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Holidays Boost Health!

We all love going on holiday, but did you know there’s official data that proves it’s good for us in the long term? In fact, travel can boost our physical and mental health, wellness and relationships.

The Matador Network lists six science-based reasons for this:

  1. Travel exposes you to different environments, which create stronger antibodies and boost your immune system significantly.
  2. It lowers stress levels
  3. Travel improves brain health – you meet new people, experience new cultures, which is said to increase cognitive flexibility and keep our minds sharp.
  4. Travel can even decrease the risk of heart disease by decreasing stress and anxiety levels, according to Matador.
  5. Travel keeps us fit – it gives us more incentive to get moving
  6. Many destinations have attractions with healing properties, such as hot springs or

The US Travel Association has published statistics showing that travel is linked with better relationships too: “Couples who travel together… are more likely to communicate well with their partners than those who do not travel together (84% versus 73%).”

And 94% of respondents who travelled as a couple said they felt “very close” to one another.

 

Extended Benefits

A recent study found that improved wellness was not just noted during travel, but also during the initial planning of the trip – and it extends beyond its end of the holiday too. Respondents also reported that their relationships with their loved ones were improved by travel, with an average of an extra six weeks of benefits reported. One assumes then, that a holiday every 6 weeks is needed to maintain this ?? (music to our ears!)

Of the different demographics studied, 56 per cent of those aged 50+ reported that they felt health and wellness benefits during their trip, while 73 per cent noted at least one benefit after a trip ended.

Post-holiday wellness benefits that stand out in the study:

- 51% reported better sleep

- 50% reported more energy

- 46% reported increased energy.

Sounds good to us!

 

The Generation Gap

One in five of the over-50s in the above study said that they experienced an equal amount of wellness benefits before and after their trip, but 23% of Millennials experienced more notable improved wellness during the planning stages. One wonders if they were disappointed by their choice or if the pre-holiday shopping trips were just more fun?

Another notable difference with the younger generations – especially in the 18-30 age range – is that a lot more youngsters don’t bother with travel insurance. Avoidance is high and it is worrying that younger people, intrinsically very active and adventurous on holiday, have no perception of the dangers that can become of them. Facing large bills for doctors visits or lost luggage on returning from a trip could definitely decrease that post-holiday enjoyment factor.

Family holidays can strengthen relati0nships and improve communication – and they create priceless memories. But if you’re taking the family away for a special break, it’s probably a good idea to check that everyone has the necessary details covered.

Our MD, Kate Huet, tells of a recent encounter on her way back from a conference in Barcelona: “I was sitting next to an extended family group on the plane and it came up that none of the 20-30 year olds had travel insurance! Their father, who had paid for their trip and was accompanying them, was horrified. I asked him whether he had considered they may not be insured and he admitted it had not crossed his mind – meanwhile his policy came with his bank account, so was as he said, ‘just always there’. It’s worth just asking if your loved ones have sorted out their travel insurance – it could save you (Bank of Mum and Dad) a fortune and a lot of heartache.”

Family members could assume that a trip includes travel insurance, or they may just not think about it if they aren’t making the booking, so for the sake of everyone’s peace of mind – and to avoid holiday arguments – rather check beforehand.

 

Optimum Wellness

It appears any type of travel, whether it's a weekend getaway or a week-long trip, can be an effective way to renew, recharge and feel the benefits.

In addition to the general health and wellness benefits of travel, many people are now making a point of enjoying healing and uplifting experiences during holidays and cruises. These range from an indulgent spa treatment or yoga class to specially designed wellness packages.

There are now retreats that focus on improving sleep, being more active, or even experiencing complete silence at a Buddhist retreat – no talking allowed. (This sounds like heaven but trust us, it’s more difficult than you think!)

Where will wellness take you next?