Research suggests that millennials travel more than any other generation. On average, they spend about 35 days each year exploring the wild blue yonder.
If it has been a while since you last packed your bags and hit the road, you have some catching up to do!
We realize that planning a trip is time-consuming and that most travel doesn’t come cheap. Instead of thinking about what you’ll lose, why not consider what you’ll gain? There are numerous benefits of traveling, whether you’re planning a quick overnight or a month-long adventure.
We’ve created this guide to convince you that you deserve to take a trip this year. We’ll get into some of the less obvious traveling benefits that can impact your mood, mindset, and waistline!
Read on to learn why and how to travel more in 2023!
Table of Contents
Travel Makes You Happy
Our modern lives are full of routines. You probably follow the same zombie-like steps every morning, then sleepwalk your way through five consecutive, near-identical workdays. We look forward to the weekend because it signals a change in the status quo—but our weekends tend to look similar, too, and then it starts all over again.
Traveling is an instant way to switch things up. When we’re removed from our daily environment, our brains immediately switch into problem-solving mode. We face new and different choices, from “where do I eat?” to “how do I communicate?”
Our brains crave novelty, and the satisfaction of solving a problem, tasting or experiencing something new, or seeing a landmark in the flesh can release feel-good chemicals in the brain.
Sure, we have access to a million sources of instant gratification each day. You can order a box of macarons online and save yourself a trip to Paris. Is there a difference?
Researchers suggest that the brain releases different chemicals during experiences, which lead to longer-term joy than purchases. Even the anticipation before taking a vacation is more substantial. In other words, planning a trip and setting off for Belgium will make you much happier than buying a box of Belgian chocolates.
Traveling Is Self-Care
Traveling can reduce anxiety and stress in the average individual, barring any pre-existing mood or anxiety disorders. According to an Austrian study, those benefits can last up to 45 days, even if your trip itself lasts only three days. Stepping away from work or school seems to reset your brain, helping you reprioritize and live in the moment.
The key to a successful trip is making initial choices that reduce stress. For example, you probably shouldn’t plan a road trip if you hate driving. If airports give you hives, spring for a first-class train ticket and enjoy the extra legroom without the security line struggle.
Furthermore, folks who travel tend to visit natural locations on their trips. Mental health professionals associate time spent in the natural world with lower stress and a higher quality of life. Walking through new cities or natural environments is excellent exercise, releasing endorphins and improving overall mood.
It’s easy to make your upcoming trip an excuse to slow down and pamper yourself. Schedule a spa treatment or massage, visit a hot spring, plan a leisurely hike, or wander around a relaxing museum. Traveling is also a great excuse to try new cuisine, so treat yourself to a great meal and skip the dishes.
You can still reap all the benefits if you’re traveling on a budget. A break from your daily grind is all you need to de-stress and release some tension.
Traveling Sparks Creativity
The key to coming up with great ideas is a concept known as cognitive flexibility. This describes your brain’s ability to adapt to and process the unexpected. That’s why professional creatives tend to be strong problem solvers—their brains automatically begin to make sense of the world, generating solutions based on past novel experiences.
In other words, the more you see, the more you’ll have to draw from when generating new ideas or solutions. There’s no better way to immerse yourself in novelty than to travel outside your comfort zone. Foreign travel is particularly effective at triggering new connections in the brain.
First, you’ll gain exposure to new and unique cultural norms. You’ll reflect on how you do things and grapple with that complexity. When you shift perspectives, you’ll gain mental flexibility.
Hearing and using foreign languages can also activate these connections in the brain. You’ll think about words and their origins, make logical leaps, and learn new phrases for familiar experiences.
Finally, you will need to switch up your regular daily care routines, which requires solving many small problems in a row. Where do you put your shampoo in this strange hotel shower? How do you use a Japanese bidet?
To really pull yourself out of your comfort zone, consider a road trip. Look into camper vans for sale and give a brand-new lifestyle a try. You’ll come home refreshed, revitalized, and ready to create something brilliant!
Embrace the Many Benefits of Traveling
In this economy, it can be difficult to justify shelling out the cash for a trip. Now that you know the benefits of traveling, you have the knowledge you need to justify the expense. Your journey doesn’t need to be long or complex to help you relax, reset, and return home feeling healthier, happier, and ready for new challenges.
If you need to save up before exploring the world, start small and explore the blog. We’ve got plenty of articles (including more travel tips) to help you enjoy all the world has to offer.