Of course, everyone wants to travel more for fun and relaxation, but did you know it’s actually beneficial to your health? Within three days of embarking on a vacation, research shows people are less anxious and better rested, an effect that lasts for weeks after returning home.
Travel also has long-term health benefits. A research study from the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that people who vacation every year have a lower risk of heart disease than those who travel less frequently.
Traveling can improve mental health, too. Women who vacation twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress, according to a study from the Marshfield Clinic. And, interestingly enough, a Cornell University study found that people experience increased happiness from merely planning a trip. Make sure if you have any issues with your flight being canceled or delayed you apply for compensation.
From increasing your creativity to broadening your cultural knowledge, a boost to your physical and mental health are two of many other intangible benefits that travel affords to people. If you’re eager to reap all the benefits travel has to offer, here are three ways to travel more in 2019.
1. Make it Your Priority
If you want to travel more — and you should — you have to make it a priority. After all, traveling requires both time and money, so you’ll need to budget both to make your vacation plans a reality. This may mean making some tough decisions, including:
- Putting off other expenses
- Downsizing your lifestyle
- Working extra hours to get more days off
- Spending holidays on the go instead of with family
- Saying no to work or social obligations
You’ll gain so much from your new experiences on vacation to make it worth it, but it’s also good to keep in mind that for all but a lucky few, traveling more will require some sacrifice.
2. Don’t Get Stuck in The Planning Phase
It’s not uncommon to suffer from planning paralysis. If you’re like many people, you may get so overwhelmed by the options and pressure to plan the perfect getaway that you never actually take the trip. If that sounds familiar, figure out what’s keeping you stuck and eliminate that roadblock.
Having a hard time planning a group vacation that has enough activities, new experiences and interesting destinations for your diverse crew? A cruise getaway is a great way to make sure everyone has a fun vacation without having to source a gazillion different activities yourself.
Not finding affordable cruise options for your dream getaway? Then check out these Alaska cruise prices and/or be open to alternative destinations. National parks are an amazing experience but can also be crowded at peak season. Look instead for nearby state parks that offer similar scenery without the big crowds.
3. Take Advantage of What’s Close
Big vacations to exotic, faraway places are wonderful and should absolutely be part of your travel bucket list. Just because those kinds of vacation aren’t often in the cards doesn’t mean you can’t get away.
Exploring your own little corner of the world is a great way to continue traveling while you save up the time and money to take bigger trips. With that in mind, figure out where you can get to within a four-hour drive — a peaceful lake, quirky small town or city with an art museum you’ve been dying to check out — and plan a long weekend around it.
Stop Overthinking and Make Your Dreams a Reality
Traveling provides so many benefits that you owe it to yourself to make 2019 your year of travel. If you’re ready to stop dreaming of vacations and actually want to start taking them — and with greater frequency — make travel your priority, don’t let yourself get stuck in the planning phase, and be open to exploring new places close to home.