Over the last two-plus years, we’ve seen our world transformed in ways no one could ever imagine, triggering a personal reckoning. “What is most important to me? Do I feel fulfilled? What brings me joy?” Industry research (you can read about some here, here and here) has documented these powerful feelings and motivations, unveiling a new focus on mindful travel.
From Revenge to Mindfulness
Last year, we blogged about the revenge travel trend that had frustrated vacationers getting back out there and splurging on long-anticipated trips. While the trigger of delayed gratification remains the same, mindful travel is more nuanced—still unleashing wanderlust, but with intention, requiring deep personal meaning at the heart of each and every experience.
A Wellspring of Wellness
Although any getaway can be a mental and physical elixir—as evidenced by 92% of respondents in the Expedia 2022 Vacation Deprivation study agreeing that “regular vacations are important for general health and well-being”—more and more travelers are now consciously deciding to make wellness their primary reason to travel. So the only work to be done on vacation is on oneself (not on a laptop!)
Embracing the New
Travelers are more often passing on their usual spots for new destinations to learn about new cultures. Even those hitting repeat vacation destinations are now eating new foods, trying new activities and embarking on new adventures. By shaking up the status quo and opening themselves up to never-before experiences, they are also discovering new things about themselves and their place in the world.
The Gift of Being Present
Mindful travel doesn’t have to include yin yoga, guided meditation or energy healing (although it absolutely can and should if it improves an individual’s sense of well-being). It’s more about attitude than activities. As long as the traveler is fully connected to and immersed in every experience—whether it’s sinking their toes in the sand, hiking along a babbling brook or visiting a historic site—they’re practicing mindful travel.
With Great Travel, Comes Great Responsibility
There is, of course, another facet to mindful travel, and that’s being thoughtful about a visitor’s impact on the destination. This can be accomplished by leaving behind the gentlest of footprints in heavily trafficked places (or heading to less visited sites to alleviate overtourism altogether), knowing and obeying local laws and always being respectful of the local residents and culture as well as doing their part to travel as sustainably as possible.
Hungry for more insights on mindful travel? We have some big ideas on how tourism and hospitality clients can leverage the trend to attract visitors and guests in greater numbers. Contact Lynn Kaniper today at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.