The benefits of travel may be obvious. But did you know that travel can improve your life emotionally and physically?
Keep reading to learn the scientifically proven ways travel can contribute to a better life. Let’s start by looking at why people seek to explore other places.
Why Do People Travel?
People travel for a variety of reasons. Among them are gaining new experiences, exploring different cultures, going on challenging adventures, and tasting unique foods. However, there are four main categories of travel.
Leisure travel is when someone visits a destination for a vacation. They go for fun, relaxation, learning about a place or culture, or outdoor recreation. Essentially, they go to get away from home and work for a while.
People travel near or far for leisure. The point is to press the reset button on everyday life.
Visiting Family and Friends
Traveling to visit family and friends who live in different places is common. While it can also be considered leisure travel, there’s typically a purpose involved. For example, some of the biggest travel days for visiting loved ones are during the holidays.
Business travel is when someone goes to another location for a specific task or event for their job. They usually have little time for sightseeing or leisure activities. Their company typically dictates the agenda and arranges all accommodations.
Volunteerism is a form of travel in which someone goes to a destination in order to volunteer their services to an organization. For example, helping with disaster relief.
But not all volunteerism is focused on emergencies or non-profit work. People volunteer for things like being a campground host, which allows you to stay free in exchange for working a certain number of hours per week. You can then travel throughout the area on your time off.
What Attracts People to Travel in the First Place?
People are drawn to travel for various reasons. The basic motivators are physical, cultural, interpersonal, and status or prestige.
Physical health is a draw to travel for many people. They may challenge themselves by rock climbing in various destinations, hiking in national parks, snorkeling reefs, or cycling in different locations. You don’t have to be in great physical shape to enjoy the benefits of travel; there are options for any skill level.
Culture is also a motivator. Humans are intrigued by how others live, work, and communicate. Travel allows us to immerse into someone else’s world, even for a short time. And it leads to another motivation for travel, interpersonal relationships. Relating with others worldwide increases our understanding of the mundane to massive world events.
Finally, status and prestige can attract someone to travel. These aren’t necessarily bad motivators. They’re referring to needs of personal esteem and development, which often appear when someone travels for professional or educational purposes.
5 Benefits of Travel
Travel can improve our well-being. Scientific research has proven that leisure travel can reduce the risk of heart attacks and anxiety and positively develop our brain health.
Take a look at five ways your mind and body can reap the benefits of travel.
1. Travel Reduces Stress
Leisure travel encourages fun, exploration, rest, and leaving work behind. It can reduce stress and prevent burnout. Simple things like sleeping in, reading by the pool, exploring a new city, or kayaking on a weekday, can free your mind from the things that normally weigh heavily.
Remember that business travel or even visiting family out of town may not have the same effect as vacations meant for leisure. The idea of a vacation is to leave the things that stress you out to hit the reset button.
2. Travel Increases Happiness
Travel increases happiness. Swimming in the ocean or hiking in the mountains can bring you happiness while traveling. But it’s breaking up your normal daily routine that can be better for the soul than ever imagined, even if you’re very routine-oriented.
It’s also a booster shot to your creativity. Taking yourself out of your daily routine and place can invoke new ideas and open your mind to different possibilities. You’re more likely to be creative when you meet new people, engage with nature, and exercise your brain in different ways.
3. Travel Has Health Benefits
A study by the American Psychological Association concluded that leisure travel removes people from the activities and environments they associate with stress and anxiety. Taking away stress, in turn, significantly reduces the risk of a heart attack.
Likely, you’ll also move your body more when you travel, particularly if your job requires a lot of sitting. Travel provides opportunities to exercise even when it’s not a programmed workout.
4. Travel Broadens Your Perspective
One of the most enlightening benefits of travel is broadening your perspective. International travel is an excellent way to take perspective, especially when engaging with someone from a different culture. But you can also broaden your perspective close to home.
People and places differ from what we’re familiar with near and far. A great way to stretch yourself and open your mind while traveling is to meet new people.
5. Travel Cultivates Your Curiosity
The first step to broadening your perspective is to cultivate your curiosity. Travel allows us to be curious. Being curious about the place you’re visiting, the people, and the culture will only enhance your experience.
Your brain rewards you for being curious. It helps you learn and grow and improves your self-awareness. All of which can positively affect your mind and body.
Start Planning Your Next Trip and Reap the Benefits of Travel
Wherever you travel, take the time to reflect on the five benefits in this article before you go and after you return. Identify what you learned about yourself on your trip. And observe how your mind and body were impacted.
Are you ready to reap the benefits of travel? You can start small. Getting away for the weekend to a town 100 miles from where you live can be transformative.