Ever wondered why travelling feels so right? From the moment you book your tickets to actually landing at your destination and breathing different air, just the prospect of jet-setting leaves you in an unexplainable and inevitable high. But did you know that it's not just on your mind? Travelling health benefits are actually backed up by a lot of studies — some of which provide great excuses to start planning your next adventure. Don't believe us? These facts provide all the reasons why you should book that trip now.
Anticipation makes you more optimistic
We're all familiar with that feeling of unexplainable satisfaction and giddiness as soon as your plans have been finalised. This is because you now have something to look forward to. According to a study done by US researchers Van Boven and Ashworth (2007), anticipation proves to be more powerful than accomplishment. This means that people are more stimulated by an idea that has yet to happen than something that is happening or had happened.
This is mostly attributed to today's nature of self-care and self-growth. According to this article by Yale referencing a Cornell study, the interval between pre-travel and post-travel has higher and longer effects on a person's "direct happiness" than the quick act of purchasing a "physical possession".
It improves your creativity, problem-solving, and social skills
In relation to the first point, a person who has a more positive outlook towards work tend to be the most efficient employees. According to an internal study conducted by professional services Ernst & Young, every 10 hours of vacation time their employees took resulted in an eight per cent increase in their performance. This is because people who feel more relaxed tend to be less prone to burnout, leading to more active participation in daily affairs.
Social psychologist Adam Galinsky also shared that being exposed to foreign cultures and experiences "increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought," leading to a more adaptable and creative mind. This makes people who travel frequently more adept to change and quicker on their feet when spontaneous situations arise.
An improvement in social skills due to building "a strong and acculturated sense of your own self" due to exposure to other races is also another travelling health benefit, according to University of Southern California Psychology professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. This is because travelling increases our ability to differentiate practices, cultures and beliefs. This leads us to become more open-minded in absorbing this type of information. Adam Galinsky also supports the statement by saying that people's general perception of trust is also affected by travelling, restoring "generalised trust, or their general faith in humanity".
Mental and physiological health improves more naturally than forced
According to a recent study done by Willis Towers Watson, 67 per cent of employees all over Asia highly prioritise their health. However, over 56 to 60 per cent experience elevated stress levels on a yearly basis. This is in relation to work, worrying about health benefits provided by their companies, financial well-being issues, and more. This provides a stark contrast between people wanting to balance exercise and self-care with their tedious work schedules.
Travelling enters as a great balancer. Aside from removing oneself temporarily from a routinary setting, this also allows an individual to focus on health even subconsciously. For one, walking trips and typical sightseeing provide great cardio without feeling like forced exercise. Food consumed during travels is also easily converted into energy because of constant movement. People also tend to sleep more soundly when travelling, due to a mix of fatigue and a state of calm.
Moving on to long-term travelling health benefits, a joint study done by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and the U.S. Travel Association also found that travelling lowers the risk of heart attack by 20 to 30 per cent for both men and women. It also decreases the possibility of dementia and Alzheimer's due to the constant stimulation of both the body's physiology and cognition. Another source also shares that travelling also boosts our immunity, given our exposure to foreign antibodies. This allows even those who lead sedentary routines a more viable — and fun — option to get fit should they not have time for the gym.
All these reasons got you convinced? Leave the second-guessing for later and book that flight now.