6 Psychological Benefits of Traveling

Traveling not only allows you to have new experiences, it also reduces your stress levels and improves your mood. We show you other benefits you can get.
6 Psychological Benefits of Traveling

Written by Daniela Andarcia

Last update: 28 April, 2021

Your mind could start dreaming of traveling, but making it come true can bring more psychological benefits.

To be honest, no matter how happy we are in our home or our professional career, there comes a time when we feel trapped hanging around in one place. Discover the psychological benefits of traveling, the best recipe for when routine hits us.

1. Let’s have new experiences

The psychological benefits of traveling are many.
This helps to accumulate positive experiences for life.

Without a doubt, traveling opens the way to new adventures and the opportunity to get to know other cultures. Your mind, apart from expanding, will have a change of perspective and higher levels of creativity.

According to a study by PLoS One, having contact with nature increases creative reasoning much more than interacting with technology. Likewise, interacting with people from different cultures encourages and allows learning new things, such as preparing a local dish, for example.

Trying other flavors also makes your mind explore new senses and take the knowledge home with you, in addition to the fact that the memory and the experience always remain.

2. Reduce stress levels

Stress is a monster that feeds on daily routine and demands. As time passes, it makes you lose sight of what is actually meaningful and interesting to you.

Research published in the Journal of Travel Medicine concludes that traveling to warm places reduces high levels of work stress, as well as burnout. Traveling helps you stop thinking about stressful situations, therefore, cortisol levels decrease and it gives you the feeling of being content and happy.

3. Improves mood

A well-deserved vacation trip increases happiness, according to a study by Applied Research in Quality of Life. It seems that waking up and knowing that you just have to enjoy increases happiness and satisfaction.

Even planning a fun trip reconfigures your brain and improves your mood. Some people affirm that after traveling they have overcome their depression, although there is still a lack of scientific research to support such arguments.

4. It could make you more resistant

It is believed that being in an unknown place, where you know little about the culture and customs of the area, makes you more mentally resistant and independent. Interacting with new people and solving new difficulties that may appear along the way forces you to learn, to adapt, and to leave your comfort zone.

It may seem daunting at first, but by the end of each day you will feel refreshed and much stronger as an individual.

5. Helps keep you in shape

The psychological benefits of traveling also affect physical health.
There is a proven relationship between constant travel and maintaining bodily health.

There is scientific evidence that active travel reduces obesity levels, as well as having positive effects on other aspects of health.

In addition, it is proven that traveling constantly makes you exercise, which not only increases your physical but mental well-being.

Swimming, climbing a mountain or walking are just some of the exercises you do while having fun and getting to know a new landscape. A review of studies suggests that exercising reduces anxiety, stress, and depression – in conclusion, it provides mental health benefits.

6. Give a change of scenery

Perhaps within all the psychological benefits of traveling this is the most obvious, but it is the change of scenery that makes you regain strength and balance your thoughts. It may even be what you need if you go through a breakup or a consolidation of your relationship with your partner.

Although, for many, traveling may delay their goals, the truth is that packing and going elsewhere can make them focus and settle on what they really want.

Sticking to the same routine for a long period of time can decrease your performance and make you prone to depression, so what you are needing right now is a change of scenery.

Traveling, an ally of mental health

Your mind needs to rest, disconnect from the routine and daily demands, and the most effective recipe for this may be to pack your bags and go to know new places.

Some scientific studies claim that active travel helps you maintain good mental health. This is because it allows you to have new experiences, improve your mood, and decrease stress. Similarly, it makes you exercise and become a more mentally resilient person.

With this in mind, when will you schedule a new trip? Whether alone or as a family, you may need it.

  • Atchley, R. A., Strayer, D. L., & Atchley, P. (2012). Creativity in the wild: improving creative reasoning through immersion in natural settings. PloS one, 7(12), e51474. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051474
  • Strauss-Blasche, G., Reithofer, B., Schobersberger, W., Ekmekcioglu, C., & Marktl, W. (2005). Effect of vacation on health: moderating factors of vacation outcome. Journal of travel medicine, 12(2), 94–101. https://doi.org/10.2310/7060.2005.12206
  • Nawijn, J., Marchand, M. A., Veenhoven, R., & Vingerhoets, A. J. (2010). Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday. Applied research in quality of life, 5(1), 35–47. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-009-9091-9
  • Green J, Steinbach R, Jones A, et al. On the buses: a mixed-method evaluation of the impact of free bus travel for young people on the public health. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2014 Feb. (Public Health Research, No. 2.1.) Appendix 8, Systematic review of health benefits of active travel (extract) Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK263971/
  • Saunders, L. E., Green, J. M., Petticrew, M. P., Steinbach, R., & Roberts, H. (2013). What are the health benefits of active travel? A systematic review of trials and cohort studies. PloS one, 8(8), e69912. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069912
  • Mikkelsen, K., Stojanovska, L., Polenakovic, M., Bosevski, M., & Apostolopoulos, V. (2017). Exercise and mental health. Maturitas, 106, 48–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.09.003

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