Before every trip, my friend and I have a tradition. From the South of France to Mexico, we always set our intentions. Whether it’s a week-long trip or a just weekend getaway, setting our intentions for trips allows us to lay the groundwork and set out expectations for what we are about to experience.  As someone who has traveled full-time for nearly three years, I sometimes did this practice. However, the more destinations I visited — the deeper I wanted those experiences to be. Booking tours off of Trip Advisors wasn’t going to cut it. 

An intention can be anything from stepping outside your comfort zone and signing up for salsa classes to going on dates abroad or eating out alone. If travel is on your vision board for 2024, here are a few helpful tips for traveling with more intention in the new year. 

Write Your Personalized Wanderlust Manifesto

What’s your vision statement for traveling the world? What type of traveler do you want to be? These are a few questions that can help define your travel manifesto. Instead of aimlessly darting from one destination to another, outline the travel goals, desires, and experiences you dream of. Whether connecting with locals, diving into culinary adventures, or immersing yourself in nature, allow this personalized manifesto to guide your journey.

Don’t Be Afraid to Slow Down

In 2024, retire the need to treat travel like an endless checklist of destinations. It doesn’t matter if you visit two or ten countries this year. Depending on your travel lifestyle, it’s essential to slow down and savor each moment by diving into the local culture, engaging with communities, and allowing the destination to reveal its hidden gems. Like a fine wine, some experiences are best enjoyed when given the time to breathe.

Disconnect to Reconnect

I’m a big fan of documenting travels, but every moment is not for everyone to see. Screens dominate our world, so try to intentionally refrain from scrolling and posting in real time during your travels. Use your travels as a time to truly honor the present moment, engage in face-to-face conversations, and let the surrounding beauty captivate your senses. Allow the authenticity of your experiences to shine without a filter.

Blend Adventure with Purpose

Answering the question, “How can I accomplish my bucket list adventures mindfully,” will allow you to choose ethical adventures intentionally. Are you planning on seeing the elephants in Thailand? While riding elephants is frowned upon, there are ethical elephant sanctuaries travelers can visit. Try embarking on treks that support local conservation efforts, dive into marine life preservation initiatives, or cycle through sustainable tourism hotspots. Merge thrill-seeking with mindful exploration, ensuring that your adrenaline rushes positively impact both the environment and the communities visited. 

Keep a Journal and Reflect

Embarking on a journey with intention requires more than just sightseeing; it calls for a deeper connection to the places explored. A journal allows travelers to set their intentions and reflect on them afterward. Beyond writing, a journal serves as a canvas for emotional landscapes and personal growth. A journal becomes a mindful travel companion, steering people away from the surface and into the deep. Ultimately, it’s about the places visited and the transformative journey within.