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Things to Do in Your Downtime While Travelling to Stay Sane & Healthy

Last updated on December 1, 2020

Travelling is one of life’s great pleasures and privileges, but it can also be exhausting – both mentally and physically. 

Whether you’re planning an epic city-break with a long list of sights to see and restaurants to eat at, or setting off on a 12-month round-the-world expedition, it’s important to find time to chill as well as do.

Here are a few ideas to help you get the most of your travels while also looking after your mind, body and soul. 

Relax and Surrender to JOMO

One of the things a lot of people forget to do while traveling is to relax and do… well, nothing!

The hustle and bustle of new places can make us feel like we need to be continually doing or seeing something.

However, downtime in the real sense of downtime should be enjoyed for the simple reason of letting your body and mind relax for a few hours.

Have a bubble bath, listen to music, watch Netflix – just do nothing!

Read, Read, Read

Many of us travel because we are curious about the world and how other people live. For this reason, many of us are also avid readers. But it’s so difficult to find time to read in the modern age, with constant interruptions and digital noise constantly vying for our attention.

So make the most of your travel time, whether it be on the plane or at your hotel/Airbnb, and indulge in some deep, joyful reading. Really, just turn off your Wifi connection, pour yourself a glass of wine and dive right in.

You don’t have to read travel books, or books about the destination you are travelling in. In fact, Paul Theroux, arguably the most famous travel writer of all time, suggests that reading should be an escape from the place you are travelling in – so that you don’t get fatigued by your destination.

Pick up a paperback or plug your headphones in and immerse yourself in an audiobook (ideally while in the bath) – you can get your first audiobook for free with Audible.

There’s simply no better time to read than while you’re travelling.

Get Physical, Physical 

Many travellers neglect their physical health. It can be difficult without your normal routine to keep you in check, or your gym membership for that matter. But you can always find an hour or two a week to do something physical, and plenty of opportunities to pick up a new sport.

Enjoy a yoga or Pilates session, or take a class and learn how to do the local dance – salsa, tango, hip-hop. Go surfing or mountain biking, or just hit the hotel gym for an hour before heading out for the day.

Keeping your fitness up while on your travels will help you get more out of each experience. And you might even learn a thing or two about the local culture/people while you’re at it.

Play Online Games 

Rather than aimlessly scrolling through social media, why not use your phone to test your skills in an online game.

There are thousands of online slots and games from quizzes and puzzles to chess and platform-style games. There’s something for everyone, and you can also get competitive with other online gamers – or play with friends and family back home.

Go for a Walk

Remember that, just because you are travelling, you don’t need to be doing anything in particular, or more to the point, going anywhere in particular.

Wherever you are in the world, a walk will do wonders for you. You don’t have to make an itinerary of what to see or do, just wander and see where your feet take you.

Just remember how to get back to your accommodation!

Keep in Touch with Family and Friends Back Home

Whether you’ve been traveling for a weekend or a month, there’s nothing wrong with surrendering to homesickness and/or making time to reconnect with people. Hell, you don’t even need to be homesick!

Set up a Zoom party or FaceTime with your loved ones and take the time to chat about your travels and find out what they’re up to as well. Again, we don’t always have time to do this in our normal working lives, so make the most of your free time while travelling.

Bottom line, travel doesn’t have to be go, go, go! In fact, it really shouldn’t be.

What other things do you like to do while travelling to make sure you stay mentally and physically healthy? Leave a comment below to share your travel tips.

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