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22 Benefits of Traveling

Whether you’re taking a quick weekend getaway or a multi-month sabbatical around the world, travel offers a wide range of benefits. From making you happier to reducing stress to teaching you about the world, this guide outlines 25 benefits of traveling.

Over the past 12 years, I’ve traveled to over 60 countries on 6 continents. I feel that travel has greatly improved my life. In this guide, I’ll share some of the biggest benefits that I have noticed.

Zac on the summit of Mt. Sinai
On top of Mt. Sinai, Egypt
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1. Travel Makes You Happier

According to a recent study in the Journal of Tourism Analysis, people who travel frequently report being 7% happier than those who rarely or never travel. Interestingly, you don’t have to travel far to benefit. Participants of the study reported greater levels of happiness when they traveled 75 miles or more from home.

Spending money on experiences provides longer-lasting happiness than spending money on material items. This may be because people experience more happiness from anticipating experiences rather than from waiting to obtain material possessions. You’ll be happier if you spend your money on a plane ticket to Thailand rather than a new iPhone.

There other ways travel can make you happier. For example, travel allows you to experience new and exciting things. Travel also allows you to get away from the daily grind of work and other responsibilities. In addition, travel gives you the opportunity to create memories with your friends or family. Alternatively, it can also give you some time for yourself away from your parents, kids, boss, or co-workers. All of this can improve your happiness.

Personally, I feel the most happy when I’m on the road. Most of my best memories were made while traveling.

2. Traveling Improves Your Communication Skills

If you’re traveling somewhere completely foreign, you might face a language barrier. In this case, you will have to learn how to communicate in nonverbal ways using hand gestures and body language. This can improve your overall communication skills.

Travel also forces you to speak with people who are different from you. You’ll talk to people from different religions, social classes, cultures, political affiliations, and ethnic backgrounds. This will help you learn how to communicate with people with different beliefs, values, and life philosophies. Being able to talk to anyone is a great skill to have.

Travel also teaches you about different communication styles and how to adapt your own communication style to meet the needs of others. For example, in some cultures, people communicate more directly than in others. In some cultures, people are friendlier than in others. You’ll learn how to adapt to this during a conversation.

Finally, when you travel, you’re also forced to interact with lots of people. You’ll talk to tour guides, ticketing agents, receptionists, other travelers, and random locals. Chatting with lots of people can help you improve your social skills. This is particularly beneficial if you suffer from social anxiety.

Traveling is a great way to become a more effective communicator. Communication is an important skill that can help you in both your personal life and professional life.

I am not a good communicator. It’s something I’m constantly working on. I feel that travel has helped me improve in this department. I am way more confident when talking to people I don’t know.

A canal in Amsterdam

3. Travel Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

In a recent study, researchers found that travel can help to reduce stress and anxiety. During the study, a group of middle managers was sent on a short vacation (4 nights) in a hotel. This had an immediate effect on their reported levels of stress levels.

In this study, researchers also found that the mode of travel didn’t matter. Participants just needed to be outside of their normal environment for a few days to benefit. The effects were also surprisingly long-lasting. 30-45 days after the vacation ended, stress and anxiety levels were still reported to be lower among those who went on vacation than those who didn’t.

Travel can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety in your life. If you work a stressful job, a long weekend away can help you recover.

If you’re traveling to reduce chronic stress, you will need to choose a style of travel that won’t cause you more stress. For example, if you’re afraid of flying, take a train instead. If you don’t like traveling alone, take somebody with you. Don’t give yourself more stress. It doesn’t matter where you go. You just need to leave for a few days and take a break from daily life to benefit.

4. Travel Makes Your Life Feel Longer

We all want to live longer. Travel can’t make you live longer but it can make your life feel longer. Here’s how:

Travel has a major impact on the way we perceive time. According to this interesting article, experiencing new things can slow our brain’s perception of time. This is why time seems to pass slower when we’re children. We’re constantly having new experiences.

When you’re traveling, time seems to move much more slowly because you’re constantly taking in new sights, learning new things, and tasting new foods. There’s always something new to experience.

When looking back, your vacation feels like it lasted far longer than it actually did. When you’re in your normal routine at home, months can fly by without you even noticing. It’s easy to get trapped in a routine and let years slip by.

When you travel frequently, your life will feel longer and more fulfilling because time seems to move more slowly. A month on the road can feel like a year when looking back. To me, this is one of the main benefits of travel.

Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico
Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico

5. Travel Helps You Achieve Peace of Mind

When you’re feeling stressed, burned out, or just fed up with life, sometimes, the best thing you can do is take a break and explore someplace new. Travel has a way of resetting your mind. When you return home, you can look at everything with fresh eyes. Even a short trip can help clear your head.

Being in unfamiliar surroundings makes it easier to let go of all the worries and concerns that are weighing you down at home. It takes your mind off things. When you’re exploring a new place, you don’t have time to dwell on whatever is stressing you out.

Travel is an excellent distraction. It can distract you from people in your life, your job, politics, and technology. You’re too busy taking in new sights, sounds, and experiences to think about your problems. This can bring you some inner peace.

Travel can also help you put your problems into perspective. When you view a beautiful site, you realize how great the world can be. You might also realize that your problems are minor compared to the problems of those living in other parts of the world. Someone living in poverty in a developing country might envy your life, even with all of your problems.

6. Travel Enhances Your Creativity

When you travel, you are exposed to new cultures, people, and experiences. This can open your mind to new ideas. In turn, this can lead to an increase in creativity.

Studies have shown that there is a link between travel and creativity. For example, in this article, Columbia Business School professor Adam Galinsky says, “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms.”

Cognitive flexibility is the brain’s ability to switch between different ideas, tasks, or viewpoints. This is a key part of creativity. The study found that people who had spent time abroad were more likely to come up with creative solutions to problems than those who had not traveled.

If you’re a writer, photographer, designer, or artist, and you’re looking for a way to boost your creativity, consider taking a vacation. It could be just what you need to come up with your next big idea. Travel can help you think outside the box and inspire your work.

I have been living as a digital nomad for the past few years. I have noticed that I am more creative and productive when I travel. Most of my work involves writing. The ideas flow better when I’m on the road. It makes me more creative.

7. Travel Allows You to Try Excellent Food

When you travel, you have the opportunity to try all sorts of different foods that you would never have the opportunity to taste at home. You get to experience new flavors and textures that you would never otherwise encounter.

For me, the food is one of the best parts of exploring a new culture. Some people travel for food alone. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. If you really love the cuisine, you can learn how to cook it by taking a cooking class. This is a great way to further immerse yourself in the culture. As an added bonus, you’ll learn how to prepare some authentic meals for your family.

Even if you end up not caring for the food, it’s still worth it for the experience. For example, while in the Philippines recently, I tried Balut. This is a fertilized duck embryo that is developing in the egg. It’s sold on the street. It’s not the most appetizing thing but eating it is an experience that I will never forget.

8. Traveling Has Physical Health Benefits

Many of us live sedentary lifestyles. We don’t get as much exercise as we should. While traveling, you will be active and you will get exercise. For example, you’ll walk more. You’ll be on your feet all day while sightseeing, walking through airports, and traveling around the city you’re visiting. You might also participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, surfing, or cycling. Also, if you’re at the beach sitting out in the sun, your body produces vitamin D.

Additionally, travel has been linked with a reduction in heart disease. According to this article, “A nine-year study from the State University of New York at Oswego found that vacationing every year reduced the overall risk of death by about 20 percent, and the risk of death from heart disease by as much as 30 percent.” This means travel can reduce your risk of one of the leading causes of death.

Zac on top of Mt. Fuji
I’m far more active when I’m traveling. Recently, I climbed Mt. Fuji. That was a serious workout.

9. International Travel Makes You More Tolerant and Understanding of Different People and Cultures

Before you travel, you might have some biases about certain groups of people. You may not even notice this. Travel challenges our beliefs.

While traveling, you’ll meet and interact with people from different backgrounds. Traveling also gives you a chance to learn about different customs, religions, and beliefs.

Travel allows you to see that people from all walks of life can be interesting, kind, and valuable members of society. You learn to accept others despite their differences. You become more tolerant towards people from different backgrounds.

In addition, people who are different from you learn to accept you. During your travels, you may encounter people who’ve never met a foreigner before. By meeting you and having a positive interaction, they may become a bit more tolerant and understanding of different people. Tolerance and acceptance can spread. This can make the world a little more peaceful.

10. Get Real-World Experience and Real-Life Education

When you travel, you gain real-world experience that can’t be replicated in a classroom. You learn how to plan ahead, problem-solve on the fly, improvise, navigate new surroundings, and deal with different types of people. It’s an education that you can’t get from a book. In other words, travel can help you become street-smart.

For example, before your trip, you need to learn how to book accommodation, transportation, tours, etc. When you arrive in a new city, you have to learn how to use the public transportation system. If you miss your bus, you have to find an alternative mode of transport. If there is a language barrier, you need to figure out how to communicate with body language. These real-world experiences teach you life lessons that come in handy in your day-to-day life.

Traveling also gives you a chance to learn about new cultures and customs. You can try new foods and experience new traditions. It’s an opportunity to learn about the world in a way that you can’t in a classroom. You learn through experience.

Travel also educates you. While traveling, you’ll learn about the history, geography, politics, art, and religion, of the places you’re visiting. You become more worldly and knowledgeable. I’ve picked up loads of interesting facts and bits of information in my travels that I otherwise would never have learned.

You also gain life experience when you travel. You might fall in love, make friends, and view the most beautiful artwork and landscapes the world has to offer. At the same time, you might fall victim to a crime, have your heart broken, get into an argument, or get in trouble with the law. All of these life experiences, both positive and negative, help you grow as a person.

Great wall of China

11. You’ll Understand Yourself More When You Travel

When you travel, you’ll find yourself in unfamiliar situations. This is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself. You’ll see how you interact with people who are different. You’ll see how you respond to problems and setbacks. In addition, you’ll see how you react in various situations.

How do you react under pressure? How do you deal with unfamiliar situations? What kind of person are you? These are the kinds of questions that you can only answer by putting yourself in new and challenging situations. Travel forces you to grow and adapt in ways that you never would at home.

You will come back from your travels with a greater understanding of who you are and what you want out of life. Travel also helps you identify your shortcomings. After returning home, you can reevaluate yourself based on what you observed while traveling. You can work on improving yourself.

When you travel alone, you also have the opportunity to think about your emotions and thoughts. You can practice introspection. Long bus and train journeys are a great time to reflect. You have hours to yourself to just think. For some people, this is incredibly valuable.

Travel also allows you to compare your culture to other cultures. When you travel, you’ll see how others think and behave. This can help you better understand why you think, behave, or feel a certain way.

12. Travel Boosts Your Self Confidence

While some people are born confident, others have to work a little harder to find it. For those of us who struggle with self-confidence, traveling can be a great confidence booster.

If you can navigate your way around a new country or culture, you can pretty much get around anywhere. This is a great skill to have in life. It allows you to be more independent. Knowing you can get around anywhere can inspire confidence.

In addition, when you travel you learn how to talk to anybody. You might have to interact with a shopkeeper in Delhi, a flight attendant from Singapore, or a security guard from London. Being able to talk to anybody is extremely beneficial in social situations. It makes it easier to approach people, ask questions, and strike up conversations. This makes you feel more confident.

Traveling can also help you feel more comfortable in unique or challenging situations. For example, maybe you have to deal with a language barrier. Maybe you get lost. Maybe you just get confused.When you’re constantly exposed to new situations, you become desensitized. You can deal with these situations more confidently without feeling fear.

When you step out of your comfort zone, you realize that you’re more capable than you thought. You’ll overcome obstacles and take risks. Suddenly, anything feels possible and your life is no longer limited by your fears. When you’re confident, you can pursue your passions and goals without anything holding you back.

I have always struggled with self-confidence and self-doubt. Travel has helped me realize that I am more than capable of anything I set my mind to. This has been incredibly inspiring.

Ipanema Beach
Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro

13. Travel Helps You Get Out of the Rut of Everyday Life

Travel can be a great way to get out of a rut. It allows you to free yourself from your daily routine and have time to yourself to relax or explore.

It can be a break from the mundane and repetitive day-to-day life of a 9-5. It’s easy to get caught up in a routine. You wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV and then go to bed.

When you travel, you have the opportunity to shake things up. You can try new activities, meet new people, and see new places. You escape the routine of staying in the same place.

Travel also gives you an opportunity to focus on yourself for a change. It can be a time to reflect on your life and what you want from it. While you’re traveling, you can also work on your physical health, mental health, or emotional health. Maybe you realize that you want to make some changes in your life.

14. Travel Expands Your Social Network

Making friends is one of the best parts of travel. When you travel, you meet people from all walks of life. You’ll have friends with different backgrounds. You’ll have friends from different countries and cultures.

These friends can come in handy when you visit their home countries. They can show you around, introduce you to new people, and help you get the most out of your trip.

As your social network grows, new opportunities open up. During your travels, you might meet someone who can help you get a job in a new city. A friend might connect you with other travelers. Maybe you meet your future spouse through a travel buddy.

I have made a number of lifelong friends while traveling. Some of them I still keep in contact with over a decade after meeting. Whenever we meet up, we pick up right where we left off.

15. Personal Development

Travel can make you a better person. Travel can make you a better communicator, more independent, more adaptable, more confident, more accepting, and more patient.

When you leave your comfort zone to travel, you’re forced to develop social skills. You’ll talk to people at hostels, on tours, and on public transport. Sometimes people will approach you to chat because you’re a foreigner. This can teach you better communication skills.

You also have to learn how to be independent. There is nobody there to hold your hand if you make a mistake or get lost. You will also spend a great deal of time alone while traveling. You have to learn how to live with your own thoughts.

When you travel, you also have to learn to adapt to the local culture. The locals won’t change to accommodate you. You have to change. Travel will make you more adaptable.

You also become more accepting of others. The locals may have different religious beliefs, morals, diets, languages, political beliefs, cultures, ways of life, or behaviors. You’ll learn to accept these differences and look past them. 

And as you navigate new surroundings and meet new people, you’ll become more confident. You may become more courageous after facing scary, uncomfortable, or dangerous situations.

Travel can also help you develop personality and character. This happens when you face hardships. Travel isn’t always easy. You might fall victim to a crime. People might discriminate against you. You might have to deal with a language barrier. These may seem like negative experiences when they happen but they can help build character.

You’ll also develop patience when you travel. Things don’t always go as planned. Maybe your flight gets delayed 12 hours. Maybe you have to gather a stack of documents and deal with a bunch of red tape to apply for a visa. The internet might go down or the power might go out. You learn to just roll with the punches.

16. Travel Teaches Us to Appreciate Nature and the Earth

When we travel, we get to see some of the most amazing natural wonders that the earth has to offer. For some of us, travel is the first time that we see mountains, deserts, jungles, or oceans. Travel allows us to view different types of plant life and wildlife in their natural habitats. It’s also our first experience with different types of climates and landscapes.

One of my greatest travel experiences was going on a safari in the Serengeti. Seeing the Milky Way for the first time while camping in the desert in Namibia was also unforgettable. If I stayed in my hometown and didn’t travel, I would have never seen an elephant, an ocean, or a desert.

While traveling, you’ll also witness the destruction of natural environments through pollution, deforestation, and other human activities. You’ll realize how fragile the planet is. This can be heartbreaking but educational.

Through travel, we learn to appreciate the Earth. We learn how fortunate we are to have such a diverse and beautiful planet. We start to realize that it is our responsibility to protect and preserve the Earth for future generations.

Dead Vlei, Namibia
Dead Vlei, Namibia. This is one of my favorite travel destinations. It’s otherworldly.

17. World Travel Makes you Appreciate Your Home Even More

Traveling can be an amazing experience. It can also be exhausting, overwhelming, and uncomfortable.

After a long vacation, there is nothing like coming home and sleeping in your own bed. While traveling, all of the little things that you took for granted, like a soft bed, a hot shower, and your own bathroom, become luxuries. During a long trip, you will miss the comforts and conveniences of home. It’s hard to get a good night of sleep while camping, sharing a room in a hostel, or simply sleeping in an unfamiliar place.

Travel can also be exhausting. Packing and unpacking. Moving from place to place. Sitting on buses, planes, and trains for hours, and walking around sightseeing takes a lot out of you. When you return home, you may actually appreciate your normal routine.

In addition, you may find a new appreciation for how things work in your home country. In some countries, nothing works. There is bureaucracy and red tape. There are long lines to withdraw cash or buy food. The power may go out frequently. The tap water might not be potable. When you return home, you may realize that most things just work. You may find a new appreciation for your country.

You may also have a feeling of relief when you return home. On your home turf, you know the local laws, customs, and culture. You know your rights and freedoms. You don’t have to worry about accidentally breaking a law or offending someone. It’s nice to feel like part of society. Like you belong. When you’re abroad, you’re always an outsider. You’re not quite sure what you can and can’t do.

You also won’t have to deal with a language barrier when you return home. It’s nice to be able to hold an in-depth conversation and talk freely with other people. Struggling to communicate gets exhausting.

All of this can help you appreciate your home country much more.

While traveling, I have gained a much greater appreciation for my home country, the United States. After traveling to 66 countries on 6 continents, I can’t think of a place I’d rather live. I think the U.S. is the greatest country, even though it has its flaws.

18. Travel Helps You Find a New Purpose

Many people find that travel can be a life-changing experience. It can help you to find a new purpose or direction in life, especially if you feel like you’re at a crossroads. Traveling can give you the time and space to reflect on your career or your life, and make decisions about what you want to do next.

Travel can also help you to see the world from a different perspective and learn new things about yourself. If you’re feeling lost or stuck, taking some time out to travel may be just what you need.

Travel certainly helped me find a purpose. When I left home on my first solo trip, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. After returning home, One thing I knew was that I wanted to travel.

Years later, after losing my job, I felt lost I didn’t know what to do so I took a trip to Africa. After returning from that trip, I launched this website and started making a living writing about travel. These days, I live as a digital nomad. I make my living as a professional blogger. I feel happy.

Amman, Jordan
Amman, Jordan

19. Expand Your Horizons and Try New Things

Traveling to a new place will help you see the world in a different way. When you travel, you’ll have the opportunity to try new things. You’ll see new sites, taste new foods, talk to new people, hear new music, smell new smells, and be introduced to new thoughts and ideas.

For example, maybe you go surfing, Scuba diving, or horseback riding for the first time. Maybe you see the pyramids, taste sushi, or talk to a local student.

All of these experiences allow you to learn and see things from a different perspective. It can also simply be a lot of fun to try new things. Travel opens the mind. It might open your eyes to something new.

20. Travel Lets Us Take a Break from the Rat Race and Recharge

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the grind. You might feel like you’re on a hamster wheel. If you’re starting to feel burned out, travel gives you an opportunity to take a break and recharge.

Travel allows you to take a step back from your normal life and just relax. Not every trip needs to be educational or challenging. You can just relax by the pool and have some drinks or take a stroll on the beach.

This can help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also give you a much-needed opportunity to simply rest and rejuvenate. An annual vacation can provide some real health benefits.

Maasai Mara, Kenya

21. You Can Learn a New Language

If you’re trying to learn a new language, traveling to a foreign country where that language is spoken will help you tremendously. Actually, the only way to truly become fluent in a language is to immerse yourself in it.

When you travel, you will constantly be exposed to new words and phrases. You’ll also have the opportunity to talk to native speakers. This gives you a chance to practice and improve your comprehension and pronunciation.

Even if you’re not actively trying to learn the language, you’ll pick up some words here and there. For example, I learned basic Portuguese while traveling in Brazil for 2.5 months this year. I probably won’t use it often but it was fun to learn.

Learning a language allows you to communicate with people who only speak that language. This opens up new opportunities to travel and experience different cultures.

In addition, learning a new language can help to sharpen cognitive skills, such as memory and critical thinking. Studies have even shown that bilingualism can delay the onset of dementia.

22. You’ll Make Lifetime Memories

When you travel, you create memories that last a lifetime. Some of my most memorable life experiences have happened while traveling. I will never forget my motorcycle trip across Vietnam. I will never forget walking on the Great Wall of China.

You can tell stories about your adventures to your friends and family. My dad’s travel stories are one of the main reasons I started traveling myself. He inspired me.

If you travel with friends or family, you’ll have more stories to look back on and reminisce about when you’re older. Even though I’ve only been traveling for a decade, I still enjoy looking back at old photos and talking to travel buddies about our journeys.

How has travel benefited you? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Luke Smith

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

I like that you talked about how traveling is a great way to become a more effective communicator. I want new experiences, so I am thinking of traveling. First off, I'll try going on a Miami tour.

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