you embarked on your journey.
One of the best ways to prioritize self-care when traveling abroad is to plan ahead. Search for your destination and make a list of what you would like to do on your trip. Confirm details with your hotel and check your flight information.
If you’re flying to the other side of the world (let’s use Bali as an example destination) from the US, you may arrive several hours before your hotel check-in due to the big time change. Look for luggage storage in Bali so you can store your belongings in a safe place and immediately go to the beach or spa.
Staying hydrated is essential to your well-being, especially when you’re on the go. Avoid tap water in countries where it is unsafe and opt for bottled water or water purification tablets instead.
Also, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, which can dehydrate you and make you feel worse. There’s nothing worse than trying to explore a new space (especially on foot) while battling a hangover.
Get enough sleep
Dysrhythmia and changes in routine can make it difficult to get enough sleep when traveling abroad. However, getting enough rest is crucial for your well-being. Try to stick to your regular sleep schedule as much as possible and take naps as needed. Don’t feel like you have to hit the club immediately after arrival – consider an early night out, then head back to your hotel and get a full eight hours’ sleep if possible.
Use blackout curtains, earplugs, or a sleep mask to help you sleep better in an unfamiliar environment. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider taking a natural sleeping pill or talk to a doctor.
Traveling can be stressful, but practicing mindfulness can help you stay centered and calm. Stay present and focus on the moment instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Turn off your work emails, let coworkers know you’re traveling (i.e., you won’t be available), and focus on being mentally present.
Practice deep breathing or meditation to relax and clear your mind. You can also try journaling or creative expression to work through your emotions and thoughts.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet it’s important to your overall well-being, and traveling abroad can be especially challenging. Strive to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Try local foods and flavors, but also pay attention to portion sizes and avoid overdoing it. A meal that is too large will make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Pack healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, or dried fruit to avoid unhealthy temptations.
Exercise is important for physical and mental health and can help relieve stress when traveling. Take advantage of opportunities to move your body while on vacation, whether it’s strolling through a new city, hiking in nature, or trying a new fitness class. Pack comfortable workout clothes and shoes, and incorporate exercise into your daily itinerary.
Keeping in touch with loved ones via phone calls, video chats or social media can help you feel supported and less lonely when traveling abroad. Make a point of stopping at a gift shop to pick up something to take home, or drop a postcard in the mail. Join local events or groups to meet new people and connect with locals.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of travel and overload yourself. However, it’s important to set boundaries and prioritize your needs. Give yourself some down time to rest and recharge, and don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself.
Prioritizing self-care when traveling abroad is essential for your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Planning ahead, making healthy choices, and taking care of your mental health are all important ways to prioritize self-care while traveling.
By taking care of yourself, you will be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest and create lasting and precious memories. Remember to make self-care a priority, even when traveling abroad.