How Travel Boosts Our Mental Health

Written by: KHM Staff on November 16, 2020

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Canceled events. Working from home with kids. Higher health risks for going out in public. There are many reasons that people have found 2020 to be especially stressful. When we are under stress, our mental health often takes a toll. While it may not be the first wellness solution that comes to mind, travel does have a positive impact on our mental health.

Here are 4 ways that travel helps us recharge, refocus, and restore ourselves for a happier and healthier future.

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1. It brings us joy. 

According to a Cornell University study, even planning and anticipating a trip can be a mood booster. Once we arrive in our destination, those fluttery feelings of fulfillment of reaching our goal kick in, and research shows that having positive things to think about is key to our mental well-being. From the first day of planning to the arrival in destination, travel brings us joy.

2. It relieves stress. 

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91% of Americans say that they see a vacation as a chance to “hit the reset button” on their stress and anxiety. A separate study of 1,500 women found that those who traveled twice a year were less likely to suffer from chronic stress and depression. Why? Travel allows us to focus on ourselves and brings us back to the things we find most meaningful in our lives, which we tend to ignore when we are running on tight schedules and to-do lists. 

3. It’s a workout for our brains.

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Not only are we more physically active when we travel, but our minds are more engaged. Much of what we do as our daily routines, we do without thinking. On vacation, we’re constantly exposed to new surroundings and information. This can enhance creativity, which in turn helps us develop new long-term neural connections, according to Psychology Today. In short, traveling gives our brains a workout! 

4. It gives us confidence.

Facing unfamiliar situations and stepping outside our comfort zones can be thrilling, but they can also test our patience. Learning how to adapt, even if it’s just to a new form of transport for a few days, makes us more emotionally flexible and resilient. When we go back to our normal lives and are confronted with a challenging situation, we remember those tricky travel situations and how we adapted, which allows us to quash our insecurities.  

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For those that didn’t get to take a mental health break of travel in 2020, next year is full of possibilities to relax and recharge. Share the mental health benefits of traveling with your clients and explain how you can help them get the most out of their trip, starting with a stress-free planning process.

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