16 Simple Self-Care Tips While Traveling

It doesn’t matter whether you’re visiting an epic mountain trail weaving through the Himalayas, the living room in your sister’s house, or the hotel lobby in between meetings. Travel of any kind is a departure from our normal routines and can be stressful. So it’s important to center yourself and press the reset button occasionally when you’re out on the road.

Travel is a form of self-care — a way to break out of our daily mold and remind ourselves of the beauty and variety surrounding us. It can reinvigorate us, inspire us, and even give us insight into where we would like our lives to go.

But it can also be incredibly stressful, fast-paced, and anxiety-inducing if you don’t take time for yourself throughout the day and treat your body with the same respect you treat it at home.

There are so many self-care tips to help rest the body, ease the mind and feed the soul while traveling but before that, let’s talk about self-care and why it is important.

Self-care tips while traveling

What’s self-care?

Self-care has been defined as “a multidimensional, multifaceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.”

But to make it easy to understand, let me put it this way.

Self-care simply means the people’s conscious and maintenance act to promote their physical, mental, and emotional health.

Self-care isn’t just about finding ways to relax. It’s about caring for yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

And the way you are going to care for your health and well-being is by finding a balance that allows you to address each of these areas is important. Sometimes you need more self-care in one area to restore balance or find relief from things that stress us.

It is by that, the maintenance that people perform on themselves in order to keep their mental, emotional, and physical health at a satisfactory level.

Why Self-care is Important When Traveling?

When traveling, it is especially vital to practice good self-care because the stress and disruption that comes with being away from home can harm a person’s physical and mental health.

The act of traveling has the potential to be stimulating and joyful. Still, it also has the potential to be stressful on both the body and the mind. Being in an environment that is unknown to you, adjusting to a new culture and time zone, and coping with jet lag can all contribute to feelings of stress.

When traveling over long distances, it is common to pass multiple time zones, which can throw off a person’s internal clock and cause them to experience jet lag.

Engaging in self-care activities that promote excellent sleep hygiene reduces the effects of jet lag. It increases the likelihood that you will return feeling refreshed and rejuvenated from your trip.

Also, a person’s physical health may be negatively impacted by travel frequently, requiring them to sit for long periods, have irregular meal times, and be exposed to new situations.

It can mitigate these consequences and preserve one’s physical well-being by engaging in self-care practices such as walking, drinking enough water, and consuming nutritious meals.

Let’s summarize, what we have said previously in a few bullet points.

When traveling, it is important to practice good self-care for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • It helps to maintain physical health
  • It helps to maintain mental health
  • It helps with jet lag
  • It’s an opportunity to try something new
  • It helps to create balance

To learn more, I recommend you check out my previous article about the hidden health benefits of traveling.

16 Amazing Self-Care Tips While Traveling

Self-care Travel Tips

1. Get Plenty Of Rest Before Your Trip

Travel can be taxing on the body, so make sure you’re well-rested before you depart. Self-care should be a priority when planning and preparing for your next trip. Getting plenty of rest before the day of departure is one way to care for yourself and maximize the enjoyment of your trip.

After all, there is no need to start feeling exhausted before you even really begin! Going on a trip should be an exciting opportunity, not something to dread and feel drained from.

So make sure to give yourself time to relax leading up to your journey and get plenty of rest beforehand so that you’ll be refreshed and ready to explore on the day of arrival.

Taking care of yourself in advance can help ensure that you have an enjoyable experience full of memorable moments that will last long after the trip has ended.

2. Stay Hydrated

A trip to a distant destination is undoubtedly a rare experience. But it’s an experience that strains our body, specifically our skin, as we discover it’s not easy to stay hydrated while traveling.

Constant exposure to the sun, consumption of a minimal amount of water, and constant movement from place to place can create problems not only in appearance but also in our body’s overall health and metabolism.

At home or the office, you have access to water all the time. If you’re in the habit of drinking enough water each day, you probably don’t give it much thought. You must drink enough water to keep yourself healthy when you’re on the go.

Here are some quick tips to help you stay hydrated while traveling:

  • Drink Water Before And During Your Journey
  • Avoid Soda
  • Drink Coconut Water
  • Eat Fruits And Vegetables With High Water Content
  • Do Not Take Caffeine

3. Avoid Too Much Alcohol

Self-care for traveling includes booking the right flight, packing the perfect luggage, and researching the best restaurants in town.

It is all about being mindful of your health and wellness while you’re away from home so that you can make the most of your trip.

One way to ensure this is to monitor your alcohol intake – while it’s always tempting when in a new place, too much drinking can leave you dehydrated, exhausted, and unable to take full advantage of all your destination offers.

Keep in mind that moderation is key, so create a plan on how much alcohol will be consumed each day to make sure that you don’t overdo it while traveling.

Sticking to this plan can help keep anxiety at bay and allow you to experience all the beauty of travel without sacrificing your well-being or safety.

4. Commit To a Digital Detox

A great way to practice this self-care while traveling is by committing to a digital detox. A digital detox will involve temporarily disconnecting from your digital devices in order to give yourself a break from overstimulation.

Digital detoxes can come in different shapes and sizes, such as taking 24 hours away from screens or setting aside designated times each day when you are free of any notifications.

Not only will you reap the benefits of relaxation, but it allows an increased focus on tangible experiences while experiencing new places. Disconnecting digitally can enable a more meaningful journey, creating moments that are well worth remembering!

5. Make A Travel Self-Care Kit

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

Your self-care travel kit can be the essentials you need on the road or 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 travel self-care kit are:

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

6. Pack Healthy Snacks

Eating healthy can be difficult when you’re on the go, so pack some healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, or granola bars to keep you going between meals. Self-care while traveling is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to packing healthy snacks.

Healthy snacks not only provide you with a boost of energy when you need it most, but they also are important factors in maintaining an overall nutritious diet.

Bringing an array of healthy snacks that travel well and don’t require refrigeration is key for a successful journey. Dried fruits and nuts, energy bars, and some pre-made sandwiches are all great options for on-the-go snacking.

Plus, bringing your own snacks can save you money too! So take the opportunity to pack some nutritious goodies next time you go out on a road trip or hop on a plane.

7. Don’t Skip Breakfast

The day’s most important meal should always be included, especially when traveling.

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 a breakfast person, having a healthy light bite with your morning drink will help you stay at your best during the day.

8. Make Time For Yourself

Whether it’s reading a book, doing a yoga session, or just sitting down with a cup of tea, make time for yourself to relax and recharge. It is essential to find the time to focus on yourself, no matter where you may be or what your schedule may look like.

Self-care while traveling can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying a journey, so use your time wisely and remember to take care of yourself.

The most common way travelers take care of themselves is by meditating whenever possible preferably in a calm place, or a great spot in nature.

Meditation seems daunting to many people. They may wonder if they could sit there without getting antsy or if their minds would wander.

They’d spend those moments making a mental shopping list for dinner rather than finding inner peace. Even if they’re open to the idea, they may get stuck on “Who has the time?”

If the thought of traveling makes you feel anxious, there are ways to calm your nerves. Luckily, with technology these days, there are plenty of options to get your mind off anything causing you to feel tense.

If you’re a beginner and have never done this before, I recommend you use some of the following apps to help you with meditation:

9. Get Some Fresh Air

If possible, step outside for some fresh air and natural light, it can help you to feel refreshed and energized. Self-care for traveling isn’t just about treating yourself to spa days and massages; it’s also about taking some much-needed time to get some fresh air.

Not only does it have tremendous physical benefits, such as improving oxygen levels in the body, but getting out of your comfort zone and exploring somewhere new can stimulate creativity and energize the mind.

Whether it be a quick walk or a full day of outdoor exploration, make sure to take a moment during your travels to slow down and fully experience the moment in front of you.

Put away the electronics and simply breathe in the smell of nature, allowing yourself time to think or simply bask in the beauty of your surroundings.

Taking that step back from everyday life will not only give you an amazing natural high but will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

10. Sleep Well

If you’re not considering sleeping as self-care, we need to talk!

For starters, let’s look at the benefits of sleep: improved mood, energy, performance, recovery, etc.

The benefits are clear, yet, our society still deems sleep a luxury. Some even boast about their lack of sleep. That’s right, and we’re living in a culture where bragging about being overworked, busy, and even sleep-deprived is a thing. why?!

There’s a common belief that being tired + sleep-deprived + stressed = success. You’ve probably heard the saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” but please hear me when I say busyness is not a success metric. And lack of sleep is certainly nothing to brag about!

Yet, here we are. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep, not to mention the poor quality of sleep that 60% of Americans report.  

As a society, we’re quick to use “self-care”, but are we listening to our advice?

When we think of self-care, images of facemasks and spa days often appear. Still, self-care is truly anything that benefits the mind and body. And it starts with one thing: sleep.

Suppose you’ve noticed yourself nodding off throughout the day, being more irritable than usual, or lacking energy and motivation. In that case, you may be suffering from a lack of sleep. When it comes to health, sleep is the quintessential element.

Sleep loss can contribute to weight gain, energy loss, and lack of productivity. Sleep is a time to recharge, repair our bodies, restore our energy, and prepare for the day. As you can see, prioritizing sleep as self-care is the foundation of health!

So don’t forget to have enough sleep when you travel. It will definitely make your journey a breeze.

11. Take Care Of Your Skin

Traveling can be hard on the skin, so pack moisturizer, sunblock, and lip balm to help keep your skin hydrated and protected. Incorporating moisture into your routine can help maintain skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles.

Exfoliating once every two weeks will cleanse away any dirt and oils that may have collected on your face, neck, and chest area. Additionally, wearing sunscreen whenever you are exposed to direct sunlight is vital in protecting your skin from sun damage.

Finally, using eye cream daily can target those pesky fine lines around the eyes and keep them looking bright and refreshed after long flights or days in the sun. Taking these steps will keep you looking youthful and glowing during all of your adventures.

12. Stay Active

Try to maintain your regular exercise routine as best you can, even if it means just doing a few stretches or walking around your hotel room. Self-care is especially important if you’re traveling: making time for physical activity can help you stay healthy, energized, and mentally resilient.

Instead of getting bogged down in the consistency of your usual routine at home, staying active while on the road is a great way to explore and engage with your environment. Find activities that you can enjoy outdoors or within your accommodation:

take a hike, go swimming in the local lake or ocean, practice yoga on your balcony, or just take leisurely walks through town. Self-care isn’t only about nutrition and sleep — it’s also about looking after yourself physically. So take advantage when you’re traveling and make sure you stay active.

13. Have A Positive Attitude

Remember that travel can be stressful at times, but having a positive attitude and a sense of adventure can make all the difference.

Taking the time to plan ahead, be organized and pack accordingly can help preserve energy for the exciting activities that lay ahead. Be sure to give yourself some downtime during trips to pamper yourself with regular ingestible snacks and quality sleep.

Lastly, make sure to schedule time for exploration and appreciate new cultures! All of your hard work will add up in the end, resulting in positive outcomes throughout your travels.

14. Celebrate Your Wins

Sometimes traveling, especially overseas, can feel 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.

Taking time to reflect on everything you’ve done for yourself will boost your confidence and make you very satisfied with your accomplishments which is an amazing feeling.

15. Let Go Of Expectations

Have you ever visited a destination you had high hopes about and then felt disappointed when you discovered it wasn’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 guaranteed not to enjoy your experiences to the full if a destination doesn’t meet your unrealistic expectations.

The best way to travel is an open mind and a go-with-the-flow attitude. 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.

16. Make An Effort With People You Meet

During your travels, you will meet many diverse and interesting people. Rather than 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 never know who you could meet or where it could lead.

This is not a direct way of practicing self-care but when you make efforts to interact with new people during your travel.

You’ll probably have some fun moments, hear amazing stories and win new friends around the world which makes you happier and certainly have an impact on your overall mental health.

Final Thoughts

Overall, when we prioritize self-care, we’re better able to cope with the stresses and challenges of everyday life, and we’re more likely to feel happy, healthy, and energized.

This is especially important while traveling, when we’re often out of our routine and exposed to new environments and experiences.

Self-care is not just crucial for the individual, but it can also positively impact the people around us. When we’re feeling our best, we’re more likely to be positive, productive, and supportive of others. This is why it’s essential for everyone to prioritize self-care, whether they’re traveling or not.

By following these tips and incorporating healthy habits into your travel routine, you can ensure you feel your best and thoroughly enjoy your trip. Remember, self-care is more than just pampering yourself – it’s about caring for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

That’s for today’s post, I hope you liked those travel tips.

Thanks for reading.


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The Editorial Team

Optimos Travel is a travel blog to help you travel the world, and explore different lifestyles, traditions, foods, and everything in between.