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More Than a Vacation: 7 Incredible Benefits of Travel

Getting away does wonders for your body, mind and soul

The Vacationeer

A vacation can serve as a much-needed break from the regular routine and stress of life. Yet the benefits to travel go far beyond a simple timeout from the daily grind.

Travel benefits like reducing your stress level and increasing your happiness are just a few of the reasons why travel is important.

Read on to learn even more. (Then pack your bags already!)

7 Benefits of Travel

1. It reduces stress.

You probably didn’t need us to tell you that travel helps you relax. After all, it’s hardly surprising that a break from the daily grind of working, paying bills, commuting and maintaining your house helps you feel less tense. 

When you travel, you naturally focus on new experiences instead of the day-to-day responsibilities that can cause stress. This ultimately helps lower your level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. 

Concerned that you only have time to get away for a few days? Go anyway, because a study showed that 80 percent of Americans reported a significant drop in stress after just one or two days of travel.  

2. It makes you more creative. 

Visiting places that are far from the familiar gives you a whole new perspective. When you travel, you see how diverse the world really is when it comes to food, religion, cultural values and more. These new experiences increase your “cognitive flexibility,” or ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts and to think about several concepts at the same time. 

There’s only one caveat when it comes to why travel is important for increasing creativity: In order to get the travel benefit, you need to engage with the local culture in a meaningful way. A few ideas for doing that include taking public transportation, attending a local event like a sports match and booking a tour with a local guide. 

3. It increases your empathy for others.

There’s nothing like traveling somewhere new to break down stereotypes and realize how connected we all are. Depending on where you go, you may even develop a new understanding and concern for people facing hardships.

Research shows all this to be true, with one study indicating that people who traveled were more apt to suspend judgment about a person until they gathered more information about him or her beyond surface qualities like age or race. Meanwhile, another study showed that people who travel frequently have a greater tolerance and trust toward strangers. 

4. It makes you happier.

Most of us feel happy while vacationing. But did you know that you also get a happiness boost just from simply planning a vacation? A study by Cornell University revealed that people feel happy anticipating a vacation—and that their happiness was greater than if they were anticipating a physical possession like a new gadget.

And the benefits continue even after the vacation ends. That’s because recalling memories from a past vacation make us happier as time goes on. This contrasts with physical objects, which tend to make us less happy over time as they depreciate with age. 

5. It reduces your risk of heart attack.

We all know that eating well and exercising help reduce the risk of having a heart attack. But did you know that traveling can, too?

A study showed that men who take regular vacations are 21 percent less likely to die of a heart attack than men who don't take vacations. Women also benefit, with a study showing that women who only vacation only once every six years being eight times more likely to have a heart attack than those who vacation more frequently. These differences could be due to the stress reduction associated with travel as well as the tendency to be more active while traveling.

6. It reduces your risk of depression.

Another study on the benefits to travel showed that women who vacation less than once every year or two are more likely to suffer from depression than women who vacation at least twice a year. 

Some of the reasons the study author cites for the reduced likelihood include the psychological benefits of experiencing novel places and of having distance from daily stressors. 

7. It makes you more productive. 

Feel like you’re losing steam at work? If so, a vacation may be just what you need to regain your mojo. 

A study shows that workers who take time off tend to be more productive and have higher on-the-job morale. They are also less likely to report stress and burnout. 

As this list shows, there are no shortage of benefits to travel. If you’re ready to start planning your next vacation, you might consider vacation ownership through Hilton Grand Vacations. You’ll enjoy spacious, well-appointed and diverse accommodations all over the world and the flexibility to travel on your terms.

Learn more about the many benefits of vacation ownership with Hilton Grand Vacations.

And make sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up to day with insider travel tips and special offers. 

Vacationeer

The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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