For many of us, summertime is travel time. Yet whether it’s a day at the beach, a weekend of camping, a week of sightseeing, or a longer journey abroad, it can be easy to get so wrapped up in the busy-ness of making trips happen or documenting every moment for sharing on social media, we forget to be truly present.
Mindfulness, of course, is the antidote, deepening and enriching our experience.
In this post from the blog at 1000 Petals (original}, family travel designer Sarah Fazendin offers some wonderful tips for incorporating mindfulness into your family’s journeys this summer (or anytime):
Mindfulness & Travel
Are you planning a vacation or short get away? It is important to stay mindful to the experience. Encouraging family bonding and creating lasting memories are just two of the many benefits of family travel. Here are a few simple ways to work mindfulness into your next family trip.
Redefine What “Travel” Means for Your Family
While a week at the beach or an adventure in Costa Rica are awesome family travel experiences, even quick weekends away, whether you’re camping, skiing, or visiting friends and family, also count as a family trip.
In fact, frequent and shorter breaks recharge the mind and body more effectively throughout the year than a single long break. Why? Research suggests that anticipation correlates with more intense and satisfying emotions than remembering the past. Begin to anticipate even small and local family adventures, and you’ll reap the benefits of travel.
Some ways to do this include letting your children help pack, do grocery shopping, and plan some of the smaller activities on family trips. Including items such as a book or journal can help encourage moments of self-reflection. Pack essential oils such as orange in your travel bag to stay refreshed! Getting children involved is the easiest way to help them begin to anticipate family connectedness and benefit from this anticipation.
Plan to Get Active
While movement and physical activities are just plain good for you from a health perspective, getting active together as a family is also a way to stay mindfully connected. It’s difficult to be distracted by outside thoughts when you’re skiing a black diamond run with your kids, taking a family surf lesson, or zip lining through the jungle in Central America!
These activities will help you connect via a shared mutual experience while eliminating distractions so you can better connect and enjoy travel time with your family.
Family travel offers a unique opportunity to just listen deeply to your family without judgment or distractions. Perhaps these conversations happen while sitting on a flight or while waiting for dinner to be served. Be curious, ask questions, and stay engaged without letting your attention drift. There are plenty of opportunities to just have a conversation while you’re traveling as a family.
Also, creating space and time to tune into yourself can have a huge impact. Use plane rides or “no-service” cell phone areas as an opportunity for stillness and mindfulness practice. Need some guidance? Download these tracks to guide you.
Investing in family travel is so much more than just stamps in a passport. By removing your family from the daily grind and making a commitment to stay present and experience new destinations and activities together, your time spent traveling together as a family will be meaningful and incredibly rewarding.
And remember, you don’t need to get on an airplane in order to have a meaningful and mindful family travel experience. A day spent hiking with a picnic lunch can be equally as memorable and impactful for your family! Spending time together and staying present is what matters most.
How do you incorporate mindfulness into travel? Please leave a comment!