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Travel Promotes Holistic Wellness

Posted on April 1st, 2022 in Travel Tips

Let’s reinvent ourselves and rejuvenate our spirits this year!

After another brisk winter behind us, spring has sprung, and we’re thrilled about the adventures that lie ahead. As spring comes into bloom, we get more sunlight and blue skies, the world will turn green once again with enticing lawns and outdoor recreation. Trees fill out, animals awaken from hibernation, and beautiful flowers will start to sprout everywhere. It’s a captivating time of the year when one more thing also comes to life: the travel bug.

Graced with the warm weather and sunshine in the months ahead, you may notice a pent-up wanderlust. Listen to that intuition. Life is short and bucket lists are long, and after two years of travel restrictions and closed borders, the demand for travel is now skyrocketing. This year especially we are thankful for spring, signifying new beginnings, new opportunities, and new travel destinations.

More and more of the world has opened back up for tourism, and people are now booking once again in wonderful destinations such as Australia, Ireland, and Africa. We acknowledge the challenge of travel in the age of modern pandemics, and that’s why we plan our tours with a specific focus for health and safety. Holiday Vacations has always placed guest health and safety as a top priority. You can read about our pandemic guidelines here.

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As you begin to feel more comfortable traveling again, we would like to share the invaluable benefits that travel provides your personal health. Assessing the risks of anything in these turbulent days is wise, and hearing the positive side of travel for your health can result in many people opting on the side of passion as opposed to fear. While deciding which side you find yourself on, consider these ways that travel can make you profoundly healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

    • 1. Travel Provides Disconnection – You can forget about your usual routine and gain new ways of thinking and feeling as you are immersed in new experiences. You can also take advantage of “unplugging” on your journey and really being present while you have new, unforgettable experiences.

 

    • 2. Travel Boosts Your Physical Health – Tours with hiking in national parks fill your lungs with fresh air and gets your heart pumping, all while you feast your eyes on natural wonders.

 

    • 3. Travel Stimulates Your Brain – Columbia Business professor, Adam Galinsky, posits that exploring new places increases cognitive flexibility and depth of thought. During our daily routines, the brain goes through the same repetitive, unstimulating information and experiences. However, when you travel to a new destination, your brain constantly processes new experiences and stimuli in an unfamiliar area with newness around every corner. It’s like “working out” your brain by immersing yourself in new cultures, hearing new languages, trying new food, and seeing brilliant, new landscapes.

 

    • 4. Travel Is Heart Healthy – According to a study by the Global Commission on Aging and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, travel decreases the risks of heart attacks for men by 30% if they take at least one vacation per year. Additionally, in a 20-year study by the Centers for Disease Control, it was found that women who take a vacation only once every six years were eight times more likely to suffer a heart attack than women who go on vacation at least twice a year.
    • 5. Travel Reduces Stress – A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health concluded that participants who recently traveled home from a vacation felt better rested, less anxious, and simply in a better mood three days after returning. Many of these returning travelers report feeling more relaxed even weeks after they return home, well after they were back, knee-deep in everyday routines. A couple of our favorite stress-reducing destinations include Mackinac Island and Iceland. Enjoy the simple, slower way of life as you listen to the peaceful clip-clopping of horse hooves instead of screeching car tires, which are not allowed on Mackinac Island. In Iceland, relax and rejuvenate in the famous Blue Lagoon, named one of the top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. Enjoy a tranquil soak in this 102°F geothermal spa’s healing waters with a silica mud mask and cold drink.

 

    • 6. Travel Improves Your SleepMark Rosekind, a chief scientist at Alertness Solutions, performed a study where participants had their quality of sleep and reaction times monitored. They vacationed for a week to 12 days, and they were monitored three days before the vacation and three days after returning home. After two to three days of vacation, their sleep improved and they slept an average of one hour longer, and their reaction times improved 80 percent.

 

    • 7. Travel Strengthens Your Relationships – For couples, it is an effective way of creating new experiences, which adds value and meaning to the relationship. According to a survey by the U.S. Travel Association, many couples feel an overall increase in their perception of closeness and shared interests with their partners after traveling together. These couples reported a higher satisfaction out of their relationships and were much more likely to report better communication. For solo travelers, it’s a wonderful way to meet new friends and create everlasting bonds over shared experiences. If you are an avid traveler, it may be time to expand your vacations into a more exotic destination for an entire new world of memories to share with a loved one or new travel friend. An African Safari is a great way to immerse yourself in a fascinating culture while discovering captivating wildlife. Or perhaps you’re fascinated with Egyptian culture and ready to explore famous Egyptian landmarks that are shrouded in myth and mystery, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza.
    • 8. Travel Improves Your Mental Health – Seasonal depression gets the best of us, especially those of us living where it’s cold and cloudy six or more months out of the year. Thankfully, there are plenty of warm climates to enjoy year-round where sunlight positively impacts your mental health. The sunshine can regulate melatonin and the “feel-good” hormones in your body, like dopamine and serotonin. If your mind and body need a reset, head to a sandy beach and soak up the vitamin D and saltwater. Of course, nothing beats relaxing on the warm, sandy beaches in a tropical paradise like Hawaii.

 

  • 9. Travel Increases Your Overall Happiness – According to a 20-year study at Cornell University by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, money spent on experiences leave people feeling happier for longer than those that spend money on material items. If you’re looking for some unique experiences that will leave a long impression, try an adventure-packed tour of our amazing national parks, or start planning to see that one spectacular sight like the tropical jungles of Costa Rica & the Panama Canal. Then there are exciting, iconic destinations and experiences in places such as Paris, New York City at Christmastime, and a historic vacation along the Mississippi River that tells grand stories of America and featuring multiple cruise outings.

According to Cornell Research, Dr. Gilovich concludes:

“People often think spending money on an experience is not as wise an investment as spending it on a material possession. They think the experience will come and go in a flash, and they’ll be left with little compared to owning an item. But in reality, we remember experiences long afterward, while we soon become used to our possessions. At the same time, we also enjoy the anticipation of having an experience more than the anticipation of owning a possession.”

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

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While all these benefits may leave you wanting to pack your bags and hop on a plane tomorrow, it’s important that you’re traveling the right way. Traveling can do more harm than good when it causes distress, especially because distress causes your immune system to weaken. You may have heard the saying, “I need a vacation from my vacation.” Where does that stem from? The stress of planning, the unknown variables of traveling to a new destination, and the fear of something going wrong. We deeply understand these stressors, which is why we love to create experiences for our guests that reduce anxiety and leave you peacefully enjoying your vacation. We can’t promise that everything will always go as planned 100% of the time (thank you to 2020 for that lesson); however, we promise that when things don’t go as planned, you will not have to worry. Our expert Tour Directors are there around the clock to keep your vacation running smoothly and resolve any issues that arise. This way, you won’t need a vacation from your vacation. Instead, you can focus on simply reaping all the incredible benefits that come with travel.

This is your year to start living your best bucket list life. Live in the moment and enjoy new experiences, new memories, and new friends. Traveling is an amazing opportunity to see what the world has to offer, and the personal health benefits are extraordinary. Don’t push off your next dream destination any longer; let’s go explore it together. After all, life is short. And bucket lists are long. Which highly inclusive, worry-free vacation will you book next?

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