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Knitting needles or adventure?

Maybe both? What in the heck could we be talking about this time? Well, the secrets to a long and healthy life are often thought to be diet and exercise. But you might also want to add travel to that list. While many people travel simply for enjoyment, or the desire to get away and do something different. However, along the way they also broaden their horizons, relieve day-to-day stress and improve their general outlook on life.

Travel is good for our health and contributes to a longer life expectancy and a more

satisfying retirement. Here are four ways that travel can improve the life of retirees:

1. Travel encourages you to be more active.

You hustle through the airport, schlep your bags to the hotel, then walk around

the streets, stroll through the museums, swim in the ocean or hike along

mountain paths. Many of the activities you do on vacation involve physical

exercise which lowers your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke,

diabetes and cancer. Need more proof? Many scientific studies have found

that men women who vacation at least twice a year enjoyed a significantly

lower risk of heart disease than women who hardly ever took a break.

2. Travel offers social benefits.

Travel can help you deepen relationships with family and friends and offers

opportunities to meet new people as well. Group travel with friends from

home or people brought together by a common interest helps build social ties

which promote good mental health. In addition, travelers can hardly avoid

being introduced to new people – often with different backgrounds and

perspectives – and research shows that active social participation, especially

later in life brings positive benefits for our emotional well-being.

3. There are cognitive rewards.

You can go on an educational vacation or attend a weeklong class

somewhere...but no matter where you travel, you will be meeting new people,

navigating unfamiliar places and trying out different things...all activities that

stimulate and challenge the brain. Travelers who search out different

environments are exposed to unfamiliar cultures, which stretch their

imaginations and forces them to consider new ways of thinking. The novelty

of travel – especially the kind that involves navigating in unfamiliar territory –

is a key to boosting your brain power and can lower the risk of dementia later

in life.

4. It improves your mood and lowers your stress levels.

Studies have shown that most travelers (actually 86%) said that travel

“improves their mood and outlook about life in general”. And most

respondents also agree that travel relieves stress and contributes to both

physical and mental well-being. While many people are aware of the benefits

of taking a vacation, they don’t always appreciate that the effects of stress

relief linger long after they get home. Retiree travelers are notably more likely

than non-retirees to feel satisfied with their ability to “get things done” and

maintain a positive outlook.

Factor travel into your retirement budget. If your budget is tight, challenge

yourself to find ways to cut financial corners without shortchanging your

experience. For example, you don’t have to fly to far away vacation spots like

Hawaii or Europe to reap the benefits (although I highly recommend them

both!). Most people report that their most rewarding trips are not necessarily

to far-off destinations, but to places where they share the experience with

family and friends... You can go on vacation during the off-season, take

advantage of senior discounts, travel with a social club or alumni organization

group or volunteer to help plan a trip with a group from church or your


Don’t think of travel as just another discretionary expense...consider it an investment in your health, happiness and future! We can help you plan for future travel, or create an amazing trip for your next group adventure (family or otherwise). We’re here, when you’re ready to plan.

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