We all have the best intentions when it comes to traveling. There'll be no time for breaks, no minute wasted, and so we cram every possible activity into the time available.
For years I've done this, and every vacation I’ve burnt myself out. Sometimes I’m ready to go home a couple of days before the trip ends. Other times, I get sick in the middle.
Inevitably, I cancel something I’ve planned and, feeling guilty for missing out; I have a little pity party in my hostel or hotel room.
Eventually, I learned that taking time to relax while traveling is essential for optimizing your time.
You might have to miss out on a couple of sites or adventures, but it will make the rest that much more worth it.
Here are five ways to relax while traveling.
1. Spend time by the pool (instead of the beach)
The ocean is simply wondrous. It is immense, constantly changing, and can be a lot of fun, especially for surfers.
All of this makes beach time that much more intense. And while some manage to relax by the beach, many others cannot manage just to lie there.
Even if you can spread out under an umbrella, you have to contend with the sand, making it difficult to read, eat, drink, and so on.
Occasionally taking the time to lie by a hotel or public pool is that much more relaxing.
You can float around in the pool without worrying about waves. You can have lunch without worrying about chewing on sand.
It’s not nearly as impressive as what nature gave us, but it’s a good way to unwind.
2. Watch TV?!
For some, the thought of watching television in a foreign country is sacrilegious. You're in an exotic location, but you're stuck in front of a screen?!
However, some TV time can be good for you. It’s a passive, enjoyable waste of time that you can use to recharge your batteries. And with VPNs available to unblock Netflix overseas, you can easily access the content you miss from home.
3. Eat in
It is tempting to eat out every night while traveling, trying new cuisine and mixing with the locals. But if you need time off, eating in is everything.
The best way to eat like the locals is actually to shop at a grocery store, after all. You'll save a lot of money this way, and eat without the stress of finding a restaurant and pretending that you aren't wishing for bed.
Meditation is probably the most effective way to take care of yourself.
In a foreign country, with so much to take in, it’s easy to lose track of your mind and soul.
Taking a moment to step back and check in will allow you not only to relax but to appreciate all that you've seen and done so far.
While we don’t associate exercise with relaxation, it’s an excellent way to remove yourself from the stress of traveling.
It grounds you, reminding you that your core self is still stable, and keeps you healthy. It also rejuvenates you, readying you for the next stage of your journey.