Whether you're taking a day trip, engaging in some long overdue international travel (it's been a tough few years!) or traveling for business, or headed home for the holidays, having a self-care travel checklist on hand will not only keep you sane, but help you thrive while you're on vacation.
We know, we know: Self-care is probably the last thing on your mind when you're traveling. If you're exploring a new city, you probably assume you'll be too busy exploring museums, local parks, and trying different restaurants to think about self-care. If you're taking a beach vacation, you're probably thinking about relaxing by the pool or beach and taking long, luxurious naps in between cocktail sips. If you're headed somewhere to see family for the holidays, you'll be spending time with them—how can you think about yourself?
But hear us out: Making a self-care plan before a trip is a good idea no matter what, because a few simple practices and steps can make your trip that much better; full of memories you'll cherish forever.
Your Self-Care Travel Checklist
1. Make a sleep plan
Between jet lag, uncomfortable beds, and a new environment, sleep can be rough when you're traveling, which can make your vacation less enjoyable. Here are a few ideas for making sleep a little easier on yourself during your time away:
- If possible, bring your own pillow
- Bring earplugs
- Bring a white noise machine (you can also download an app!)
- If you're traveling to a new time zone, bring melatonin, which can help you get on track
- Try to maintain a semi-consistent sleep schedule
- Meditate (some apps, like Headspace, have meditations geared specifically toward sleep).
- Bring a neck pillow and eye mask so you can sleep on the plane.
2. Start the day with a healthy breakfast
As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day—and that's because it can set the whole tone for the day, both in terms of the food choices you make and your overall energy levels. You can bring your own breakfast—healthy breakfast bars are great for plane travel, and pre-made breakfasts like overnight oats can be better for shorter car trips—or do your best to make the healthiest possible breakfast choices when you're traveling.
3. Take time to journal
We're huge fans of journaling at Silk + Sonder for obvious reasons, so this item probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. Taking time to journal while you're traveling can help you slow down, stay in the moment, and build memories from your trip that you can go back to whenever you want. Even five minutes in the morning or before bed is great!
4. Slow down and let your mind wander
Fast-paced vacations are great, but taking just a few moments every day to slow down will benefit you beyond measure. Put your phone away and just let your mind water—when we're in a new place, away from our jobs and "normal lives," taking time to slow down can lead to big, important revelations about our lives that help ground us and figure out what's next.
Letting your mind wander on vacation can be incredibly powerful.
5. Make the most of your plane ride
Don't fall into the trap of thinking a long plane ride is "just something to get through." It's part of your vacation! Use this time—which basically forces you to disconnect from the world down below—to do something that brings you joy. Watch two movies, read a whole book, free-write, meditate, the list goes on. Plane rides can be draining and tiring, yes. But they can also rejuvenate you.
6. Pack CBD oil, essential oils, or even a candle
On vacation, little things can make a big difference when it comes to your mood and comfort level, so make sure to pack little things that will help you feel relaxed and happy. CBD oil can be great for anxious flyers, or if you're anxious about being away from home in general. Essential oils can be grounding, rejuvenating, and relaxing, and a candle can be a calming, sweet reminder of home and add a bit of festivity to your vacation space.
7. Disconnect from social media as much as possible
It might be tempting to post as many photos for your vacation as possible in real time, but trust us on this: Social media will be there when you get home, at which point you can choose the very best pictures from your vacation or sparkly holiday gatherings. You'll be so much more present on your trip if you log out of—or even delete—certain time-consuming apps that take you out of the moment.
Feeling more excited about summer vacation plans? We thought so. Enjoy!
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