You might be surprised to learn about these benefits of travel.
If you love to travel, you can probably identify specific reasons you love it — to relax and decompress, to experience new places and cultures, to visit loved ones, and more. Travel is certainly beneficial for those reasons., But sometimes those reasons are more beneficial than you may realize, and they could offer benefits you hadn’t even considered. Here’s why we all really do need a vacation.
Travel relieves stress, reduces depression, and improves your health.
Scientific studies reveal that travel improves overall well-being and health, and it can especially boost your mood and positivity, reduce depression, alleviate stress, improve sleep, and ease burnout.
Travel also keeps us in good physical shape. If you’ve ever had to run through an airport to catch your connecting flight, you already know what a workout that can be. And, you’re probably not holed up in your hotel room or time share ordering all the room service or delivery takeout you can eat for the duration of your vacation. Walking while you’re sightseeing or exploring a new city is great exercise, and you may even participate in more vigorous activity, like a wilderness hike.
The health benefits of travel are scientifically proven: A joint study4 from the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, revealed that:
- Women who vacationed at least twice a year had a significantly lower risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death than those who vacationed every six years or less.
- Men who vacationed every year had a 20% lower risk of death and around 30% lower risk of death from heart disease.
- 89% of study respondents experienced the benefits of travel after only a day or two away.
- 59% of respondents “said they dream of traveling during their retirement, and that the most impactful trips are those spent with family and friends.”
Other studies have shown that people felt the benefits of travel for weeks after they returned.
Travel exposes you to new things and invigorates your creativity.
Few things are as daunting — or as liberating — as stepping outside your comfort zone, which is exactly what you’re doing when you leave the familiarity of your home city.
“Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,” Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, told The Atlantic. Galinsky, who has authored several studies researching the links between creativity and international travel, said the confluence of multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation is the key.
New experiences and meeting and engaging with new people — especially people who are different from you — are other aspects of travel that broaden your perspective, increase your acceptance of others, and spark your innovation and ideation. So, if you want to boost your creativity, travel to places where you can venture out and experience new people and cultures.
Travel offers opportunities to make new memories.
Travel memories are often connected to positive emotions7 — the excitement of trekking up a mountain, the thrill of overcoming unexpected obstacles and learning something new, the exhilaration of trying something new. Photos, videos, and souvenirs are mementos that remind you of your travels long after you’ve returned, and they give you the opportunity to remember and reflect on your experiences.
Group travel can be another opportunity to create special memories, whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or a group that shares common interests.
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