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
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.