We all love to travel for the positive effects + invigorating feeling we have when we return, but did you know there is ample research that helps to confirm this long-held belief? Read below to find out more!
1. Travel Lowers Stress Levels:
Keep Calm + Carry On. Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Hakuna Matata. These mantras are repeated, printed and shared as valuable reminders to be patient and relax. Reducing stress is absolutely critical for well-being. The effects of prolonged stress can cause your immune system to falter + increases the chances of serious health issues like hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Stress can be reduced with traveling as it helps to break your norm, experience new environments + increase your happiness. One study showed after a 3 - day vacation, travelers returned with fewer physical complaints, reports of better sleep + an increase in quality of mood!
Do yourself a favor: travel more + stress less!
2. Travels Increases your Happiness in Life (+ in Your Relationship!):
Going on a vacation provides pre, during + post episodes of happiness. Travelers get excited while planning it, get a rush as they experience new adventures during and create memories + photographs that they can joyfully look back on. Perhaps this multidimensional experience of happiness is why rates of depression + tension were lower in those that took a greater number vacations. Not only that, but the rates of depression increased the fewer vacations the subjects had – meaning, more time between getaways = more tension!
A bonus result from this study: that the rates of marital satisfaction decreased as the frequency of vacations decreased, so for the sake of you + your loved ones – please go on vacation!
3. Taking a Vacation can Improve Work Performance:
An ongoing project, entitled Project Time Off, makes it their mission to bring more attention to the underutilized vacation days in the US working population. Their research shows that people who took fewer than 10 of their vacation days per year had a 34.6% likelihood of receiving a raise or bonus in a three-year period of time. People who took more than 10 of their vacation days had a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise or bonus. There is research to support that taking time off for vacations leads to increased productivity + perhaps this productivity is reflected in these monetary gains!
4. Traveling Helps You to be More Creative + Confident:
As a born and raised East Coast girl, I am very familiar with the culture of my neck of the woods – direct, passionate, snooty + historical. One of my favorite reasons to travel is to discover what cultural differences exist between myself and those in other parts of the world. This helps me to challenge my own norms and grow to be a more open-minded + accepting person. New research demonstrates that meaningfully engaging with unfamiliar cultures, and reflecting on these experiences, contribute to increased creativity. Additionally, possessing this ability to engage with people from different backgrounds than yourself, and get out of your own social comfort zone, helps to foster a stronger sense of self!
5. Traveling can reduce the risk of heart problems:
The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial performed by the National Heart, Lung + Blood Institute trial followed 12,000 men, at risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), over a nine-year period. This study found that men who take frequent annual vacations were 21% less likely to pass away from any cause and were 32% less likely to die from CHD. These results were consistent when demographic factors such as income + education level were controlled for. While the underlying cause for the relationship between CHD and taking vacations is not yet fully understood, there is reason to believe it is because of the stress relieving effects outlined above.
6. Taking a vacation has lasting effects:
Allowing yourself to have a vacation often includes free time to sleep in, explore new sites + engage in activities you might “not have time for” in your day to day life. This increased free time is part of the reason that most of us come back to our normal lives feeling refreshed + relaxed. Research shows that the calming effects of a good vacation can have a lasting outcome! Participants reported better bodily wellbeing 5 weeks after returning from the trip compared to the time leading up to the vacation.
Strauss-Blasche G, Ekmekcioglu C, Marktl W. Does vacation enable recuperation? Changes in well-being associated with time away from work. Occupational Medicine, April 2000.
Chikani V, Reding D, Gunderson P, McCarty CA. Vacations Improve Mental Health Among Rural Women: The Wisconsin Rural Women’s Health Study. WMJ, August, 2005.
Adam, H, Galinsky, AD, Maddux, WW. When in Rome … Learn Why the Romans Do What They Do: How Multicultural Learning Experiences Facilitate Creativity. Academy of Management Journal. May, 2010.
Gump BB, Mathews KA. 2000. Are vacations good for your health? The 9-year mortality experience after the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Psychosom Med 62:608–612.