Here at Loving The Layover, we talk a lot about making the most of your travels. We like to share our 24-hour itineraries and travel tips to make it easier for you to plan, but we also understand that making the most of your journey is dependent on mindset.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic we think it’s more important than ever to shed some light on what it means to get the most from your travels. To do this, we are outlining why we believe travel is essential for the human experience.
Do you remember this chart from high school? To refresh your memory, it is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow theorized that humans are motivated by their basic needs.
Yes, we know it sounds crazy, but a huge reason why we travel is because it fulfills the full hierarchy of human needs. Understanding the simple psychology behind why we do what we do helps us to make the most of our travels.
So let’s take a look at what will motivate us to travel again.
When we plan a trip, we receive the rare opportunity to take complete control over our physiological needs. The prospect of booking a vacation gives us the chance to pick what we will wear, where we will stay and what we will eat for a nominated period of time. This is why planning a trip is just as fun as taking it! We get to live in a world of ideals and create the version of ourselves we’ve always wanted.
How you can apply this to your next trip – Next time you plan your trip, don’t be hasty. Take time to research your destination and enjoy the opportunity to dream. Savor this step and don’t put off packing!
Before we travel, we tend to “take care of business” by requesting time off for vacation, budgeting our money and tending to our safety details. This step ensures our personal property is taken care of while we are gone. We also make sure we will be safe once we get to our destination. We may purchase travel insurance or get additional vaccines before leaving home. Again, this step in travel gives us a sense of control around our security and resources.
How you can apply this to your next trip – Next time you plan to leave home, take a moment to reflect on what you have and how grateful you are for it. The fact that you can protect what you have means you have a lot! Starting your vacation in a mindset of gratitude will help ease travel anxiety and set you up to enjoy every moment of what is to come!
Regaining control of our safety needs will be the hardest thing to overcome in light of the current situation, but once we are empowered, the allure of a calculated risk will be what travelers seek most.
Love and Belonging
This next tier of the pyramid brings us out of our physical needs and helps us to start achieving our psychological needs. When we have the chance to travel, we experience other cultures, religions and cusines. We start to make personal connections with the people we meet and the people we are traveling with. This sense of connection is incredibly special and it’s what makes us walk away from an experience feeling like we have gained something intangible.
How you can apply this to your next trip – When you travel, take a journal with you. Write down your feelings and thoughts or blog about what you have experienced. Reflect on the connections you have made and don’t take these interactions for granted.
This portion is where it gets tricky! In a world that is oversaturated by social media and “likes”, it’s easy to feel cut down by comparison. If you’ve ever wondered why most of @lovingthelayover‘s Instagram content is made up of landscapes, it’s because we practice what we preach! This is not to say we don’t indulge in the occasional selfie, but we’ve found we can’t live in the moment when we are trying to curate it. If you are struggling with being mentally present, we suggest putting your camera away and striving for internal esteem instead of external validation.
How you can apply this to your next trip – By all means, commemorate your trip with photos and social media posts! Just remember the difference between sharing your adventures and adventuring just to share. Always travel with your mental well-being in mind.
Reaching the “top of the pyramid” means you have achieved everything you are capable in life. If this sounds impossible it’s because it likely is. If we really reached a true form of self-actualization by traveling, we would never need to do anything else in our lives. Of course we know this isn’t the case and we’ve even coined a phrase for the feeling we get when we’re never satisfied: “the travel bug”. We continuously seek to push our boundaries and experience the cycle again. This is what makes travel feel addicting and it is why the industry will rebound.
How you can apply this to your next trip – Because self-actualization is immeasurable, we can positively channel our desire to do more by creating a “bucket list”. Use this as a tool to track where you’ve been and where you’re going. Allow yourself to feel accomplished and challenge yourself to venture farther out of your comfort zone next time.
We know this seems like a lot of science behind wanderlust, but we truly believe we are entering a new era of travel and tourism. The hardships we are facing now as a travel community will define us for years to come. So whenever you are ready to travel again, be sure to make the most of it!