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Travelers are trading in action-packed agendas for more thoughtful, intentional experiences. Here’s how you can do it too.

Nowadays, more and more travelers are searching for meaningful experiences as opposed to vacations that simply revolve around checking things off a to-do list. In a sense, this idea of mindful travel basically means an effort to experience more by doing less. Read on to learn about this growing trend in travel.

What is mindful travel?

Mindful travel is having a moment right now. Perhaps it’s in response to social media overload, the recent work-from-home movement, or the pandemic, which caused many of us to rethink our priorities and lifestyles. The concept refers to a traveler’s mental and practical approach to their experiences, with the goal of being more present by forgoing intense itineraries and ditching the constant “go-go-go” attitude.

Travelers who follow this ethos tend to plan with more intentionality, leaving room for the unexpected while trying not to sweat the small stuff. If you miss out on that must-see sunrise spot because you overslept, it’s OK. Mindful travel isn’t so much about the what and where, but the why.

Anywhere can be a mindful travel destination

Unlike responsible and sustainable travel, which requires research into your destination choice and decisions, the idea of mindful travel can be applied to any journey—from a spring back getaway to a business trip

When you think of meditation and mindfulness, you probably conjure up places with an abundance of nature like beaches and national parks. But a bustling city can also offer some moments of quiet reflection—you just need to know where to find them. For example, Club Quarters extended-stay guests have access to a yoga mat and resistance bands, as well as yoga videos, in their rooms, along with fitness centers. This allows those who find solace through a workout or yoga session to be able to recenter after a busy day—turning any type of travel into a mindfulness trip.

How to practice mindfulness when you travel

We know leaving your worries at home is easier said than done. But introducing mindfulness in your travel routine—no matter where you go—doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are some simple tips to help you become a more mindful traveler.

Let go of expectations

Have you ever seen a destination in real life that looks nothing like it does on Instagram? Instead of setting expectations about what a place should be, practice experiencing it on your own terms rather than trying to replicate an influencer’s story. 

Unplug

On a similar note, try to unplug—whether from your phone, your laptop, or both—while you’re away, and keep digital usage to a minimum. Or at least turn off those pesky notifications. If you use your phone to snap pics, consider packing an old-school film camera so you can be more deliberate with your photography. Even using an early-gen digital camera from the ‘90s allows you to disconnect from your smartphone for a moment.

Pack light

Don’t tote around extra baggage—literally and figuratively. Consider downsizing your luggage and only pack the essentials, if you can. The less stuff you have, the easier it will be to free up space in your mind.

Immerse yourself in the local culture

Look for experiences like local events or try a culinary class taught by a home cook. Not only will this help you connect with the culture and people but it will also allow you to appreciate the area you’re visiting even more.

Get off the beaten path

When traveling, trade visiting the more touristy attractions for the local hidden gems. By cutting down the sightseeing and distracting crowds, you can shut out some of the noise, slow down, and savor the experience. 

Find balance

Scheduling a moment for rest is just as important as squeezing in those tourist activities. Be sure to slot in some down time and relaxation when you’re on the road. You can even practice meditating during this time—although that isn’t a requirement for being a mindful traveler.

Go to green spaces

If you’re staying in a bustling city like Chicago, seek out nearby green spaces and urban oasis to help you stay in touch with nature. Our Club Quarters Hotel, Wacker at Michigan is within walking distance to Millennium Park, which offers acres of vibrant greenery in the middle of the city.

Journal

Consider jotting your thoughts down in a journal during your travels. If writing isn’t your thing, find another way to express yourself like drawing. This exercise shouldn’t feel like a burden or obligation, but rather an outlet for enhancing your travel experiences.

 

Ready to slow down and enjoy time away? Check out our special offers when you book your next stay at a Club Quarters Hotel.

 

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