The No. 1 Hotel Brand in the World Is Bringing Its Famous Wellness Programming Online — and It’s Free

With “At Home With Six Senses,” wellness experts from around the world are offering tips and tools for staying balanced at home.

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is widely regarded as one of the most luxurious wellness and hospitality brands on the planet. And we’re not just saying that — Travel + Leisure readers have voted Six Senses the No. 1 Hotel Brand in the World for the past three years.

The past few weeks have been trying, to say the least, and it’s natural to fantasize about faraway places. But, of course, a last-minute spa getaway would be highly inadvisable — and likely, due to travel bans and social distancing measures, all but impossible. The best thing we can do right now is to take care of ourselves and others. And recently, Six Senses announced that it’s offering new tools to help us navigate the new, stay-at-home normal.

The brand’s new At Home With Six Senses initiative will bring its world-renowned wellness programming online. “In these challenging times and as a wellness-driven company,” Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs told Travel + Leisure, “we feel that, at the very least, we can share to our guests, trade partners, and hosts healthful modules that cover all aspects of well-being.” He continued, “We’re excited at the possibilities and how we can, in our small small way, create some good and help bring about some behavioral change.”

What does that look like? At Home With Six Senses will comprise advice and articles (such as this guide to working from home), video tutorials, recipes, workouts, and more, published on sixsenses.com and through resort newsletters and social media. Content is broken out into categories, representing each of Six Senses’ philosophical tenets: Mindfulness, Eat, Sleep, Move, Live Naturally, and Connect.

The first mindfulness session, a kickoff of a daily Facebook Live meditation series, was led by Anna Bjurstam, who directs the wellness programming for the entire Six Senses brand. She, like many of us, was working from home, guiding the audience in a loving-kindness meditation from her living room. As Bjurstam noted, research has shown that this type of meditation “increases self-love, increases love for others, which” — as has become evident in recent weeks — “we really need at this time.”

At Home With Six Senses programming will draw upon the knowledge of wellness experts from the brand’s properties around the world. And while Six Senses resorts are solidly in the luxury category — generally, with a price tag to match — the new online tools are available to anyone, anywhere in the world, free of charge. To learn more, check out Six Senses on social media and look for the hashtag #AtHomeWithSixSenses.

How to Have the Best National Park Vacation This Summer

Insiders share their top tips on how to avoid crowds and make the most of summer travel.

America’s national parks, monuments, and recreation areas are filled with natural and historic attractions that are prime to explore in the summertime. While warm weather means a greater ability to explore these locations, that can often mean larger crowds.

Travel + Leisure spoke to the National Park Foundation (the official charity of the National Park Service) and park representatives to learn which sites within the National Park Service make for a prime summer stop and to get insider tips on how visitors can make the most of their time at each without swarms of crowds.

Most of these parks are ideal for families, with specific trails and areas highlighted that are great for kids to explore.

Channel Islands National Park

Located off of the California coast, Channel Islands National Park is one of the country’s least-visited parks, but boasts five different islands that each offer their own appeal.

While the islands are only accessible by boat or by plane, concessionaires offer transportation to take in the whales and activities like sailing and snorkeling that await in the summer. Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, recommends Cathedral Cove and Landing Cove, which host sea stars, sea urchins and kaleidoscopic fish underneath their waters. For those looking for great hiking trails, Anacapa Island has just what you’re looking for. And Santa Cruz is home to a number of underwater caves and clear-water beaches.

Redwood National and State Parks

California’s Redwoods National and State Parks are home to the world’s tallest trees, which can take on a stunning appearance in the summertime fog. When cold air comes in from the ocean and combines with warm air inland, it creates a thin layer of fog that shrouds the soaring trees, making for unforgettable photo opportunities.

Well-maintained trails, a 40-mile coastline with beaches and roads that allow easy access to get around make this an ideal location for families. Park representatives even say some of the best features are found along the side roads most travelers often overlook.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve experiences a rare phenomenon that turns a portion of the park into a natural waterslide for youngsters and adults alike in the spring and summer.

Surge flow typically occurs in May and extends into the start of the summer, creating waves in Medano Creek as melting snow from the nearby mountains trickles down and makes underwater ridges in the sand that break with the water flow as often as every 20 seconds.

Since temperatures can dip in the winter, stargazing and backcountry camping are popular activities visitors should enjoy while they can in the summertime, when campgrounds remain open and rangers host a range of evening activities.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is made up of six different sites across south Louisiana, all of which are free.

Most of the location’s programs are also free, making for an affordable getaway for the entire family. Activities abound, from alligator spotting and bayou cruising to learning Cajun dancing.

Most sites offer summer camps, while each also has a Junior Ranger program for kids. Shafroth recommends visitors turn the trip into a multi-stop journey by heading to the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, a 30-minute drive away, the park is entirely devoted to jazz.

Quarantined Holland America Cruise Ship With Sick Passengers on Board Waiting for Coronavirus Tests at Sea

Thousands of people stuck on a Holland America Line cruise ship on Wednesday will get some relief when a ship from the same cruise line delivers supplies and support.

Passengers on the Zaandam ship, which is currently sailing back to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have been quarantined in their rooms after 30 passengers and 47 crew reported flu-like symptoms. In total, there are 1,243 guests and 586 crew on the ship.

“Out of an abundance of caution and immediately after noting the early signs of elevated numbers of illness, all guests were asked to remain in their staterooms on March 22,” Holland America said in a statement. “Zaandam is following response protocols that have been developed in coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since it is flu season, and COVID-19 testing is not currently available on board, it is difficult to determine the cause of these elevated cases at this time.”

In what as become a common plight for those still on ships amid the coronavirus pandemic, meals on the Zaandam are being served in passengers’ rooms and all public areas have closed. The ship intends to be back in the U.S. on March 30 after the second Holland America ship, the Rotterdam, meets it at sea to provide COVID-19 test kits and extra supplies on March 26.

The Rotterdam, which has has 611 crew on board and no guests, left Puerto Vallarta in Mexico on March 22 and is expected to meet the Zaandam off the coast of Panama.

On March 13, Holland America announced it was suspending its cruises, but eight ships — including the Zaandam, which was originally scheduled to dock on March 21 in San Antonio, Chile — were still out at sea.

The quarantined ship — that previously received supplies on March 20 and 21 in Valparaiso, Chile — had set sail on March 7 from Buenos Aires with the intention of traveling through South America. No one has been off the ship since March 14 when it stopped in Punta Arenas, Chile, according to Holland America.

While many cruise lines have temporarily cancelled itineraries, the Zaandam is not the only ship to get stuck out in the ocean. Earlier this week, more than 100 American passengers who were stranded on a Silversea Cruises ship in Brazil were flown back to the U.S. At least one of those passengers was diagnosed with coronavirus.

And last week, passengers on a stranded British ship, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ the Braemar, were flown home to the U.K. after several of them were diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Martha Stewart’s New Cruise Excursions Include Horseback Riding in the Ocean and Local Cooking Classes

Martha Stewart is a busy woman. When she’s not cooking delicious meals, perfecting her garden, and you know, hosting a TV show with Snoop Dogg, she’s always looking for her next big venture. And, as it turns out, that next venture is out on the high seas.

Today, Martha Stewart is launching a partnership with MSC Cruises — one of Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best mega-ship ocean cruise lines — to bring her expert finesse to ships traveling to the Caribbean. Called “Celebrate, Discover, Experience,” the TV host has created a series of culinary experiences, surprise gift packages, and shore excursions that marry Stewart’s personal passions with the cruise line’s high-end service.

“I’ve always enjoyed introducing people to new experiences, and I’m thrilled to be working with MSC Cruises on a partnership that embodies the true celebratory nature of travel, exploration and discovery,” Stewart said.

On board ships traveling to multiple destinations in the Caribbean, guests will be able to partake in a number of Martha-centric activities and “passion points” including full-day excursions with hands-on culinary classes and tastings, garden tours, visits to craft markets, hikes to scenic spots and hidden coves, lessons from local fisherman and, her personal favorite, horseback riding in the ocean.

“The excursions showcase some of my favorite activities and help MSC Cruises’ guests discover some of the authentic and hidden treasures of destinations throughout the Caribbean,” Stewart added.

Excursions will initially be available on the MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia on itineraries that include stops in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Mexico, among others. Starting in November, the excursions will be rolled out on the MSC Divinia and MSC Meraviglia. Excursions are available for children and adults and range from $115 to $199.

In Addition to the excursions, Martha’s recipes will take over the during the holidays by offering special dinner menus to celebrate Easter, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. The dinners will include a specially crafted appetizer, entrée, and dessert to make the holiday even better — as if spending the holidays cruising around the turquoise waters of the Caribbean isn’t enough.

Passengers (and loved ones not actually on the cruise) will also be able to order a “Martha Stewart Celebration Surprise Package” that will be delivered to the guests’ staterooms. The packages — meant to celebrate honeymoons, birthdays, anniversaries, and more — range from personalized letters from Martha with recipes and desserts to tote bags, picture frames, and wine. The packages range from $10 to $89 and can be ordered on or off the ship.

Having sailed many times herself — including three transatlantic cruises — Stewart is passionate about this popular form of vacation.

“So many people are a little bit fearful of taking a cruise. They think there’s a lack of privacy or there are so many people,” Stewart said. “But it’s so funny because everyone who has taken one comes back liking it.”

If you find yourself on an MSC Cruise — or any cruise — the seasoned cruiser has a few tips for making the journey even better.

For packing, the lighter the better,” she said. “I took a duffle bag and told everybody to just bring a duffle bag. You don’t need a lot of clothes.”

And when it comes to documenting your trip, Stewart found a device on her last adventure with MSC that she’ll likely no longer travel without.

“We had a new camera with us — the DJI Pocket. It’s a fantastic new camera. It’s so handy and you get really great pictures for your family and your memories,” she said. “I always suggest that people take a really good camera or a really good iPhone. And make sure you record what you see.”


Your First Look at Virgin Voyages’ Private Island

Virgin Voyages revealed on Thursday plans for Beach Club at Bimini, the private island oasis that will only be available to the cruise line’s guests (or “sailors,” as Virgin calls them).

“A cornerstone of every voyage will be The Beach Club at Bimini, where sailors can feel the sand in their toes in a stylish setting with white-sand and crystal clear waters and programming that will rival the best beach clubs in Ibiza and Saint-Tropez,” Virgin Voyages said in a statement.

The island, designed with Miami-based architects EOA, Inc., features was built with natural materials and soft earth tones to help it seemlessly blend into the surrounding seascape. The club overlooks the ocean, but does come with its own expansive lagoon-style pool as its center.

On the island guests can spend the morning in a yoga and meditation class on the beach. Then, throughout the day the island will be overtaken with a more energetic vibe culminating in a DJ-led pool and flotilla parties. The day on the island will end with a beach bonfire paired with acoustic musical performances.

On the island, guests can also dig into complimentary dishes like conch and mango salad, banana leaf-wrapped queen snapper, and Bahamian rum cake. They can dine with friends, sit on beach loungers, or opt for a more private accommodations with both beach-side and poolside cabanas available for rent.

This stunning seven-mile island will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of Virgin Voyages’ itineraries.

Swim With Sharks, Manta Rays, and Turtles on This Exclusive Maldivian Adventure Cruise

Like to think of yourself as the modern-day Jacque Cousteau? This ultra-exclusive cruise through the Maldives is just for you.

For one week only starting on March 9-16, 2020 divers will descend on the Maldives for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure cruise on board the luxury catamaran, the Four Seasons Explorer.

According to The Four Seasons, the cruise will begin in South Malé Atoll, the first of four lesser-known southern atolls in the Maldives, giving guests unprecedented access to some of the world’s last untouched waters.

On the ship and in the water guests will be guided by a crew of experienced dive masters as well as Four Seasons staffers. The team will take guests on daily explorations in the waters along the Laamu, Huvadhoo, and Fuvahmulah Atolls.

“In these undisturbed and rarely dived waters, adventurers can get lost among shoals of hump head wrasses, grey and white tip reef sharks, eagle rays and barracudas at sites chosen for their incredible array of fish and turtles, vibrant thilas and abundant coral gardens,” Four Seasons explained in a statement. It noted, divers have an extremely high chance of also catching sight of tiger sharks, thresher sharks, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, and manta rays on their dives.

Perhaps best of all, guests will get plenty of one-on-one attention as the catamaran only comes with 11 cabins, which means total guests are limited. And, for those on board, there is still plenty of room to stretch out thanks to the multiple sundecks, open-plan lounges, and even an onboard spa to relax in after a long day of diving.

To book one of the just 22 spots on board contact Original Diving at tel: +44 (0) 20 7978 0505 or email: [email protected]. And, if you can’t make it on this cruise that’s okay. All you need to do is start planning your dive journey to one of these fantastic locations around the world instead.

Royal Caribbean Just Announced Caribbean Sailings for Next Winter

There’s nothing quite like a Caribbean-bound cruise to combat lingering winter weather and jumpstart that summer tan. Thanks to the world’s largest global cruise line, Royal Caribbean International, winter travel to the Caribbean is about to become even more accessible with new itineraries from Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico for the 2020-2021 winter season.

Port in Puerta Maya – Cozumel, Mexico

Starting in 2020, Galveston, Texas will be the new homeport for Adventure of the Seas, a ship offering 4- and 5-night getaways to Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Those looking for a longer holiday can book a 7-night Caribbean cruise from Galveston on Adventure of the Seas or Liberty of the Seas.

Related: Royal Caribbean Is Hiring Someone to Instagram Their Cruise Adventures Around the World (Video)San Juan, Puerto Rico will be the new hub for Enchantment of the Seas, a ship that’s routed for a 7-night itinerary to several Southern Caribbean islands including Barbados and Dominica. Freedom of the Seas will once again be based in Juan, but travelers can expect a newly reimagined ship come March 2020 after the boat undergoes the brand’s modernization program.

Sailing from Miami, Explorer of the Seas offers 5- and 9-night cruises to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, as well as the company’s private destination in Haiti. Travelers from Fort Lauderdale can sail the newly renovated Independence of the Seas starting in 2020 with short getaways to the Western Caribbean and the Bahamas. For longer trips from Fort Lauderdale, Vision of the Seas has 10- and 11-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean.

Travelers from Tampa can book Rhapsody of the Seas’ new 11-night expedition to Panama or the ship’s 7-night itineraries to the Grand Cayman, Belize, and Mexico. Also sailing from Tampa is Brilliance of the Seas, with shorter 4- and 5-night offerings to the Western Caribbean.

Booking for the winter 2020-2021 season has already begun as travelers start planning their annual winter escape on balmy Caribbean seas.

Your First Look at Virgin Voyages’ Private Island

Virgin Voyages revealed on Thursday plans for Beach Club at Bimini, the private island oasis that will only be available to the cruise line’s guests (or “sailors,” as Virgin calls them).

“A cornerstone of every voyage will be The Beach Club at Bimini, where sailors can feel the sand in their toes in a stylish setting with white-sand and crystal clear waters and programming that will rival the best beach clubs in Ibiza and Saint-Tropez,” Virgin Voyages said in a statement.

The island, designed with Miami-based architects EOA, Inc., features was built with natural materials and soft earth tones to help it seemlessly blend into the surrounding seascape. The club overlooks the ocean, but does come with its own expansive lagoon-style pool as its center.

On the island guests can spend the morning in a yoga and meditation class on the beach. Then, throughout the day the island will be overtaken with a more energetic vibe culminating in a DJ-led pool and flotilla parties. The day on the island will end with a beach bonfire paired with acoustic musical performances.

On the island, guests can also dig into complimentary dishes like conch and mango salad, banana leaf-wrapped queen snapper, and Bahamian rum cake. They can dine with friends, sit on beach loungers, or opt for a more private accommodations with both beach-side and poolside cabanas available for rent.

This stunning seven-mile island will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of Virgin Voyages’ itineraries.

How to Plan Your Perfect European Cruise in 2020

A cruise is an ideal way to explore the cities of Europe, whether your goal is to marvel at ancient architecture, delve into art museums, meet with locals, or indulge in the food and wines of the countries you visit. Is Venice the city of your dreams, with its canals, bridges, and gondolas, or does a taverna on a Greek island overlooking the sea seem like the perfect place to be? You may be intrigued by St. Petersburg’s culture, history, art, and ballet. If these ideas sound appealing, you may be ready for a European cruise, and among the options are the Mediterranean, Baltic, and British Isles.

NCL Jade Alesund Norway

On the subject of options, many decisions must be made before you step aboard the ship and head for your stateroom. First-time cruisers might feel a bit overwhelmed, but cruise line websites offer extensive information, and sites such as Cruise Critic and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) are excellent resources. Travel advisors specializing in cruises are not only a wealth of helpful information, but they can often save you money and offer special amenities.

Once you’ve decided on a European cruise, you’ll want to find the ideal cruise line to fit your needs in terms of cost, vessel size, destinations, schedule, and “personality.” Is the line’s emphasis on entertainment, luxury, food, or service? First-time cruisers might want to select a shorter cruise, and many start at around seven days — a good way to try a new travel style. Choosing a stateroom and comparing dining options, beverage plans, shore excursions, amenities, and overall cost are next on the planning agenda. Consider also the port of embarkation, the cost to get there, and whether you want to spend a few extra days before the cruise.

We’ve organized some of the considerations involved in planning your perfect European cruise with the hope that those new to cruising will be inspired to take the first step, and experienced cruisers will plan their next vacation at sea.

Why take a European cruise?

Cruise fans cite the ease of visiting many destinations without having to unpack and repack in each place. There’s also no need to book hotels in each city, or deal with airports, train stations, and ground transfers. Instead of facing the potential hassles of getting from place to place, cruisers are relaxing and enjoying the comforts aboard their ship while traveling between ports. Shore excursions are arranged, usually with many choices based on the varied interests of travelers.

When is the best time to go on a European cruise?

Summer is the most popular time, but if your schedule is flexible you may want to travel in spring or fall when you’ll see fewer travelers and generally more attractive prices. The answer to this question also depends on your destinations, whether Northern Europe or Mediterranean countries. Check the weather in your destination cities and be prepared for chilly or rainy days.

How do I choose my stateroom?

Once the decision is made on the cruise line, date, and ship, the next step is selecting a stateroom. With many sizes, categories, decks, and amenities, there’s much to consider. From lower cost inside cabins to spacious suites, from upper to lower decks, cost and personal preferences are the deciding factors. A balcony provides fresh air, additional space, light, and a private place, making those cabins a popular choice for many cruisers.

Solo travelers may want to shop for cruise lines that offer rates at less than double the normal fare. Several companies make allowances or offer studio cabins for this growing segment of travelers.

What should I pack for my European cruise?

A passport is required, and it’s advisable to take a copy or phone photo in case it needs to be replaced for some reason. Bring local currency for the countries you’ll visit to purchase souvenirs or incidentals in port. Be sure to have required medications and non-prescription drugs that might be needed during the cruise. Extra chargers and adapters for electronics are suggested as well as camera batteries and a portable battery to recharge phones on the run after a full day of taking photos or sending emails. Some travelers enjoy having a book or an e-reader for quiet relaxation while cruising.

Pack comfortable shoes, rain gear, sweaters, sunglasses, and hats. Check your medical insurance policy regarding coverage overseas, and obtain travel medical insurance if necessary. Medicare does not cover expenses out of the U.S., and travel coverage is relatively inexpensive and advisable.

What type of clothing will I need for a European cruise?

The answer depends to an extent on the cruise line you choose. For most days in port, comfort is key for lots of walking, often on cobblestone streets. On board, you’ll want to have nicer outfits for daytime, and dinners are generally casual unless there is a special event. On most cruise lines, the days of formal dress and tuxedos are in the past. It’s best to check with your cruise line and review your itinerary as you plan your clothing. A swimsuit and workout gear are recommended as most ships offer exercise classes, pools, and spas.

What about my onboard dining options?

Most cruise lines offer several dining options ranging from multi-course dinners to casual, light meals. Many have gotten away from assigned times and tables to meet the preferences of today’s travelers. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line offers “Freestyle Cruising” with no fixed dining schedule, no dress code, and choices of dining experiences and entertainment.

Cruise lines are generally prepared to provide meals that meet special health requirements, but it is advisable to inquire and notify them in advance if you have dietary restrictions or needs.

8 Steps to Making Lasting Life Changes on Your Next Vacation

When you’re deep in the rhythm of daily life — cleaning, cooking dinner, even getting regular oil changes on the car — it can feel like you’re on autopilot. As the daily to-do list consumes your time and attention, big-picture dreams and goals sit idle — or forgotten.

After years of this, it might take more than a New Year’s resolution or a gym membership to create a new routine, reprioritize, or reset your life — sometimes you need to literally extract yourself from the day-to-day so you can step back, evaluate the realities, figure out what you want, and start fresh.

That’s a concept Light Watkins, Vedic meditation teacher, speaker, and author, is trying for himself. “I’ve been teaching for many years that growth and evolution happens the quickest in uncomfort and that we should find comfort in discomfort,” said Watkins, who is traveling around the world and living out of a backpack. “Anytime you get out of your routine and you can see yourself, you can become more self-aware. You take that awareness back with you to your routine after your trip, and you start to question things — is this way of doing something still useful for me?”

But first, you have to get out of your routine — and that’s where travel comes in. Travel can shock you out of autopilot and take away the sometimes-dangerous comfort of routine, which can lull you into feeling apathetic and unmotivated to change or question yourself or your situation. “When you travel, you’re trying new things, you’re seeing new things; getting in the habit of doing something new can instill that seed of change,” explained Elizabeth Lombardo, who has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a global speaker and coach who specializes in crushing your inner critic and finding happiness.

Here’s how the experts suggest you take advantage of every moment to successfully reset your life.

Reset your sleep schedule.

Harping on just how tired you are can be part of daily watercooler banter, but in reality, not getting enough sleep is serious. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults need seven to 10 hours of sleep a night. Period.

“We are such a sleep deprived society, and at least theoretically, when you go away you can go to bed earlier and wake up later,” said Lombardo. “I have my clients set a bedtime on their phone, understanding that they aren’t 3 years old, but you get on social media or Netflix and suddenly it’s late.”

When you’re on a trip, you won’t need to stay up late folding laundry or wake up at 6 a.m. to get in a workout before work — you can make your bedtime and wake time what you want. And making sure you get at least seven hours of sleep a night should be a habit you bring home with you.

Roll with things, rather than trying to control them.

When you’re entrenched in the routines of daily life, it’s easy to feel in control — but that control dissipates when you travel. “You may have every moment of your life dialed in, but when you travel, things are going to come up — the flight’s delayed or your hotel room isn’t exactly what you wanted,” said Lombardo, noting that going with the flow is crucial when you travel, and that it’s something you can practice at home too.

Relearn how to enjoy a meal.

How often do you scroll through Instagram while eating your breakfast? Or skip lunch then get home and binge on a bag of chips? According to a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, not paying attention tended to make people eat more. This is a habit Lombardo says you can break on vacation by intentionally “enjoying a meal and not sitting in front of your computer and shoving down food.”

Step away from the stress.

The reason we take a vacation is to withdraw ourselves from the stress of everyday life. When we reduce or remove that stress, we may see life differently. “Stress makes it harder for people to think rationally,” said Lombardo. “When we get out, we get out of the way, we reduce stress, and we can actually see things differently.”

Lombardo says you should be careful not to overschedule yourself when you travel. “The goal of vacation is to see new things, but you should also take time for yourself. You don’t have to be doing something all the time. Focus some time on just being — that ‘you’ time.”

Remember how to be present.

Humans tend to think and live in the future or the past — rarely appreciating the present moment. To kickstart a departure from this default mode, Lombardo suggests unplugging when you travel. “When you take a vacation, take a vacation from social media too. Don’t focus on ‘how can I document this for the world to see,’ but ‘how can I do this so I can experience it to the fullest.’”

The process of selling his belongings and hitting the road made Watkins reevaluate what makes him — and people in general — happy. “[Traveling] makes you way more present than you would be otherwise and I think that’s really what it’s all about. We’re not looking for comfort, we’re looking for presence — and through presence we find joy and that feeling of aliveness.”

Broaden your perspective.

It can be easy to get so self involved that your life, issues, and realities feel like the center of the world. Stepping away can remind you that the world is a big place, full of people who have their own problems and perspectives. The further you get away from your world, the more your issues seem small — almost trivial.

“On vacation people will give themselves more permission to talk to strangers. When we hear different perspectives it allows us to learn from other people,” said Lombardo. Watkins notes that sometimes travel can completely change the way you see your life. “You’ve seen the happiness of people in the world who have barely anything, but they’ve cultivated a sense of gratitude and service mentality.”

Discover a new sense of confidence.

Travel can be hard — you might get lost, miss your flight, or book the wrong dates for your hotel — but overcoming difficulties reinstills your sense of strength and power. “Trying new things can enhance your confidence,” said Lombardo. “Say you’re in London and you learn how to travel on the Tube, that can really help you come back with that confidence.”

Lombardo says you can bring that excitement, confidence, and newness back into your daily life.

Make sure the changes stick.

Changing your habits and starting fresh is easier when you’re out of your element and away from day-to-day stresses. Re-entry into daily life is the tricky part. Lombardo says that “the ones that tend to do best, tend to set an intention. So getting an accountability partner or putting aside a day to do something different or scheduling out ‘me’ time.”