Top 4 Health Benefits of Travel

by Kate Abderholden

October 11, 2021 Pro Tips

Need another excuse to go on vacation? Well here it is, and it may be doctor recommended! Traveling is not only fun but beneficial for your health. Numerous studies have been conducted showing the benefits of travel for both mental and physical health. Check out the top 4 health benefits of travel below.

Travel lowers stress levels

You know that giddy feeling when you book a trip, purchase flights, and start thinking about what to pack? The buildup before a trip is almost as exciting as the adventure.  In fact, a Cornell University study found that people are significantly happier while planning a trip—even a trip that they may not take. They also noted that the anticipation for a trip made people happier than acquiring a physical possession. It’s time to trade shopping for travel!

Another study noted that 3 days after a vacation, travelers felt well-rested, less anxious, and in a better mood. They eked out a bit more benefit by having this vacation in a different location than their home. Not only this, travelers felt that these improvements lasted for weeks, even up to 45 days after they returned home.

Travel boosts mental health

Travel brings novel experiences; you meet new people, try new foods, and see new things. These new experiences increase cognitive flexibility, keeping your mind sharp. Travelling also makes you utilize all of your senses and adapt to different situations. It can boost your creativity and help with personal growth by stepping out of your comfort zone. Adventure travel will push your limits by combining all of these things into a single trip to an unfamiliar place that will require you to make adjustments depending on the variables of any given day.

Travel will decrease your risk of heart disease

Taking a break and going on a trip relieves stress and anxiety, two big factors in cardiovascular health. A long-running Framingham Heart Study found that men and women who traveled annually were less likely to suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease as opposed to those who took a vacation once every six years.

“It shows how the body reacts to a lifestyle of stress,” said Elaine Eaker, a co-author of the study. “This is real evidence that vacations are important to your physical health.”

Research from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) and the United States Travel Association show that men who do not take a yearly vacation have a 30% higher risk of contracting heart disease. Combining the invigorating challenge of an adventure trip with a mentally stimulating activity like crossword puzzles promotes brain health and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease too.

Travel keeps you fit

Although this depends on your nature of travel, generally, people are more active on vacation than sitting at the office. Even just walking around and exploring a new city can rack up as many as 20,000-30,000 steps per day. On an adventure travel trip, you are boosting your fitness by adding in hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming,  and even simply walking more. The TCRS and USTA study that showed the risk inherent in fewer vacations also shared that 60% of people say that whenever they travel they get more exercise, a renewed dedication toward improving their health, and the knowledge that depression is less likely.

Looking for a trip to really unwind? Check out our Wellness adventures here. MT Sobek wellness means combining active adventure with mindfulness and activities like yoga, meditation, reflection and other ways to reconnect your body, mind, and soul.