Travel planning: Mindfulness when on the go

If you’re reading this during a time of social distancing, now is the time to plan your next family trip, when it’s safe to do so!

When you are traveling with children there will come a moment when everyone is stressed out and in a bad mood. In these moments it can be helpful to have some on- the-go mindfulness activities in your back pocket for yourself and your children. These do not have to be complicated or involve lugging around a lot of things. Remember no matter where you are on your travel adventures you and your children can always come back to your senses to find your center. By being mindful we can find much needed moments of calm which allow us to continue to be our best selves for our children.

Mindfulness when on the go:

When starting out on your next trip be mindful of packing everyone’s favorite travel foods. While it can be an important ritual to experience and enjoy new foods many children will appreciate some comfort foods that are familiar and a known quantity. You will also appreciate having your favorites such as cold brew coffee, or a particular type of tea you love. Take a few moments each day either at the beginning of the day or the end of the day to just breathe and refocus on the wonders all around. It is too easy to just go through the motions and not really enjoy your trip.. Think about what you are tasting and how it is making you feel. Allow these moments to remind you to slow down. 

No matter how you travel or where you are traveling, there are sounds all around you that you can start to pay attention to. You can be energized by the sounds of a busy city or people speaking in a different language. You can lift your spirits by listening to birds chirping if you are out in nature. If you have children you can make it a game to see how many different sounds each person can hear.  If you are road tripping you can put on the radio and have a sing-a-long as you drive. Whatever your mood there is music which can express what you are feeling. So put on your favorite tunes and dance along. It does not matter what you listen to, just allow yourself and your children to listen to all the sounds and music all around you.

Even in the middle of travel or when you are confined in a space which feels too small if you have a hand or a foot available you can enjoy the powerful effects of touch to calm yourself. Activities can be as simple as placing your hand over your heart and breathing. Travel can be a good time to teach your children how to have greater body awareness. These are useful skills as they continue throughout life.  You might take the time to give yourself some self massage. Rubbing your feet or shoulders may be small actions but these small actions can bring you a deep sense of peace. And at the end of the day when your children are feeling out of sorts sometimes all that is needed is a little cuddle time.

The power of sight when traveling has led to classic car games such as the license plate game. It has been found that just the sight of photos of nature can help you mental wellbeing. Just imagine the effects of seeing nature live. There are numerous nature based travel destinations such as the Grand Canyon and Victoria falls. You can see forests, deserts, or oceans. You can also see birds, elephants, or fish. There are amazing colors and creations to see. This is also a cool way to get your children involved with your trip. Ask your children to imagine what the plants and animals they are seeing might be feeling or doing. The sight of nature as you travel can lead to creativity, wonder, and joy.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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