Self-Care on the Road: 8 Tips for Enhancing Road Travel Enjoyment and Memory Making
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Self-care can mean many things to many people. There is physical self-care, emotional self-care, social self-care, and many others. But all of these involve focusing on self and what is needed to address any deficits or encourage growth and well-being. It is so much more than just washing your hands, putting on a rejuvenating face mask, and practicing your morning yoga routine. While on the road, it’s easy to ignore the warning signs that our bodies are sharing with us, so prevention of problems can serve us in many ways.
Making sure you take care of yourself on the road will ensure that you are in peak physical and mental condition to be fully present and enjoy your travels, whether taking a vacation or actually living life on the road. The tips below can help you begin to focus on self-care and will assist you in upping the satisfaction and enjoyment that you get from your days on the road.
Get restorative sleep
It is a well-known fact that good, restorative sleep is essential for our bodies to function at maximum capacity. Without enough sleep, our body systems are off kilter. Road travel puts an additional stress on our bodies, so it is even more important to practice good sleep hygiene on the road. Before beginning your travels, think about what you will need in order to be comfortable enough to get the sleep in order to keep you functioning at your best. Invest in a comfy good quality pillow, sleep mask, and ear plugs. Make sure that you have items to help regulate your sleep temperature like a fan, hot water bottle, or comfy blanket.
Stimulate your endorphins
Take time each day to stop and exercise, find something you're interested in along the way, or just see something that piques your interest and pull over. Walk in nature, stretch in a rest area, meet up with a friend from social media. Anything that gets you moving and stimulates your endorphins thereby giving you an emotional boost!
Don’t overextend yourself. Travel slowly and don’t overschedule your time while on the road. Savoring the trip is just as important as doing things along the way. If schedules are too hectic, it is more stressful than fun. Don’t be afraid to spend the day doing nothing or taking time out for a nap in between excursions.
Hydration is key
Make sure to stay hydrated. Many of us have no concept of how much water we need or we don’t always keep up with those needs on the road. Make a conscious effort to pay attention to the amount of water you take in, dehydration can have many negative effects on the road, including dry eyes, fatigue, and double vision. If you are traveling in a dry climate (like the southwest United States) make sure to drink even more than you usually would.
Prepare for self-care
Make a self-care kit with things that you personally find relaxing, such as herbal teas, a favorite book or download, a meditation tape to listen to, or a favorite essential oil or lotion scent. Little pieces of home that help you relax.
Say goodbye to FOMO
One of our biggest self-care pieces of advice is to try to overcome the FOMO, or fear of missing out, state of mind. So much enjoyment is lost when trying to ‘fit everything in.’ Slow the pace, enjoy a few macro experiences rather than a ton of micros. This allows the experience to be absorbed with less stress and more pleasure. Plus it increases the likelihood of remembering all the details of the experience to be enjoyed again in the future.
Laugh and play like a kid
Make sure to make time for fun and laughter, not just adult fun and laughter, but the excitement of childhood fun. Run around on the beach, go to a park and swing, do anything your little heart desires! Studies have shown that laughter truly is a great medicine and can increase happy hormones and reduce stress hormones. And these effects go on and on for hours!
Get out of your comfort zone
Try something new, you may never get back to this destination, so take in all it has to offer, including opportunities to try new foods, new experiences, new sites, and sounds. Take that hike, go up in that hot air balloon, ride those rapids in that raft! Put away that camera and immerse yourself in the experience with your eyes and your soul, the memory will be that much sweeter!
Take care of yourself even while on the road
In summary, road travel offers lots of opportunities and has so much inherent potential for joyful experiences! To ensure we take full advantage of these opportunities, practicing good self-care strategies becomes critically important. We can’t give it all we got, if we don’t have anything to give! The above self-care practices can guide us toward a better experience on the road and better health overall!