It has never been easier to make visiting your dream destination a reality, and with more travelers jumping on long haul flights to faraway places each year, the way we travel is changing. Conscious globetrotters are becoming increasingly concerned about getting the most from their experiences, with “mindful travel” now a revered concept.

Based on the notion of being in the present moment, it aims to enrich your journey by focusing on experiences that affect you mentally, emotionally and intellectually – it is the art of stillness.

Here are five mindful travel tips to keep you in the present on your next trip with us:

1. Avoid the crowds

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Heading to your destination before the crowds will really allow you to connect to the area, as you experience a place with less noise before the masses arrive. You’ll have more time to stop, explore and truly appreciate what is before you. Enjoy this stillness on all our trips, including our Italy options where you’ll take private tours of the Sistine Chapel and the Venetian Republic. At the Sistine Chapel you’ll enjoy fast-tracked entry into the Vatican Museums for a more private viewing of its timeless Papal art collection.

Related trip: Ultimate Italy

2. Nourish your taste buds

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“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating”, or so said Italian opera singer, Luciano Pavarotti. And where better to devote this attention than on a trip full of gastronomic delights? Take a moment to stop and appreciate regional flavors as you journey through new lands, savoring the texture, smell and taste of local delicacies. Eat slowly and in great company as you toast to your journey with fellow travelers on your final Celebration Dinner.

3. Stay local

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Don’t just tick off a destination’s major hotspots, truly get to know an area by engaging with its locals. In the spirit of mindful travel, take time to listen to fascinating tales about their culture, daily life and love for the place they call home.

In Chioggia stroll through the town’s bustling fish market guided by your onboard chef. While in Perugia, join a Local Expert for a guided exploration through history, as you walk along its Corso Vannucci to the main square where you’ll see the Great Fountain, Collegio del Cambio and the splendid Prior’s Palace.

4. Embrace everything

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Mindful travel can sometimes be uncomfortable, particularly if you’re traveling to lands further afield with cultures very different to your own. Rather than appreciate a country’s quirks nostalgically when you have returned, try to really focus on the present and embrace your destinations differences while you are there. Ask questions, speak to locals and try new foods to truly cherish your experience.

5. Document your journey

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Photography is a great way to document your journey, but why not go a step further and take a notepad and pen to make sketches of your travels? Take time as you journey to your next destination to focus on your highlights of the day or perhaps jot down notes on your expectations for the journey ahead. Notes and sketches of your travels will make for a great visual souvenir on your return.