Most people love to travel, whether it’s a weekend getaway close to home or a six-month trekking adventure in the Himalayas. Because travelling allows you to escape the daily grind and experience new frontiers, many believe it must be inherently good for you. However, is that really the case? Is travel good for you?
The good news is the answer is almost certainly yes. Going on a trip allows you to embrace new experiences and create long-lasting memories. Importantly, travel is not only a fun activity, but it also provides some health and personal benefits you may not expect. Whether it’s helping to enhance cognitive abilities or increasing happiness, travel is something that can be transformative for your wellbeing.
Certainly, there are some stresses built into travel, especially at the planning stage where organizing flights, accommodations, and itineraries can be frustrating. Technology has certainly helped to make this process smoother, allowing travelers to find cheap flights on services like JustFly, search for hotels, and find things to do online.
Of course, those minor annoyances do not dictate how travelling affects your physical and mental health. Below we will look at whether travel benefits you and if it does, in what ways.
How Travel Influences Overall Health
Amazingly, travel has been linked to some clear health benefits. A 2008 study by Expedia.com looked at 12,000 men and found those who took at least one vacation each year reduced their chances of dying from heart disease by 30%. Those who did not go on vacation were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack.
Other studies have found travel has a similar impact on reducing the risk of depression. Needless to say, there is evidence that shows travel can profoundly change your overall health.
That said, there is a clear caveat to consider. While travel can help boost your chances of avoiding numerous health issues, there are times when there could be an obvious risk to your health. For example, if you travel to a place where vaccinations are needed to stave off disease and you don’t get vaccinated.
Of course, this would not be caused by the activity of traveling itself but instead because of your own bad decision. That’s why it is hugely important to be well prepared before visiting another country. Check with doctors and online resources to see which health risks are prevalent in the place you are visiting and whether you will require a vaccination.
Some of the most common diseases that travelers must be aware of include Yellow Fever, Malaria, Polio, and Typhoid.
How Travel Affects the Mind
One of the things most people seek when going on vacation is the chance to unwind and relax. Travel allows you to get away from work, take your mind off the day-to-day grind, and enjoy yourself. Naturally, people’s idea of what relaxation is may differ – some preferring to lie on a beach and others preferring to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro – but the result is the same.
Studies have shown travel can help to significantly reduce stress and even help people to handle stress when they return home. Feeling more relaxed is important for day-to-day life and can expand into the workplace. Employees who take a vacation have increased productivity, don’t miss as much work, and can handle work demands more efficiently.
Travel is also a fantastic tool for expanding knowledge, broadening horizons, and developing an understanding of other cultures. It is widely accepted that travel helps students to achieve better grades and to have wider academic interests.
How Travel Impacts Relationships
Whether travel has a negative or positive influence on relationships depends on the situation. For example, if you go on vacation and leave your family at home, that could cause some tension. However, under normal circumstances where people travel together (spouses, family members, friends), travel is known as an excellent way to help make relationships stronger.