Mama, you probably know by now that traveling with kids is a lot of work (I mean, just being a mama is a lot of work, am I right?) Adding travel to motherhood, with all the packing, planning, and carrying, can easily leave you wondering: Is mom self-care even possible while traveling with kids? Am I allowed to focus on myself while spending time seeing the world with my family?
Yes queen, the answer is yes. But you must plan for it.
Leaving room for you, not only will help you feel rested, taken care of and recharged, it will also help you navigate all the ups and downs of family travel like a boss! With more ease and with a better mood.
If mom thrives, the family thrives! Seems like the perfect recipe for a successful family trip to me 😉
As I traveled with my 2 kids -on a trip that ended up lasting 10 months, I started implementing some habits that allowed me to enjoy the travel, the experiences and the family time, while also leaving space for me. I’m gonna share 7 of these habits with you, to encourage you to try them on your next family adventure.
Keep in mind that some of these will apply better to longer trips since you’ll have more time, and also, don’t aim to do them all at once. Start with one, and build your travel mom self-care routine from there.
Self Care Habit # 1: Work out
Contrary to what most people do, working out while traveling, specially as a mom, could give you a nice energy boost for your day of family adventures. When you work out, you release tension, you maintain physical and mental health, you build strength, and you potentially inspire other great daily habits.
If you have a regular work-out routine while at home, adjusting while traveling shouldn’t be difficult at all. These are some things I recommend you try:
- Use a mobile app, an online program or browse on Youtube. During my trips and while at home I’ve used Tone it Up, Inner Dimension, Yoga Girl, and streamed free video trainings from Growingannanas & MadFit.
- Choose your type of workout. Do you like Yoga? Pilates? Weight training? Once you are clear on this, it’ll be easier to choose a platform.
- Decide a workout length that will set you up for success. Since my days are usually busy with online work, my workouts are usually 30 minutes long and I aim to do them before my kids wake up.
- Join classes at your destination. This works great if you’re in a small town where you could walk to a class. If you’re staying at a hotel, check for classes on-site or nearby, and if you’re staying at an Airbnb, you can always ask your host for recommendations.
- Talk to your partner and let him know about your workout plans. This will help with daily family organization and extra support (watching kids, etc.) if needed.
- Be consistent, but also be flexible. Depending on your travel pace, you’ll find that some days you’ll be more tired than other days. Listen to your body, get plenty of rest, and if you need to skip a day, honor that and get back at it when you’re ready.
Self Care Habit # 2: Do something by yourself
“What did you say Ana?!”, “Is that even possible?”.
Mama, when was the last time you did something completely by yourself? Going grocery shopping? Grabbing a coffee? I’m gonna dare say that it was probably a long time ago (and that you most likely felt guilty about it). I know it because it’s my case too! I usually don’t plan for “me-time” but every time that I intentionally have it, girl, don’t I feel glorious afterwards! 💕 This is a great example of how planning for mom self care while traveling with kids, can actually make it more possible.
I specially felt this while we were in Jericoacoara, a beautiful beach town in the Brazilian Northeast. We had been there for a couple of days already, and I really wanted to explore the alleys, maybe do some shopping and just enjoy some time alone. And you know what? I did! I went inside some colorful stores, tried some clothes on, walked to the beach, dipped my feet in the water, had a juice in a bar and headed back to our Airbnb.
Not only was Luisfe, my husband, completely ok with the kids, I also noticed I felt amazing!!
So what do you say mama? Ditch the mom guilt, and during your next family trip, set some time to do something completely by yourself. Here are some ideas:
- Go get your nails done.
- Take a sexy mom walk.
- Sit at a cafe with your favorite drink and a book.
- Go watch the stars.
- Buy yourself a local gift.
- Take a group class.
Self Care Habit # 3: Create your own rituals
Yes queen! Time to call in the woo woo energy now. But don’t worry, if you’re not into spiritual practices, you’ll discover that there are so many types of rituals you can create for yourself. From beauty rituals, to winding down rituals and even changing-location rituals.
The most important things you need to know are, that a ritual is a sequence of actions you do with a purpose, and that you have complete control of the “activities” that are part of your rituals.
When you’re traveling as a family, a lot of your focus is spread outwards, towards your experiences, towards caring for your kids, towards planning, etc. Having a ritual practice, as a mom traveling with kids, can help you reconnect with yourself and put your attention inwards. Practicing rituals can also leave you feel taken care of and balanced.
These are some of the rituals I practice while at home and while traveling:
- Yoga, Guided Meditations & Journaling (through online videos)
- Setting up my own crystal altar at every new location.
And these are some that I’m slowly incorporating:
- Moon Rituals.
- Meditation with Crystals.
- Visualization & Embodiment.
- Beauty Rituals.
- End of day Gratitude Practice.
Self Care Habit # 4: Bring the family to do something you love
That’s right mama! You’re choosing something you’d absolutely love to do while visiting a specific destination, and you’re bringing your family along.
When I first started traveling with my kids, I was terrified that they wouldn’t enjoy it. But with time I realized, that if I kept doing things I truly loved in front of them, I would 100% inspire them to do the same. That’s why sharing your passions with your family, even when traveling, can help you strenghen your family bonds and spark feelings of wellness for everyone.
The biggest step for trying this out while traveling with your kids, is allowing yourself to think about you (without the guilt). What is something that you absolutely would love to see, eat or do? Maybe it’s watching a live Flamenco show while in Spain, or eating Korean street food. What do you say mama? Are those travel dreams getting ignited? I love it!
Self Care Habit # 5: Capture photos of yourself
And before you give me all the reasons why you don’t want to or why you can’t, I want you to think…”What if? What if I just did it?” Remember that these photos would be for you and your eyes only, unless you choose to share them with the world. But more importantly, these photos could help you freeze moments OF YOUR LIFE, that you think you’ll always remember.
From personal experience, I’ve noticed that I usually take more photos of myself -and enjoy it a lot more-when I’m feeling good, physically and emotionally. And some of the things that help me be in the “mood” for it include being well rested, and wearing clothes that make me feel good in my own skin.
Although you may think that the only way to get good photos of yourself is if your partner is a top photographer, I actually encourage you to try these 2 alternative options:
- Use a tripod. Not only will it come in very handy when traveling as a family, but it will also allow you to take photos of yourself without having to rely on someone else.
- Book a photographer at your destination. Although I haven’t tried this option yet, I’ve seen so many options through Airbnb experiences. For example, check this Paris photoshoot service, or this one In Buenos Aires. Seems like a great self treat to me 😉
Self Care Habit # 6: Collect little treasures from your trips
Think of these as little reminders of the incredible things you’ve seen, the incredible experiences you’ve had and the unique places where you’ve been. We all capture memories differently, even when traveling together, so being able to bring back pieces that remind you of these trips in your own unique way, can be truly magical.
Keep in mind that “treasures” can mean really anything, and they don’t necessarily have to be expensive things. They are treasures because of the value you give them, and the meaning they have for you.
Some of the little treasures I’ve collected for myself during my trips include a Berber ring from Merzouga, a tiny star & moon earring from Canoa Quebrada, a crystal necklace from Florianopolis, and a cloth painting from Siem Reap.
I dare you to find beauty in the things that surround you while traveling, in the artisan work and the meaning they carry. But most of all, I dare you to capture these special things and choose to bring them with you.
Self Care Habit # 7: Let your family take care of you
Everything will be ok, I promise. Decide to let go of control and experience how it’d feel like to be taken care of. Your family loves you, and if you’d like them to care for you, sometimes it has to start with you.
In order to feel cared for, let’s start by identifying exactly what it is that you need. Is it for hubby to take care of the kids for the day? Is it having a day where you don’t have to cook at all? Or perhaps it’s a day when mama gets the full on queen treatment. Yes, all of this is still possible while traveling. The key here is communication with your partner and with your kids, if they’re old enough.
Don’t be surprised if this becomes a habit and every so often, you’ll get a much needed recharge from the people that love you the most, your beautiful family.
There you go mama! 7 mom self-care habits you can practice while traveling with your kids. I’d love to know which one’s your favorite and which one you’ll love to try for the very first time.
Travel is a time for nourishment of the soul, and with these practices, you’ll be well in your journey to make every family travel experience, a wellness experience.