10 Benefits of Travel

Taking time off work to travel is important. Not only can it lead to some amazing experiences, but it can also help put you ahead in life and in business. Employers and employees alike need to take advantage of their vacation days to ensure a proper work/life balance and reap the many benefits of travel. From improving mood to creating memories that last a lifetime, the benefits of travel are undeniable.
1. Traveling combats burnout
We talk about it all the time because it’s a very real problem that affects millions of workers. Burnout occurs when employees are overwhelmed by their work and do not take the proper time to relax and recharge. When you travel, it allows your body and mind to release tension and worry, resulting in a relaxed attitude, a renewed sense of purpose, and increased happiness.
2. Traveling increases physical health
Long naps in a hammock by the beach. Extra time in the sun. Fresh air. All of these things can help increase your physical health. Mental and emotional stress can result in psychosomatic symptoms such as weight gain, hair loss, heart disease, depression, and more. In fact, stress is so powerful, it’s estimated 90% of illnesses leading to doctors visits are the result (at least in part) of stress.1 Extended time away from work reduces stress which lowers cortisol levels and promotes better physical health.
3. Traveling increases mental health
Your mental health is affected by many things, but your emotions all have to do with the chemicals released by your brain. Traveling can physically change the way your brain thinks and the levels of these important chemicals. Travel is pleasurable. When you’re having fun, receptors are flooded with dopamine and other uplifting chemicals. Furthermore, the effects of travel and experiential living far surpass the short-term joy of receiving physical things.
4. Traveling increases productivity
The longer you work, the worse your brain performs. In fact, the average person can only sustain focused concentration for six hours a week. That’s right–only six hours each WEEK.2 Additionally, most people report that they do their best thinking outside of work hours. Taking an extended break from work to travel can reignite your drive, reboot your attention, and make you more productive when you return.
5. Traveling increases creativity
Traveling exposes people to different cultures and novel experiences which means our brains are constantly engaged in learning how to deal with these new stimuli. When you smell a new smell or taste a new taste, the synapses in your brain will fire in new patterns and create additional neural pathways. Traveling also gives us time to daydream and work our imaginations more fully. The expansion of our minds when we travel can greatly increase creativity.
6. Traveling enhances communication skills
Whether it’s another part of the country or a new country altogether, communication is key when traveling. You don’t have to speak a foreign language when you travel to another country, but be prepared to use your hands or even draw something out to be understood. These experiences can enhance creative communication skills which will carry over to your work later.
7. Traveling enhances problem solving and confidence
It’s almost unavoidable that something will go wrong during a vacation. Travel delays, rainy conditions, lost passports, and more can put you in uncomfortable and stressful situations, but this is actually a benefit. When you face a problem, you need to rely on creative problem solving to resolve the situation. When you successfully navigate through an issue, it builds confidence which can transfer back into your work when you return.
8. Traveling increases cultural appreciation and knowledge
New experiences and especially new cultures can increase your appreciation of the world and of your own life at home. Living in the woods for a week might make you more grateful for indoor plumbing. Seeing a traditional dance or tasting a country’s national dish may help you appreciate your own heritage. When you travel, you also increase your knowledge, both of other places and people and your general knowledge of everyday life.
9. Traveling sparks personal growth
Growth occurs most often when people are pushed out of their comfort zones. Something as simple as branching out and trying a new food can show you that taking risks and being adventurous pay off. Facing a difficult situation like a delayed flight can teach flexibility and promote a more relaxed attitude. Traveling brings about many changes to thinking and attitude which in turn lead to positive personality changes and personal growth.