The wellness benefits of travel are unmistakable. We have written in the past about the health benefits of travel. Now our friends at the U.S. Travel Association have added their voices to something we have said for a long time.
It is an undeniable truth – going on vacation, discovering new attractions, dining in new restaurants and staying in fun lodgings simply makes us feel better.
We’ve heard the saying “Everything will kill you, pick something fun.” To the contrary – rather than being fatal, we have found that travel actually has extended our lives and our enjoyment.
The Survey Says
A new survey conducted by happiness researcher Michelle Gielan also shows that’s correct. She’s the founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research and an expert in the science of happiness.
Her numbers show 97% of respondents say that having a trip planned makes them happier, while 82% reported that it makes them “moderately” or “significantly” happier. Seventy-one percent reported feeling greater levels of energy when they had a trip planned in the next six months.
We agree. Our experience has shown that even planning for a trip puts us in a better mood. And the closer we come – the happier we get. Calling and making our reservations, looking at restaurants we’d like to try and seeing what kind of attractions suit us are all part of the process.
And Gielan says we are not alone. Her numbers indicate
- 95% agree that “simply knowing there was something to look forward to would bring me joy”
- 80% indicate that “planning travel for some time in the next six months would bring me happiness”
- 74% agree that “Planning something would make me feel more in control amidst so much uncertainty”
- 96% reveal that “Getting to travel and feeling safe while doing it would bring me peace of mind”
Never A Better Time
We were glad to see these numbers. As far as we are concerned, there’s never been a better time to travel. A poll by the Associated Press shows Americans are experiencing the lowest levels of happiness in 50 years. That reinforces previous research that finds an inherent sense of happiness and satisfaction is generated by the mere act of planning a future travel experience. In fact, anticipating a trip might even have a stronger positive effect than reflecting on one that has already happened.
In our opinion, that’s spot on. Make no mistake, we love to reminisce about places we have been. But the thrill of planning a new trip always has a special excitement.
While public health is the top priority, the need to get moving again as soon as safely possible is urgent for jobs and the economy. Travel supported employment for one in 10 American workers before the Cronavirus hit. Sadly, more than half of those jobs were lost between the onset of the situation and May 1.
Recently we talked with US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. He told us the travel industry is committed to being fully prepared for the moment travel demand returns. The idea is to keep its customers and workers safe and healthy and to restore those jobs as quickly as possible.
Those who follow us know we love to find fun and funky new places in the Sunshine State. And one thing our travels prove is that the travel industry in Florida is resilient. The memories and experiences we have cannot be replaced – nor can they be taken away from us.
Gielan says that booking a trip—even just getting it on the calendar— “might be the very thing people need to restore their emotional immune system after months of mounting uncertainty and stress.”
We can confirm that. Let us also speculate that booking lodgings, making reservations and purchasing tickets provide a great lift to the spirits of respective hoteliers, restaurateurs and other vendors of goods and services catering to the tourist trade.
We have written about a AAA study that showed those who travel reported better emotional and physical health. It also found improved relationships and productivity at work.
Those of the baby boom generation get great health benefits during a trip. Some indicated they experienced health benefits before, during, and after the trip equally. Most boomers credited their travel health benefits simply to relaxation and fun.
The survey also indicated that Millennials experienced a far bigger benefit from planning a trip than boomers.
Any type of travel, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long trip, can be an effective way to renew and recharge. That is why we created Florida Fun Travel. Our idea is to travel in search of the quaint and quirky locations around the Sunshine State.
It’s also why we advocate “taking your fun with you.” We find that people get out of a vacation about as much as they put into it. Our experience has found that no matter where you go in this great state, there’s always something interesting to see and experience.