Intentional Travel: Creating a Meaningful Travel Experience

Every new year I choose a word to reflect upon and lead my actions for the coming year. My word for 2019 is “Intentional”. What does it mean when you are intentional? It means you are purposeful in action. It means living a life that is meaningful to you by actively engaging in your choices. Reflecting on this word got me thinking about making travel intentional.

First of all, kudos to you for choosing to make travel a priority in your life. Travel takes you outside of your daily life and usually removes you from your comfort zone, opening you up for new possibilities. When you consciously make intentional travel choices you embark on a more fulfilling and transformational journey and create meaningful travel experiences.

Create Meaningful Travel Experiences

What’s my destination? Of course, knowing where you are going is one of the most significant intentional choices you have to make when you are planning to travel. Knowing your destination sets the stage for the kind of experience you are going to have. Once you figure out your location you can begin to plan where you are going to stay, what activities you are going to do and what you need to pack. It also helps you in setting  a budget for your trip.

Why am I traveling? Have you taken the time to intentionally plan a purpose for your trip? Sometimes we travel seeking an experience that gives us much-needed rest and relaxation. Many times we are looking to get away for some time with family or friends. Other times we are traveling to give back to a community by serving others. Or, seeking to discover a deeper meaning in life, a spiritual transformation. Knowing why you are traveling is the definition of intentional travel and the beginning of the recipe for creating a meaningful experience.

How can you immerse yourself in the local culture? To acclimate yourself to the local culture, learn the language of the place you are visiting before you travel. It’s surprising how learning a few phrases can really break down barriers. Be open to truly experiencing the local foods, customs and diverse way of life. Immersing yourself in the local culture is the best part of traveling to a new place.

How can I find out information about my location? Research is your friend when you are planning travel. Start your research on a destination by checking out its local visitor bureau’s website or fellow traveler's reviews on You can also watch YouTube videos, movies or TV shows set in the location you are visiting. Or, check out the city guides of travel bloggers.

Who am I traveling with? If you can, meaning if it's not family, consider whether the person/people you are traveling with have the same goals you do for your travel experience. If not, you might want to consider going alone.