If you’re thinking about taking a week long vacation, why not make it two?
According to a new report on the interconnection between travel and health, there are some serious health benefits to traveling. The report from the Global Commission on Aging, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, and the U.S. Travel Association uncovers a link between traveling and better physical and mental health, and even shows that those who travel live longer reports the healthytravelblog
The survey found that women who traveled infrequently had a higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease compared to those who traveled at least twice a year.
Men also reaped some significant health benefits; those who didn’t take a vacation once a year were shown to have a 20 percent higher risk of death, while 30 percent were more likely to die from heart disease.
And when it comes to happiness, 86 percent of those who traveled were more content with their lives, compared with 75 percent of those who did not travel.
So how exactly might travel improve health?
A similar study conducted in Australia discovered that travel improved three important factors related to happiness: positive emotions, a sense of purpose, and a sense of involvement. The findings showed that the entire process of traveling, from booking a trip to looking at pictures from it afterwards, simply made people happier.
And since experiencing positive emotions lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease, travel is a great way to stay happy and healthy.
So the next time you travel, be sure to take some time and stop stressing over the things that go wrong. But since that can sometimes be difficult to do, here are some tips for a stress-free vacation:
- Plan ahead: From booking your flight and accommodations well in advance to creating an itinerary for your trip, there are plenty of vacation details that can be sorted out ahead of time. Even if you don’t plan on visiting every landmark, you’ll at least have time built into your schedule to do so.
- Pack smart: You can’t predict if something will go wrong, but you can at least be prepared. Make sure you pack a travel-sized first aid kit in case of an emergency and an extra set of clothes in your carry on.
- Get travel insurance: Trip protection will come in handy if your trip is delayed or cancelled for whatever reason, and travel health insurance can come in handy in case of a medical emergency.