6 Reasons Science Says Travel Is Good For You


An absolutely tragic number of Americans sit on a stockpile of paid time off each year, failing to use their vacation days. However, the consensus is in: travel is great for your health. In fact, scientific research confirms that we should all be taking every single one of those vacation days — no excuses.

So if you’re a worker bee looking for a reason to take a trip, or a well-seasoned traveler looking for some stats to justify your next one, here’s what you need to know about the health benefits of travel.

1. Travel Ups Your Dose Of Vitamin D

You won’t be getting that crucial time in the sun sitting in your office chair. Although recommendations vary for how much vitamin D is enough, doctors agree that you probably can’t get a beneficial amount from your diet alone. Meanwhile, spending some time soaking up the sunshine on vacation can boost your nutrient levels a significant amount.

2. You Won’t Burn Out

Unsurprisingly, traveling for more than 14 consecutive days improves your mental health. According to a study in the Journal of Happiness, there’s a lingering vacation afterglow. Taking a good chunk of time to rest, relax and refresh clearly leaves you more ready to tackle the challenges of your job when you return.

3. Your Risk Of Heart Attack Goes Down

According to the Global Coalition on Aging, travel helps your heart. Women who take two trips a year have lower chances of having heart attacks than women who only take a vacation every six years (or even less frequently). If it horrifies you to even think of six years without traveling, you’re probably already on a healthier path.

4. Even Just Planning A Trip Makes You Happier

It’s all about the journey. Even the first stages of plotting out your travels brings joy to your life, according to a 2014 study. The anticipation of your trip makes you happier, giving your emotional health a boost long before your departure date.

5. Waterfronts Bring You Peace

Being close to a shore, whether it’s along a lake, river or ocean, makes you calmer and more content. Research suggests you can tap into a water mindset, your “blue mind,” when you’re surfing, sailing or swimming. There’s an entire book written about why our brains respond to water the way they do, but the result means less stress and anxiety and more productivity and passion. So you really should always take advantage of an opportunity to go to the beach.

6. You’ll Never Regret The Expense

We’re the generation that values experiences over things, so we already know where we want to put our dollars. But research backs up our gut instinct to buy a trip rather than material items. A 2010 study found that people are less satisfied when they purchase things than when they spend money on an experience — AKA book a vacation ASAP.