Now that travel has opened back up to some parts of the USA, I wanted to celebrate with savoring the experience! Steve and I often take long-haul, weekend trips to keep up with our airline status, get frequent flier miles, and shake up our routine a little. This is great for us, but it’s not for everyone. It’s also not the best way to really savor a journey. Don’t get me wrong, we still experience and enjoy the culture, but there’s something to be said for truly slowing down and savoring.
So in an effort to truly savor our travels from here on out, and to help you do the same, here’s your list of ways to savor your travels—because we will never take travel for granted again, will we?
1. Schedule Downtime
I know, you want to see it all! Me, too! But over the years I’ve found that scheduling a beach day or getting supper to go and eating on my hotel room balcony (or next to the window) can be a memorable part of the travel experience, too.
So schedule some reading time with a beautiful view! Schedule a lazy morning at a coffee shop near your accommodation. Forego an excursion you’re not that excited about and make it a beach day instead. Whatever you do, slow down and consider… doing nothing for a few hours.
2. Don’t Overschedule
Relatedly, don’t over schedule yourself with all the things you want to do. Be a little choosey and think about what’s truly worth the time and expense.
3. Have at Least One Meal Sitting Down Every Day
My husband and I are definitely your typical type-A, go-go-go, morning people. We like to start early and do as much as we can with our time. Grab-and-go meals are a very American thing, and there’s something to be said for the convenience of that option. But truly, sitting down to savor a meal is an excellent way to spend your travel time! So whether it’s a hotel breakfast in their seaside restaurant, a fancy meal experience at a famous restaurant, or a sunset dinner cruise, sit down and savor a meal at least once a day!
Get all the details on my World Foods Page!
4. Slow Down
This is harder than it seems—I know! But instead of rushing around from site to site only to snap a photo with your phone and move on, slow your roll! Look around yourself between sites. The scenery might be breath-taking. The architecture might be stunning! The people might be smiling at you. Slow down and take notice—it could only enhance your travel experiences.
5. Take 5 Minutes to Enjoy the Places You Came to See
Similarly to the point above, slow down at the sites you came to see. Take some photos, sure. But then put the phone or camera away and observe your surroundings. What makes this place worth seeing? What makes the hike worth doing? What makes the castle by the lake worth photographing? What makes the tour worth standing in line for?
6. Enjoy the Planning Process
Maybe you don’t like planning… let someone else do it and skip this step! But if you’re like me and you enjoy planning your trips, remember that when you start to stress out about the perfect itinerary or why the website doesn’t clearly state their opening times. Enjoy the process and get excited—you’re going on a trip!
Essential Info: How to Plan a Trip
7. Decide What’s Worth the Money
Don’t go home with buyer’s remorse and a year’s worth of credit card debt. If there’s something you really want to do and it seems like it’ll be worth the money to you, do it! But don’t fill your days with excursions just because your hotel concierge recommends it or because your friend’s uncle said it was the best thing he ever did. Sometimes it’s fun to go on excursions with family or friends and try something new, but going into debt or feeling like you wasted your time and money are decidedly NOT the ways to savor your travels!
Related: Travel Splurges Worth the Price
8. Make a Few Reservations for the Things You Don’t Want to Miss
While I know I said above that you shouldn’t over schedule, it’s actually necessary sometimes to schedule the things your really want to do and make reservations in advance! Some guidelines are:
- Don’t schedule anything your first day (so you’re not too tired to enjoy it or worse, miss it due to a delay, cancelled flight, or missed connection)
- Don’t make multiple reservations for the same day if possible (this gets stressful on the day of the events)
- Work with your jet lag (Going forward in time? Take advantage of evening activities like dinner, plays, or sporting events. Backward in time? Plan early morning events like snorkeling tours, popular hikes, and sunrise viewings)
Read next: Jet Lag, Your Secret Travel Weapon
9. Don’t Wear New Clothes or New Shoes
I know you bought that thing for your trip, but trust me, you will want to wear it for a trial run. Especially shoes! Never ever plan to wear something for the first time on your travels. It may not fit exactly right, might irritate your skin, and might even give your feet blisters! Give those new items a good wear before you go, or better yet, just pack your tried and true favorites!
More here: What Every Woman Should Pack for Every Trip
10. Establish a Routine
I don’t mean bring your home routines on vacation, but try to establish a vacation routine. Wake up and go for a walk or a run, start your day with breakfast at a local place you make your own while you’re there. Shower and lounge around in that hotel robe while you get ready for bed to signal your body it’s time to go to sleep. These tips will help you fight jet lag and feel grounded when you travel so you’re ready to make the most of your days!
So what do you think? Will you be savoring your travels more now that restrictions are starting to lift? Comment below!
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