Let's talk about mindful travel

As lockdown begins to ease and people start to think about travelling again (be it locally or planning for 2021), we’ve been thinking about how we can help you make your future travel experiences the best ones yet.

Reflecting on past travel behaviours and speaking to our community, it’s clear that there’s some key areas for improvement when it comes to the way we travel. One of our hopes is for travel to start being approached in a much more mindful way. The Pluto team has long been interested in the benefits of mindfulness, and when we consider that the tools we create aim to remove all the hassle that can get in the way of a great trip, we think that should include the mental annoyances too. That’s why we’re going to be working on some mindful travel resources and we’re pretty excited to share our ideas with you.

Want to know more? Let us tell you all about it.

Firstly, why are we focusing on mindful travel?

Let’s be honest. You love to travel but you hate the hassle that comes with it. The planning, the prep, finding the best deals, and organising your group of mates. And that’s all before you’ve even reached your destination. Through Cover, our hassle-free travel insurance product, and our soon to be launched travel planning tool, Pinboard, we’ve been working hard to make sure your pre-travel planning goes as smoothly as possible.

One of our goals is to take care of all the nitty gritty for you, so that you can enjoy the best bits. Discovering hidden gems, indulging in new cuisines, making new friendships and letting go of life's daily stresses. But we also know that the joy of those moments can be taken away from you when your mind is too busy planning what to do next, thinking of work concerns back at home or spending a little too long trying to get that perfect shot for Instagram. That’s why we want to offer some mindful travel resources, so that we go beyond providing pre-travel tools, and start helping you during your trip too. Your worries don’t end as soon as you arrive in your destination, but we’d like to try and make it that way.

What is mindful travel and why do we think it’s important?

As the travel sector has slowed down this year, many in the industry have been using this time to reflect on travel and think about how they can make it better going forward. That’s led to a lot of new terms being thrown around - slow travel, purposeful travel, travelling with intention. We want to keep it simple. Mindful travel for us is simply being in the moment and fully enjoying the experience that you travelled so far for. It’s not something that’s reserved solely for soul-searchers and yogi’s either. It’s something that can be - and should be - used easily by everyone and applied wherever you are. We don’t see mindful travel as a trend, but an ethos that we adopt with every trip and we’d like to help you do the same.

So what are some examples of the ‘unmindful’ behaviour that we’d like to help you with? Thinking back on your previous trips, how many of you can say you’ve done any of the following?

  • Thinking of your plane, train or car journey purely as a means to an end
  • Being physically away but your mind still being at home thinking of work or relationships
  • Spending too much time checking emails, messages and social media updates on your phone
  • Spending more time trying to capture a moment than actually enjoying the moment
  • Over-packing your itinerary and feeling as though you’re rushing through things
  • Reaching your sightseeing spot and enjoying it for a short while before your mind starts planning what to do next

These are just some of the behaviours that prevent us from making the most of every moment while we’re away. Travel is a rare opportunity to experience new worlds and it’s often the backdrop to some of the best memories of our lives. It only makes sense that we are fully present for it and savour each experience.

What mindful travel resources will we provide?

Well we’re glad you asked because we’re excited to tell you about the ideas we have at the moment - and we’d love to hear your input as we work on them too.

Our vision for the future is to combine our travel tools with new resources that will form a Mindful Travel Toolkit. We envision it to be a collection of features and practices that will appear across all of our channels to help you be more present during your trip. Some ideas we’ve had to help you do that include digital prompts within our app to use while you’re away. These could include daily gratitude reminders, photo challenges and even some simple meditation exercises - essentially everything you need to stay present whilst on the road.

Another idea includes a community space for Pluto members to interact with those who share the same ethos when it comes to travelling. We’re not sure how this would work yet, but community is an integral part of Pluto and we’re always keen to start conversations between travellers - seriously, if you'd like to chat about mindful travel and share your opinion on our upcoming toolkit, just drop us a line. We’d love to hear your input before we start putting our plans into action.

In the meantime, we’ll be releasing a series of articles to share further insight into mindful travel and how you can practice it once you travel again. Keep an eye on our Instagram page if you’d like to be the first to check them out!

Have any feedback or questions? I'd love to hear from you! Just drop me a message at [email protected]



The two co-founders of Pluto, Alex & Harry.