Next time you’re nervous to ask the boss for time off, remember that science is on your side. Multiple studies have shown that travel doesn’t just give you a break from the pressures of professional life – it also boots your health, your state of mind and your overall well-being.
Here are five compelling reasons, backed by science, why travel is good for you. Time to start planning your next adventure.
#1 Travel helps keep stress in check
Travelling isn’t just about seeing new places. Sometimes it’s about escaping old ones. The American Psychological Association’s 2013 Stress in America survey found that travel can reduce stress and negative emotions by removing us from the situations that are causing the stress. Time away from those negative environments and activites effectively resets our emotions.
#2 Travel reduces your risk of a heart attack
A nine-year study found that men who did not take a vacation for several years were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack. Those who regularly took time off were 21 percent less likely to die of such an attack. The reason? People who travel are typically more active than those who spend their days glued to an office chair.
#3 Travel lowers your risk of depression
The list of psychological benefits that come with a change of venue is long. A 2005 study found that female subjects who vacationed less than once every two years were more likely to suffer from depression than women who vacationed at least twice a year. Humans derive happiness from novelty, which is in ample supply when visiting unfamiliar lands.
#4 Planning a trip promotes happiness
A 2002 study conducted by researchers at the UK’s University of Surrey found that people are happiest when they have a trip coming up. Knowing there’s a holiday on the horizon causes you to experience a greater sense of joy, as well as more positive feelings about your health, your economic situation and your general quality of life.
#5 Experiential wealth is better than material wealth
You didn’t need science to tell you travel enriches your life, but isn’t it nice to know it’s scientifically proven? A 2010 Cornell study found that the satisfaction gained from buying experiences starts high and keeps growing, while the satisfaction that comes from acquiring things quickly wears off. If you buy a private jet in order to travel… well… we assume that’s a grey area.