It goes without saying: more people are traveling. But just how many are booking those plane tickets and reserving lodging? The U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office reports that 12,544 Americans packed their bags and took off to Europe in 2016. .
While 6,606 Americans ventured to Asia that same year. Compared to previous years—with only 5,455 and 10,039 U.S. tourists making the trek to Asia and Europe in 2013—it’s obvious that traveling is popular.
However, there’s more to traveling than just winning a popularity contest. In fact, research shows that those who pull out their passports and follow the travel bug are happy, creative, and more connected—the stuff that makes an awesome person. Read on to get the specifics.
- You’re More Creative
Did you know travel improves your creativity? Yep, neuroscientists and psychologists have found a relationship between creativity and neuroplasticity—the way your brain is wired.
Unfamiliar sites, new smells, a different language…all help to create new synapses—or wires—in the brain Meaning, your brain is growing. And, as researchers help confirmed, living abroad helps fuel creativity.
So, if you’re looking to book a private charter and fly in luxury around the states, not only can you check out Stratos Jet’s pricing but remember to pack that journal or those paint brushes. You just may come back home with a newly finished novel or work of art. Sky shouldn’t be limit this time!
- You Become a Healthier Human Being
Yep, besides creativity, travel makes you healthier. Specifically, women who take a vacation two times a year (minimum) surprisingly have a lower risk of getting a heart attack versus women who only travel once every six years or so.
Men, too, have better health results. Men who ditch the annual vacation have a 20% greater chance of dying and are 30% more likely to get heart disease.
What this shows is that men and women need to make an effort to book that trip. One reason why yearly vacations go ignored may have to do with the American workaholic atmosphere—which is on the incline.
Employees who feel a sense of pride working night and day may suddenly feel shame—whether internally or from co-workers—when they take that weekend or week off. Long story short, shame or no shame, research confirms it’s in your best interest to do so.
- You Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
A study revealed that students who travel abroad have a 20% greater chance of solving a computer task versus those who skipped the trip. And, when you think about it, it makes sense.
Think about it, when you travel, you face several challenges—even just starting from when your plane lands. Where do you get your luggage? How do you get to your lodging? Should you take the taxi or the train?
When you’re at home, you know the grocery store is down the block and runs out of eggs at the end of the month. You’re well aware that the bus pulls up to your stop 3 minutes late on Thursdays. And, the Friday special at your favorite sushi restaurant is salmon teriyaki with an extra side of fried rice. No need to problem-solve there.
- Traveling Improves Your Relationships—with Your Family, Significant Other, and Yourself
Yes, traveling with your family, partner, or even just by yourself is bound to have positive effects, according to research. In fact, research shows that now with more ever-more-pressing career demands and a changing family structure, family time has gone down.
Consequently, taking that family vacation or going on that couple’s retreat will make the most of that limited yet precious family time.
Traveling for families, couples, and singles helped improve the communication channels, strengthen familial bonds, decrease the likelihood of divorce, and increase overall wellbeing. A win-win for all.
- Traveling Forces You to Grow
You could even say that traveling speeds up your growth process. Because you’re met with new challenges, meet and befriend new people, and learn about a culture you only knew about in books and online.
Also, when you’re abroad, you have time to reflect on your life back home. You can compare what cultural elements you want to take back with you and infuse in your own life. And, vice versa, which ones you’d like to keep.
- Traveling Allows You to Roll with the Punches
Traveling gets you out of your comfort zone into the world of the unknown. Because of this, you end up adapting to cultural differences you face.
This newfound adaptation and openness makes you less likely to be emotionally reactive when daily changes pop up, let alone your emotional stability and agreeableness improve.
- It’s a Stress Reliever
Ever wonder why people who travel are less stressed and more cheerful? Look no further. Research confirms that a leisure trips provides an opportunity to relax, recharge, and detach from work. Not only that but it helps give you a sense of control—which can also be a big stress reliever.
This necessary recovery time sets back the clock and helps to influence life satisfaction post-vacation.
But you don’t have to take a long, 2-month trip to the Maldives to get these benefits? The study reveals that a simple weekend trip can also lower stress—however, the longer the trip, the longer the recovery.
- Take Control of Your Life
As we just mentioned, travel helps those who seem to be spinning out of control regain it. But just how important is this?
A survey that polled 2,194 people ages 16-25 reported that almost two-thirds (61%) normally feel stressed out. And one-quarter tend to feel hopeless.
To combat this, consider what this actor did and travel to regain control of your life at a time when it may feel as if everything was falling apart. Not only can it reawaken curiosity and wanderlust but help put things into perspective and force you to face challenges you’d otherwise rather ignore.
Just a word of warning: Only consider traveling if you are mentally capable of doing so. If you’re having trouble with functioning every day, you may want to see a therapist first.
- You’re More Open to New Experiences
A study showed a positive relationship between travel curiosity and openness—one of the five big five personality traits (agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness).
Basically, the more you score on openness, the more likely you are to be eyeing those Tripadvisor pics and looking up affordable plane tickets.
- You’re Happier When You Travel
Along with less stress, better health, and greater creativity, you’re happier when you travel. Traveling allows us to get out of our daily life and embrace new experiences, have new memories, and meet new people. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Why Not Book That Trip Now?
Whether you’re a first-time or veteran traveler, you have much to gain from planning and booking that trip—according to science. Not only do you benefit on a physical level but emotionally and mentally as well. So, what do you say: ready to take the plunge?
Know of more traveling benefits? How many awesome people have you met on the road? Be sure to comment below.