Head Trip: 5 Mindfulness Apps for Happier Travels

Feeling crazed as you rush out the door to catch your flight only to realise you forgot to pack any shoes? Or maybe you’re feeling anxious about how your mother-in-law is going to react to finding out you’ve put her in a separate villa. As stress relieving as travel is supposed to be, the actual act of getting to your destination can cause all sorts of mental havoc. To get your head in order as you travel, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite apps for chilling out and feeling ready for anything – including (gasp), discovering your in-laws are actually happier being down the road.

Valk – For those with a fear of flying

Images from Valk

For those with a fear of flying, Valk is your in-flight travel therapist. This app offers a series of breathing and calming exercises to help keep you relaxed before departure, while you’re taking off and landing, during times of turbulence, and mid-flight.

We especially love how it works when you’re having a panic attack amid turbulence. There’s a panic button in the middle of the app’s menu which immediately connects you to an automated therapist who will talk you through things.

Plus, Valk comes with tons of information and statistics on what happens during flights, so you know all the facts.

You can get the app for USD3.99 on Google Play and Apple.

Headspace – For something simple

Images from Headspace

With meditations starting at just three minutes long, and with up to 30-day meditation courses, Headspace is pretty great for those who have no patience for mediation or all the patience in the world. There is a mindfulness program designed for business travellers, and the app targets the usual wellness suspects like stress, creativity and anxiety.

We particularly love Headspace’s Sleepcasts, which are designed to put you to sleep – perfect for those nights when you’re seriously struggling with jetlag.

The app is free to get started on both Apple and Google Play, but costs USD7.99 per month (on an annual subscription) if you choose to go deeper.

Read also: How and Where to Achieve Max Levels of Wellness

10% Happier – For the meditation sceptic

Images from Ten Percent Happier

Born out of the creator, Dan Harris’ on-flight panic attack (on live TV, mind you) and based on the book by the same name, 10% Happier is the mindfulness app for people who think meditation is ridiculous.

A meditation app designed with a sense of humour, 10% Happier comes with tons of guided meditations, videos, talks and sleep content (our favourite) to help your no-b.s. meditation practice.

10% Happier is free to get started with on Apple and Google Play or USD99 a year for full access.

Buddhify – If you’re a more experienced meditator

Image from Buddhify

For whenever you feel like it, like just before hopping onto a flight, Buddhify is designed to bring you calm and clarity. When you open up the app, you’ll be asked: “What’s happening?”

From there, you can select a slice on a rather colourful wheel that applies to what you’re up to. These slices include things like going to sleep, taking a break from work and travelling. Perfect for when you’re on the move.

There is no subscription fee for Buddhify. It’s USD2.99 on Google Play and USD4.99 on Apple.

Read also: Destination Deluxe’s Vivienne Tang takes on Wellness and Koh Samui

PAUSE – When you don’t want to be talked at

Images from PAUSE

If you’re not into having someone talk at you, PAUSE is the mindfulness app for you. Based on the principles of Tai Chi, PAUSE focuses your attention on your mobile device. (Yes, we see the irony of this too).

Through following a colourful blob on your screen, you slowly and continuously move your fingertip, triggering your body’s ‘rest and digest’ response. This response helps to regain your general sense of focus and reduce your stress levels.

You can get the app for USD1.99 on Apple and for free on Google Play.

Read also: Things your flight attendant wants you to know

How do you stay calm when travelling?

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Elisabeth Forsman

Our predictably unpredictable adventure nomad, Elisabeth is the yogi who wants it fast, the ultra-runner who prefers taking a hike, and the swimmer with a fear of lap pools. A consummate lover of all things outdoors, she’s on a perpetual quest to get those around her outside and moving.

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