Why Traveling Is Good for You: 6 Reasons to Take the Plunge

Why Traveling Is Good for You: 6 Reasons to Take the Plunge

In the past decade, there have been some exciting developments in how health and well-being are conceived.  More than ever before, many people strive to strike a balance between traditional medical treatment and holistic solutions. We eat kale and do yoga, aim for a good work/life balance, and go to therapy to cope with our problems.

However, one of the underrepresented facets of a well-balanced life is regular travel.

There are many benefits to taking a vacation, ranging from concrete perks like weight loss and better cardiovascular health, to more abstract concepts like expanding our minds and increasing creativity and tolerance.

Simply put, there are many good reasons why traveling is good for you! Here are some of its major benefits– and our favorite reasons why you should make it a priority for your wellbeing.

Traveling promotes goal-setting and long-term thinking

Even before you take your vacation, the planning, budgeting, and excitement of the coming trip forces you to focus on the positives coming your way, set long-term goals, and sort out a budget. You have to plan itineraries, travel arrangements, hotels, and activities. Even before you leave, you’re learning skills that help you better manage your own life. And having that trip to look forward to, no matter how far away it is, is a useful way to help you feel more cheerful on days when you’re feeling down.

Traveling can be a great workout

While you’re on your trip, you can bet you’ll be walking all over the place. From the bustle of the airport to those endless museums and hikes, you will most likely be on your feet and getting lots of cardiovascular exercise, which reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease. 

The Framingham Heart Study, conducted over the course of 20 years, found that women who vacationed as little as every two years were nearly eight times less likely to develop heart disease or have a heart attack than women who vacationed only every six years or less.

Read related: These Are the World’s Most Walkable Cities 

If your local gym offered travel as an exercise class, you can bet you’d be taking it, because you get a genuinely awesome workout in even as you’re experiencing the world and broadening your mind.

Even if you have reduced mobility or disabilities, you can still enjoy some fresh air during your trip, and move around using whatever means you can. For example, many of the world’s biggest cities are increasingly more accessible to visitors with wheelchairs, offering ramp access to popular sites and attractions and public transport facilities. 

Why Traveling Is Good for You

Travel lowers stress levels

Vacationing offers an important mental break from our everyday lives. Seeing new things and focusing entirely on enjoying yourself can really help you shake off accumulated mental fatigue and stress. Being removed from your usual environment and transported to a new place helps break the cycle of anxiety and stress that goes along with everyday life. While travel certainly can’t cure all your problems, it can give you a nice break to recuperate, which can make it easier to face stressful situations when you get back to them. Plus, the physical activity of traveling boosts endorphin levels and psychological functioning, which is a nice perk.

Why Traveling Is Good for You

Travel keeps the mind sharp

Aside from the physical benefits it offers, travel also promotes mental acuity and sharpness. Your brain is, in a lot of ways, a bit like a muscle. You need to be constantly thinking and exploring to keep your neurons in tip-top order– and the onrush of new experiences, challenges, and joys that you often feel during travel promotes good cognitive health.

Read related: 7 Travel Journal Styles & Ideas to Suit Your Personality 

Learning is just good for you, plain and simple– and travel is one of the most fun and adventurous ways to stretch your mind. And I’m not just talking about learning in museums! Meeting new people, trying new foods, and experiencing new cities expands your understanding of the world and keeps your brain sharp and focused.

Travel teaches problem-solving and resilience

Any traveler will tell you that most vacations come with a few sticky situations. Flight delays, hotel snafus, interpersonal issues, and a myriad of other aggravating scenarios: these occasional moments of stress that will come up during your vacation are going to be different from your usual set of challenges.

The good news? Things are never as scary as we make them seem in our heads, and problem-solving on vacation teaches you flexibility and patience as you explore the world outside your comfort zone.

Read related: 15 Stress-Free Ways to Budget Your Next Trip

Dealing with these problems in a foreign environment teaches you resilience and strength. When you’ve resolved everything, you’ll have more confidence in your ability to problem solve in your regular life.

Travel lends perspective

One of the most talked-about benefits of travel are the mind-broadening experiences that make you a more open-minded person. This might sound corny, but hear me out: travel often fosters empathy and greater understanding of those who are different from you. The more you experience of life outside your home culture, the better you’ll be able to understand your own experiences.

Being reminded that life is a huge, colorful experience and that people are complicated, wonderful and full of contradictions is a fundamentally life-improving experience. From the distance of a foreign country or a new environment, you can learn things about yourself, your life, and your problems that you wouldn’t have been able to see without being removed from your routine. Plus, you’ll get to meet new people who teach you about what they’ve learned along their own journey.

Why Traveling Is Good for You

My bottom line?

If bodily health is the key to a long life, then emotional growth is the key to a fulfilling one! Travel supports personal growth on almost every level, and it does it much more quickly, efficiently, and delightfully than any other method I know of. If that’s not a good reason to ditch work and get on a plane, I don’t know what is.

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

Easy Remedies to Ensure A Healthy Trip

Susan Repetto, of Nutrition House in St. Catharines, Ontario, is an expert on keeping healthy and knows how important it is to keep the germs at bay while traveling. We have the inside scoop thanks to Susan, who was happy to give us her top tips to avoid getting sick while traveling.

Susan has traveled with her family, (which includes young children) to Cuba, Jamaica, Italy, on cruise ships, and to Disneyland– and none of them has ever been sick, she says!

Read on to find out how to use natural supplements and remedies to help you stay well during your upcoming travels.*

Take these powerhouse natural supplements

First up on the list? Oregano oil! This is Susan’s “go-to” remedy: she refers to it as “the medicine of the gods”.  If you had to choose just one natural remedy, Susan advises, your top choice should be oregano oil.

It can be taken orally as an antibacterial aid, but also makes a superb spray. Just mix a few drops into a spray bottle to cleanse the air around you (of course, you need to do this with care!)– and voilà–  you’ll effectively create own personal germ-free bubble. This solution can also be used to cleanse surfaces. According to Susan, this is a crucial precaution to take whenever traveling by plane.

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

Susan’s next recommendation is to take probiotics for intestinal “stamina”. If you take these regularly, just carry on with your usual regime. If not, add them to your daily routine for your trip. She recommends a supplement that contains a minimum of 10 billion live bacteria, in tablet form since these are more convenient for travel. With a higher amount, you will receive additional beneficial strains that may even help prevent unpleasant ailments such as food poisoning.

Typically, you will find that some high-quality probiotic formulas are indicated and labelled for special needs– labeled as especially beneficial for travelers or seniors, for example.

The third natural remedy Susan recommends for your adventures away from home  is activated charcoal. To be taken in tablet form this literally acts like a “sponge”, according to Susan. She recommends 2 or 3 tablets for the most unpleasant of travel experiences: diarrhea. This remedy can also be useful in helping to ease the symptoms of a hangover, she adds.

Her next recommendation is for travelers to take flax seed (ground or whole) during your trip. You can easily sprinkle it on your food and can add  it to anything, really– from yogurt and cereal to salad. Flax has a great nutty flavour, and is full of nutrients, including fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

Delicious, soothing tea, anyone?

Next, Susan says, bring along a good detox tea in your suitcase. She refers to drinking beneficial herbal teas as “cleaning house”, and something that just makes everything “work better” in the body. She recommends an organic tea called Teatox, and notes that you can use the same teabag 2 or 3 times. This mini-cleanse will be helpful to liver, kidney and colon alike. Enjoy your tea hot or cold, depending on your preference.

Eat more fermented foods

Last but not least, try to eat fermented foods, such as kimchi and yogurt with live cultures, if you can during your travels. Again, this will act as a friend to your digestive tract, and help you to stay well.

Susan’s parting words? As an experienced traveler, she notes that we spend so much money to go on holiday. It’s worth it to spend a few more dollars to create your own “health kit”– avoiding getting sick and instead having the time of your life!

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

A word of warning:

We suggest that you not order anything supplements or other consumable products from Amazon. There are no ‘international’ control or standards applied to products ordered from Amazon; therefore, there exists a possibility of purchasing knockoff products without intending to.

Just about everyone has a reliable health food store in their neighbourhood or town where they can pick up these recommended items. You can also order online from Susan’s corporate website (her store is a franchise).

Here’s the list of Susan’s recommendations, for easy reference:

  • Oregano Oil
  • Probiotics
  • Activated charcoal tablets
  • Flax seed, ground or whole
  • Detox tea
  • Kimchi or other fermented foods

With thanks to Susan Repetto for her helpful recommendations. If you’re in the Niagara Region, you will find Susan at her store, Nutrition House, located at the Fairview Mall in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Do you have your own favourites? Drop us a line in the comments field below.

*DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various travel topics that may also include various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.