A Complete Guide to Mindful Travel by Dr Prem –Definition, Importance, Components, Trends, Destinations and Tips

A Complete Guide to Mindful Travel by Dr Prem

Travel intent has been shifting. People are more mindful of their choices in travel, a growing trend known as mindful travel. What do we really mean by mindful travel? Is it seeking an escape from overwhelming realities that we are facing daily or something else?

Travel, to some extent, entails a temporary respite from monotony and harsh realities that add to stress. Human minds are explorative. They always crave new experiences beyond the confines of home.

Thinking deeply, if you can immerse yourself in sensory experiences in a distant place by just being present in the moment, it could help in easing our lives. But mindful travel is more than that. Let us deep dive into it and know about the destinations that support it.

A Complete Guide to Mindful Travel by Dr Prem –Definition, Importance, Components, Trends, Destinations and Tips

What is mindful travel?

Joyful Man on top of a mountain in the Carpathians waving his capMindful travel refers to the practice of being fully present in the moment while you are traveling. It entails being more observant and respectful of events and situations that you experience during travel.

It is an approach to be more conscious, responsible, and intention-driven that fosters a deeper connection with the place, people, and yourself.

Interesting facts and figures about the growing trends in mindful travel

travel bookingHere are a few of them:

  • A survey shows that 83% of people prefer slow travel spending more time exploring the chosen place and immersing in local culture and new experiences.
  • 74% of them prefer to live like locals while visiting new places.
  • A survey in the UK and US found, 1 out of 5 consumers are in digital detox while 7 out of 10 have tried moderate digital consumption.
  • A booking.com survey says, nearly 60% of travelers value Digital Detox while travelling.
  • A survey finds, 49% of global travelers feel understanding the local culture is a part of enjoying their trip.
  • 2023 travel predictions by booking.com says, 63% of travelers are willing to join Silent Retreats.
  • SOTC travel is witnessing a 32% uptick in yoga tourism in 2023.
  • Makemy trip has witnessed a 70% increase in booking Spiritual Tourism packages from 2020.
  • According to The Global Sustainable Travel Report, 87% of travelers prefer sustainable travel.

What are the components of mindful travel?

Let us observe some vital components of mindful travel to experience a more fulfilling vacation.

Being present in the moment


Just like mindfulness teaches you to be present in the moment, mindful travel means living in the moment when you are on the go. It means you immerse yourself in the surroundings, sensations, sights, and sounds instead of getting distracted by other thoughts.

Finding magical moments

This is the most pleasurable component of mindful travel. Magical moments can be different for different people. It could be discovering the beauty of torrential rain on the thick forest canopy or the fleeting clouds over the snowcapped peaks or the innocent gestures of a kid or the vibrant tapestries of the local crowd. Your practice of mindfulness gives you the eye to enjoy these magical moments.

Reducing environmental impact

Group of friends on bicycles in countryside

It implies striving to reduce the negative impact on the environment during travel. This could mean making environment-friendly choices, using resources wisely generating minimum waste, taking sustainable transport, and contributing to local upliftment.

Slow Travel

Mindful travel allows you to enjoy a specific destination or location by spending enough time instead of madly hopping from one place to another. The more you intend to spend ample time in a destination, the more you are into mindful travel. You engage your senses to know and feel the destination and form a connection with that place.

Respecting Local Culture

 tourist-man-talking-to-local-womanMindful travel involves putting your efforts to understand the history and culture of the destination, its features, customs, etiquettes, traditions, and value system that make your experiences more colorful. This also means dressing properly, following local etiquette, get a bit acquainted with the local language.

Reflecting Experiences

Mindful travel remains half-done if you do not take time to reflect on experiences. You recall the good feeling through reflection. This enhances understanding and appreciation. This can be through journalling, meditating, or simply spending quiet moments of reflection during the trip.

Authentic Engagement

Woman artist doing fabric painting on a hand loom sari at a handicraft fairMindful travel generates genuine engagement and interactions. If you are marvelled by a local handicraft, your mindfulness will drive you to know its background and the way it is created. This can lead to meaningful interactions with a local artist or guide feeding your mind with quality inputs.

Learning and Growing

Travel gives us much-needed relief from boredom where our minds get stuck. When you are mindful in traveling, you embrace new experiences stepping out of your comfort zone. This builds resilience and self-control, vital for personal growth.

Reducing Overtourism

OvertourismTop tourism destinations in the world are facing overtourism. Mindful travel means intentional avoidance of these spots even if you have dreamed to visit those. It means choosing less popular spots or traveling during the lean season.

Digital Detox

A buzzword in wellness tourism but also an important component of mindful travel. You might need to rely on tech during travel but taking mindful long breaks from digital screens can help you connect deeply with the surroundings.


Focus on compassion and gratitudeAcknowledging and appreciating the privilege to visit a beautiful destination and being thankful for the experiences is a special trait of mindful travelers.

In essence, mindful travel is a conscious and respectful approach to exploring the world which enhances the travel experience and interactions without disturbing the harmony of the place.

What is intentional mindfulness in travel?

Cute little girl and mother in autumn forestOccasional holiday breaks do help in recharging our worn-out mind and body but if we can bring in mindfulness it would give more benefits. What we need is ‘intentional mindfulness’ that will help us settle in a new place at our own pace paying full attention to our new surroundings and events. It could be while exploring nature, taking part in outdoor activities, or interacting with people.

These may be common features in your holiday but without ‘mindfulness’ it turns out to be a casual vacation. The benefits of holidaying wane soon. But if you can work to tune in your senses while taking a stroll on the beach or smelling the foliage in parks and sanctuaries or trying to sense the natural sounds of birds, animals, flowing water, you train your mind to focus more in the present. This works better for your mental composure. Instead of getting lost in past thoughts and future plans, you consciously drive your mind back to the present while on vacation.

What are ‘mindful travel itineraries’? 

Happy family with small children hiking outdoors in summer nature, walking in High Tatras.

In mindful travel itineraries, a traveler is aware of the things to do and what to expect. Instead of a random selection of activities, they make careful choices that fulfill their travel objectives without putting strain on anything – neither self nor the site.

A mindful travel itinerary may include eco-friendly practices during travel. It may also include mindful travel retreats in a stunning site where individuals can spend quality time enjoying the place and participating in diverse activities to support the sustainability of personal well-being as well as the destination.

Sensing this significant shift in travelers’ behavior, travel companies are offering curated ‘mindful travel itineraries’ to create sensory experiences based on the person’s tastes and liking. Companies are engaging in various sensory experiments based on traveler surveys to create the most personalized experiences that would strike a chord.

How Mindful Travel is Contributing to Wellness Tourism?

 couple on rural tour

Mindful travel is about pursuing a deeper connection with the destinations. It is an offshoot of wellness tourism where the primary objective is to achieve optimal well-being through handpicked outcome-driven activities.

Mindful travel takes you deeper into wellness tourism. You consciously feel nature, observe the local flora and fauna, the local population, and experience their culture in all forms and features.

Your mind absorbs new experiences instead of fleeting glances. You enjoy everything wholeheartedly without any rush. You make healthy choices -good for you and the surroundings.All these rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul, which is the real essence of wellness travel.

How mindful travel is fostering sustainability?

Young female volunteer satisfied with picking up trash, a plastic bottles and coffee cups, clean up beach with a lake. Woman collecting garbage in bag. Environmental ecology pollution concept

Mindful travel leads you to make conscious choices. People opt for green modes of transport choosing walking and cycling over driving. They choose green resorts with eco-friendly elements and efficient resource management practices. Green travelers are also a category of mindful travelers.

Voluntourism, community upliftment, and regenerative tourism evolve from mindful travel. As travelers are more conscious of the importance of the harmonious existence of all, mindful travel will lead to increased efforts to sustainability.

Tips for Mindful Travel


Mindful travel is not about reaching the destination. There are countless moments that you can enjoy by simply being mindful. Here are a few tips for mindful travel.

  • Be mindful while you plan your travel itinerary. It will help you narrow down your choices and make it more compact and fruitful. Know what is available at the destination. You will save a lot on resources.
  • Be aware of the cultural practices of the destination before you visit. Will it suit you?
  • Pack mindfully. Will you need everything that you are packing? Think deeply.
  • Stay at the present instead of thinking about what’s next. Immerse yourself in that moment and savor it.
  • Ditch the screens at least for some time. Look all around and watch everything deeply. The world will not crash even if you keep your eyes away from the notifications.
  • Engage with locals as much as you can. They are the storehouse of stories. Get into a chit-chat with a handicraft vendor, a local transport owner, a fruit seller, and so on.
  • Listen mindfully. Listen to the local dialects, their music, and their expressions. Listen to the sound of nature.
  • Avoid site hopping. Mindful travel is not about ticking checkboxes. Spend more time in one place and get its essence.
  • Try solo walks. It makes you more mindful about your surroundings.
  • Make sustainable choices.
  • Do journaling at the end of the day. Jot down your feelings, experiences, and revelations.
  • Do not over plan else it may spoil your spontaneity. Enjoy 1-2 unplanned days.
  • Eat mindfully especially when tasting local cuisines and other delicacies. Observe their texture and color. Feel it. Chew slowly to figure out the ingredients used.
  • Click mindfully. Instead of taking thousands of clicks, focus your attention and take shareworthy shots.
  • Do not miss moments to reflect. It could be early morning or at night, spend some time reflecting on the moments that you experienced throughout the day.
  • Express your gratitude for having the privilege to step into this destination and experience its marvels.

Mindful Travel Destinations in the World

Happy mature woman pointing into the distance while embracing by his husband on their yacht

A relaxing holiday has different connotations of pleasure and peace combined for different people. Basically, it boils down to a serene escapade far away from the grind. Your objective to find peace together with connecting with your inner self would drive you in search of mindful travel destinations. It doesn’t matter if you are planning a family trip or looking for a romantic sojourn with your fiancé or just absenting yourself from the din and bustle.

These destinations come with a promise of offering a laid-back ambience. Here you uncoil yourself and immerse into eternal sea of tranquility. The quaint spots can be close to your neighborhood or might be located in remote corners. However, the common feature that binds these destinations is their blissful atmosphere. They help you open your mind’s eye and rediscover yourself. They help you establish a firm contact with nature.

1.     Maldives:

Maldives-Travel-placesAs a mindful travel destination, Maldives has been experiencing a growing fame worldwide. The pristine beauty and a relaxed atmosphere is an absolute departure from a hectic city life. Sea beaches are wonderful with a long spread of powdery white sand offering terrific strolling opportunities.

Sun-soaked beach with rolling surf breaking on the Indian Ocean shores is a feast for your senses. It heals your mind and body and gives you a shot of rejuvenation. If you are an adventure freak there are a lot of water sports to go for including snorkeling, angling, deep sea fishing and surfing the waves.

2.     Bangkok, Thailand:

elegance smiling female tourist kneel down in Bangkok famous wat pho temple and praying with buddha with vintage retro film color style on Thailand travel.Bangkok and the magical islands close by including Phuket, Ko Samui and Koh Phangan are abodes of complete harmony. Your soul is in complete connection with your body and very few places in the world exist where you have everything under the sun -exquisite Buddhist temples, mouth-watering Thai cuisine and mindboggling shopping malls.

Top class spas and legendary Thai massage parlors and the quality of service delivered help you find peace while savoring an all Thai flavor. It is a splendid journey aiming unification of mind and body with the environment.

3.     Marbella, Spain:

Lonely sunbeds and umbrellas beach in a windy day in beach resort located in Marbella (Spain)

Located in the southern bank of mainland Spain, Marbella is a perfect meditation retreat. A spectacular fusion of picturesque harbors, lush green woods and pristine sea beaches, the place guarantees peace and harmony between soul and body.

It is one of the most popular mindful travel destinations with a composed ambience for de-stressing every cell of your body. Right in front of the ocean, Tapas bars are lined in a neat array offering excellent Mediterranean cuisine smoking off the unmistakable flavor of the sun and sea.

4.     Ananda in the Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India:

Ananda in the Himalayas,

Image Source : anandaspa.com

Perched on the mighty Himalayas is one of the most talked about mindful travel destinations. From here you have a wide angle glimpse of the river Ganges flowing from its abode of paradisiacal charm.

The river is still young as it crosses Rishikesh and Haridwar washing the banks dotted with temples. Here you confront sages and religious buffs and the atmosphere itself spells of a sacred essence.

The property is a sprawling spread of gardens, yoga pavilions and a 21000 sq ft Spa, a renovated place that has turned a former Maharajah’s palace into a retreat of peace. Luxury tea rooms and antique billiard rooms are way classy with splendid vistas of a mountainous terrain. Ananda is among one of the most significant Zen places known for spiritual powers. It is much more than just a vacation break.

5.     Shambhala Mountain Centre, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado:

ShambhalaLocated in the majestic Rocky Mountains about 50 miles northwest of Fort Collins, Shambhala is a scenic 600 acres hidey hole offering personal retreat packages for enthusiasts looking for mindful travel destinations.

It is a carefully designed program that includes “Introduction to Mindfulness-based stress reduction” to “The path of simply being”. Several other programs are themed on nature and environment with an interdisciplinary emphasis on the cosmic energy. The stay, equipped with a Colorado RV park, will give you a wonderful experience of rediscovering yourself.

6.     Virginia Coast Reserve, Virginia, US:

Virginia-Coast-Reserve-Virginia-USThis is a splendid getaway for those trying to explore mindful travel destinations. One of the 10 Virgin Islands includes a nature conservatory is a pocket of idyllic charm. However, your journey should be in the broad daylight.

Relax on the tranquil stretch of beaches and have a peaceful sojourn into your inner self. Surf casting or fishing from shoreline will keep you engaged as would watching thousands of nesting shorebirds. Their cacophony rises to a crescendo punctuated by the waves of Atlantic pounding the coastline. Reposeful vibes deliver an induced trance to the visitors.

7.     Big Sur, California, US:

Big Sur, California, USHere we have one of the most fetching locations where the rugged mountains meet the ocean. Santa Lucia Mountains run into a sheer drop diving deep into the Pacific. The long stretch of 90 miles sanctuary offers mind-blowing vistas of delight. Yoga and meditation are organized by Esalen Institute together with feeding the guests with nutritious food grown organically, which has been a part of long held philosophy here.

8.     American Prairie Reserve, Montana:

American Prairie ReserveThis is a huge reserve spanning over 3,53,000 acres where conservation efforts are being made to restore the Great Plains to unspoiled Lewis and Clark expedition status. Camping opportunity exists in high-end Yurts and you have wildlife roaming close with herds of elks, bison and mule deer as frequent visitors. This is one of the most sought after Zen places where fusion with Mother Nature is the eventual moksha of enlightenment, liberation and release.

9.     Mt Sinai, Egypt:

Mt Sinai, Egypt

This sacred place of pilgrimage perched on mountain top where Christians, Jewish and the Muslim community throng together can be your choicest meditation retreat. The place appeals to the atheists as well for its divine comeliness. Here stands the Monastery of St Catherine, one of the oldest orthodox monasteries of the th century. Journey uphill together with the religious crowd is a venture well worth the effort. This is a quest that is a great diet for your soul and by sunrise, you are at the mountain summit.

10.  Tobago, Caribbean:

primitive rainforestWhether it is food or nature quest, Tobago is a bright spot in the world map of vacationing. Curried crab with dumplings is as much appeal as the chance to bird and animal watching in Tobago’s pristine forests. Home to world’s most primitive rainforests, Tobago is a peaceful getaway amid virgin nature and an amazing mindful travel destination indeed!

How Dr Prem And Associates can help you?

wellness resort consultancy

Mindful travel is popular in wellness tourism as people are more conscious of their travel needs. Dr. Prem Jagyasi is a globally recognized expert in wellness tourism advisement. With a travel history to 65+ countries offering wellness resort consultancy, his expertise has shaped the attractive propositions of countless resorts worldwide. From creating transformative retreats to cutting-edge medical wellness programs, Dr Prem is the go-to expert, steering wellness resorts and destinations to new highs and offering rejuvenating experiences to many.

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