Travel is lovely for the break from regular routine - but when you travel for a long time it’s important to think about introducing some structure to your day. It will help you to feel grounded and more peaceful. It really helps me to enjoy travel so much more.
When I say “routine” I don’t mean having a timetable that you have to follow to the minute - that’s definitely not the point (unless you're really into that). This is more about having touch points in your day, they don’t have to be done at a certain time (though of course you can have morning or evening routines) with the aim of introducing some elements of self care. In general I tend to add things that are already part of my routine at home - I often just adapt them to suit the more relaxing nature of holidays.
What could be included
There are lots of things you can include in a holiday routine; mine tends to focus on self care. Currently when I travel I add the following elements to my travel routine:
Meditation: In the morning I like to meditate for at least 10 minutes, but on mornings where we have a lot going on I'm happy to drop it back to 5 minutes. It’s more about having a few moments of calm in the day - travel can be relaxing but it can also be overwhelming with the unfamiliar languages and/or culture - it’s nice to focus on my breath - even if it's only briefly.
Five Minute Journal: I love my Five Minute Journal; it’s a great and simple way to introduce more gratitude into my life (you can read more about the journal here). Travelling is magical; and taking a moment to be grateful for this time can really enhance the experience. I’ve used the physical one in the past, but I’ve recently moved over to the app, which is a lot easier when you’re travelling.
Exercise: When we’re on holidays overseas I don’t add exercise to my day as we tend to walk everywhere, however when I'm travelling for business or when we go home to visit our parents I go for a 30 minute run most days.
Travel journal: When we travel overseas I spend some time every afternoon writing in my travel journal. I really love noting down the things that have bought me joy and the little stories from the day. I know I will be so grateful to have these records in the future.
Take a bath: This doesn't form part of my normal at home routine but since we tend to travel in winter taking an afternoon bath is the perfect way to relax and warm up. I really look forward to this downtime - especially after a morning of adventures.
Allow for flexibility
Most important is not letting having a routine get in the way of the whole point of your holiday - which is to relax and enjoy yourself. Sometimes I would write in my travel journal in the morning on the train to our next destination instead of in the afternoon or have a sleep in instead of meditating. These routine elements are meant to be touch points to help keep you grounded on days that are often very unstructured - they aren't meant to make your day feel more restricted.
So if adding a certain routine element stresses you out - just don't do it. It's that simple.
Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo