So you’ve planned for months and your long awaited vacation is finally here. While we all know that trips don’t always look like they do in the movies, there are ways to try to ensure your trip contains joy and memories for years to come. Here are five tips for more joy-filled travel.
- Plan well: Oftentimes travel goes poorly due to lack of planning. While it’s fun to take random trips, sometimes not knowing enough about your destination or how you are going to get there leads to stressful travel (long wait lines, road construction, a hotel in the wrong part of town etc.). At minimum, take the time to plan where you will be staying and learn the ins and outs of your destination by researching things to do and times various activities are available.
- Take your time: Being in a rush will inevitably lead to chaotic thinking and less joy. Get up early to get to the airport well before you need to be there. Enjoy each step you take at a favorite destination. Take in the sights, sounds and smells around you and pause to reflect on each one. Being in a rush to see “everything” may lead to not fully enjoying the present.
- Give thanks: Find an area to reflect on the good things you have in your life. According to this health article published by Harvard, gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions and relish good experiences.1
- Practice the art of giving: Standing in line to get a cup of joe before you start your sightseeing? Pay it forward and pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line. Studies show that giving actually helps us feel rewarded and thus, more joyful.
- Reflect in solitude: Whether you are traveling with a partner or an entire family, sometimes a little solitude is all we need to feel joyful. Get up early before your fellow travelers and enjoy a little time on the hotel balcony or walk down by the beach and catch the sun rise.
- Celebrate: Wherever you traveling and whatever you do, make sure you choose a celebratory attitude. Celebrate your accomplishments as well as the accomplishments of your fellow travelers. Don’t be afraid to celebrate what you had for breakfast if it adds a small amount of joy to your morning. Cultivate an infectious enthusiasm for life, and others will be drawn to you and your joy will multiply exponentially.2