Several factors may dictate how restful and relaxing your vacation is.
Naturally, location is a big one - you'll have an easier time relaxing on the balmy beaches of Tulum than in the frenetic hubbub of Mexico City. State of mind also plays a critical role, as you can't enjoy rest and relaxation without a bit of mindfulness to go along with it (see our articles on mindfulness for more info!).
And then there's packing. Most people consider packing a purely utilitarian endeavor, but what you bring (and how much you bring) can profoundly impact your mental well-being throughout a trip. In this short guide, let's review a few packing tips to ensure an easygoing vacation abroad.
Take a deep breath, grab your trustiest backpack and let's get started.
Packing Light Means Feeling Light
The impulse to over-pack is understandable. People often feel like they can be anything they want to be while travelling, and they pack accordingly - shirts they might not normally wear, gadgets they don't typically toy with, and a bevy of other items. At the end of it all, they're left with a hefty, cumbersome piece of luggage, which is counter-intuitive for a relaxing trip.
Instead, pack minimally. If you haven't worn a garment in the past month, don't pack it. Choose neutral colors that mix and match effortlessly. And leave the single-purpose gadgetry behind. If you can, try to fit everything into a single carry-on bag. That way, you can feel light and unbothered on your travels.
See No Evil, Hear No Evil: A Sleep Mask and Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Quality sleep is enormously important for proper R&R. But you can't control your surroundings - only your reaction to those surroundings. I.e., you can't stop a raucous overnight bus in the Philippines from blasting karaoke into the wee hours.
But you can come prepared by packing a sleep mask and noise-cancelling headphones. These stimuli inhibitors can help you through all sorts of noisy situations, ensuring you remain calm, cool, and well-rested.
Comfort in an Unfamiliar Location: Merino Wool Clothing
Most travel clothing tends to favor functionality over comfort. You might find stiff khakis with 50 pockets or heavy fleece jackets that aren't at all breathable. Set those aside and go for merino wool travel clothing instead.
Merino wool is a triple threat for travel. It's breathable and moisture-wicking for comfort in the heat. It's antibacterial and stays fresh for days, meaning you need fewer garments for a trip (a bonus for packing light). And, importantly, it's incredibly pillowy and comfortable. You can find simple and stylish travel t shirts, shorts, pants and undergarments online that are perfect for a restful vacation.
Staying Sun-Safe: Sunscreen and a Brimmed Hat
Lastly, let's talk about sun safety. Few things are more disruptive to a restful vacation than a full-body sunburn. Here you are, trying to enjoy the beach; meanwhile, your skin feels like it wants to jump off your body. Let's avoid that at all costs.
Pack a high-SPF sunscreen for warm destinations. And to ensure your scalp and forehead remain unscathed, throw in a brimmed hat too.
If you follow these straightforward packing tips, you should have no trouble relaxing on your next trip. Check back in for more travel tips and destination recommendations. Happy travels!