If you prefer collecting experiences and getting familiar with new places, cultures and natural beauties instead of obsessing about money, you have this life figured out! However, traveling without being mindful will make you miss a huge part of the experience. So, here’s a little guide on how to live in the moment while traveling and have the time of your life. 

Be flexible

No experienced traveler will recommend going somewhere without a plan, but try not to be too rigid either. If you have a schedule that’s written in stone, you’re risking missing many amazing experiences and you’re seriously limiting your vacation. For instance, don’t rush your Paris exploration just because you planned to be at a certain restaurant by 7 p.m. Be late, it’s fine and the world will not end! Unless you have a reservation, stretch your picturesque stroll as much as you want. Who knows, maybe you run into a fun local band having a gig at a bar or see an interesting piece of street art. As long as you’re flexible with your itinerary, there’s no knowing what kinds of adventures and memorable moments you can have!

Pocket your phone

There’s nothing wrong with posting photos on Instagram or checking into that gorgeous spa on Facebook. Sharing photos, words and experiences with people online is an everyday thing and can be super fun. It can be a great way to meet new people and even have some amazing adventures, but be careful with how much time you spend online. If you constantly look at the world through your smartphone screen, next time you travel somewhere, pocket it and just watch, listen and experience the place without any distractions. No matter what you have to see and hear, people at the airport or the waves at the ocean, just take it all in. Snap a few photos when you arrive at a new destination, but then leave your phone in your bag. This way, you’ll have some photos AND be truly present! 

Take a road trip

One of the best and most relaxing ways to travel is to sit in a car and just drive. Road trips with your friends or family are not only full of fun, but also allow you to travel at your desired pace, stop whenever and wherever you want and just enjoy the open road. Pack plenty of snacks, grab some great music and let your trip unravel before you. And don’t just rush towards your destination! Make frequent stops and stretch your trip—your destination won’t go anywhere. 

Talk to locals 

Meeting new people is probably the most rewarding part of traveling. So, when you’re on your way to your destination or once you arrive, don’t be shy to strike a conversation with the locals or fellow travelers. There are so many things you can learn: find out about different cultures and customs, get familiar with different perspectives and even overcome some prejudices. These are the experiences that make you truly grow as a person. There’s no knowing what kinds of things you’ll learn, but one is certain: you’ll find out that all people are essentially the same, driven by the same wishes and inspired by the same things. It’s a very important lesson in today’s tumultuous world! 

Just sit and relax

Traveling can be quite overwhelming at times, so often you just need to sit and relax. Every new destination deserves at least a few minutes of your full attention. So, find a place to sit down and take in your surroundings. It will help you etch the place into your memory and create a deeper connection to the destination. Try to actively think about your position in the world, about the coolness of air, about the color of the sky, about the shape of houses that surround you and the smell of fresh goods from the bakery next door. This mindfulness exercise is the best way to truly experience the place and get to know it in a very intimate way. Plus, it requires no money or effort! These tips will definitely help you have more relaxing, fun and rich traveling experiences. And when you get stuck, just remember our last advice—just be! Once you take in the moment, you’ll know exactly where you are and where you need to go. 

Brigitte Evans

Brigitte Evans is a Cosmetic Skin Care Consultant and a writer from Australia, with a sweet tooth for makeup and everything sparkly. When she is not drooling over the next big thing in the beauty industry, she reads mystery novels and makes plans for her next trip. She is the proud aunt of Sophie, age 4, who has rounded her Chanel lipstick, but she loves her anyway.