a girl smiling as she sits crosslegged and meditates with her hands in prayer

How to Meditate While Travelling

Wait, what?

Is meditating while travelling even necessary? Isn’t travel already calming enough? Well yes and no, this depends entirely on you. Going on an adventure can be wonderful but comes with pain points. For example, as a person of colour with a Pakistani name, checking in can be a nightmare and stressful! While these pain points are just part and parcel of the process, they aren’t always easy to laugh off or breathe through and certainly can raise our cortisol levels.

When I’m travelling and have all the time in the world, I love to do some of the things I enjoy at home: running, working out, meditating, and journaling. Sometimes they feel even more pleasurable because I’m not trying to schedule them around work and social commitments.

If you’re in the habit of meditating every day, and it forms a vital part of your daily routine, it can be hard to find time on the road. Here’s are some quick and easy things you do to meditate while travelling. And if you’ve never tried it before, why not take use your downtime to build a healthy new habit?

a woman holding prayer beads
A lot of people travel with prayer beads to help them meditate | © Chelsea Shapouri/Unsplash

1. Follow your own practice

Your meditation practice is a deeply personal experience, and there is no one way to do it. How you choose to meditate, where and when, is entirely up to you. Some people like to be fluid with their practice, others like the ritual of it.

Do as you would at home, and don’t shy away from being firm about taking out the time to meditate however you like. If you usually meditate in the morning, stick to it, but if you find that while travelling it makes sense to meditate in the evening or at the end of your day, that’s also fine.

Just follow your own practice, be open to adjusting it if you need to and set your intentions. Your travels may even inspire you to meditate differently and deepen your practice.

2. You don’t just have to meditate in your hotel room

At home, I like to meditate in my bedroom. One of the joys of taking our practice on the road is we end up in unexpected places while travelling and can meditate in entirely different environments.

We may be staying in accommodation beside the sea, on an island or somewhere in the mountains, but imagine being able to meditate under the stars or beside the sea? Of course, there’s absolutely nothing to stop us from doing this at home, but travel has a way of freeing us up to explore places in a way we sadly don’t at home. Why not explore different areas to meditate and bring some of those new experiences back to your practice at home?

woman sitting crosslegged in the desert looking in the distance
Try meditating in the incredible outdoors the world has to offer you | © Patrick Schneider/Unsplash

3. Pack something to set the scene

Be it a yoga mat, prayer beads, crystals, a small candle, some essential oil rollerballs, just don’t forget to pack what you need to meditate! I usually travel with a little essential oil diffuser, which I turn on just before going to sleep, my favourite time to meditate is right at the end of the day, and it just helps me get in the right frame of mind. You know what you need, so bring it along with you, or purchase a travel-friendly version of it.

Read the article: The Best Travel Yoga Mats

4. Try an app

If you find travel disrupts your practice, there are so many apps available that can help you meditate on the go. I love Headspace, and it’s one of my favourite apps in the world. And no, I promise they’re not sponsoring me to say this.

I love how fuss-free and accessible Headspace makes meditation feel. I don’t have to be this perfect little vision of zen – I can just be me and meditate. You don’t even have to purchase a premium membership to use Headspace, as they have lots of free content. However, it’s worth investing if you want to get into meditation but aren’t sure how or where to begin.

They’ve even partnered with many airlines to offer an in-flight Headspace channel and audio exercises to help passengers relax, get some sleep, and learn a new skill for life. Talk about sitting on cloud nine!

Apps can prove to be a great way to take your practice on the road | © Paul Hanaoka/Unsplash

5. Try a guided meditation or podcast

Apps aren’t the only place to score some guided meditation. If you’re struggling to get in the right mindset, you can find some great guided meditations on YouTube or even try a podcast. It’s great if you’re travelling as part of a group and need a little more “you” time on the go or it’s hard to find a quiet space, just download a podcast, pop your headphones in and listen away.

6. Think quality over quantity

Even five to ten minutes of mindful meditation can be better than nothing. At times just taking a few moments of calm and some deep breaths can be more than enough to notice a change of consciousness.

Even you don’t meditate regularly, take out a little time for yourself every day to breathe and be present while travelling, and exploring the world will be even more amazing than it already is.

Based in Toronto, Sahar is a full-time content editor for Days to Come and part-time travel junkie.

Woman standing in front of a bay with her back facing camera
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