What travel can teach us about happiness

In the hunt for happiness, many have shifted away from material things and toward experiences and travel, and it’s scientifically proving to be the right decision! 

This shift spans the generations; however, the biggest change has been seen amongst millennials. Research by Eventbrite revealed that 94% of millennials say experiences are an important part of a fulfilling life; 76% would rather spend on experiences than on material things; and 69% said they believe experiences help them connect better with their friends, their community and people around the world. Results from a study by Gfk on behalf of Airbnb documenting the travelling habits of US, UK and China-based citizens aged 18 – 35, found that travel holds an even higher financial rank in their lives than buying a car, a home or removing debt. Millennials are now choosing to skip the commitment and stress of mortgages and seeking “a life less ordinary.” With a higher value being placed on job satisfaction, flexibility and the importance of personal experiences — and showing off pictures of them – science is now backing the millennials up and proving they may be onto something.

Travel is not only just for fun; new research has shown it is actually good for you. Whether you’re travelling for business, on a one-week family holiday, or have sold everything to pursue a life on the road, travelling can make you a happier person by building self-confidence, providing new experiences and memories, breaking routine and allowing you to meet different people. The survey also shows that group travel builds social ties, which studies suggest helps nurture an interest in life-long learning. So, not only does travel make you happy and healthy, it also makes you smarter.

Think it’s too good to be true? Here are 5 scientifically proven reasons why travel really is good for you:

Too much stress?

While this notion may not come as a big surprise, science has proven that a change in environments can decrease depression, increase overall happiness and help you relax, all leading to a more chilled out version of yourself. A study conducted on more than 800 vacationers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst revealed that certain attributes of travel act as stress relievers, with respondents reporting that they felt less stress after taking a well-deserved break.

Fatigue? What’s that?

Everyone loves a good rest and what better time to get in a full 8 hours than when you’re on holiday. Time away from early morning alarms and traffic jams are shown to improve sleep. Surveys from the Global Coalition on Aging show that even after vacationing only a day or two, 89% of people are able to relax and leave work stressors behind and this could result in approximately one hour additional quality sleeping time, which in-turn improves reaction time during the day.

Natural immune booster

Antibodies are proteins that exist to protect your immune system from harmful viruses and bacteria. Think of them as soldiers fighting the war against bad health and diseases. New research has proven that exposure to certain pathogens and minor illnesses work to improve overall health while making your body stronger in the process. While basic hygiene is always recommended, new bacteria isn’t always a bad thing – in fact, travel and introductions to new environments could act as your best probiotic, encouraging your body to adapt more easily while leading to a healthier you.

Spice up your life

This seems like quite an obvious assumption – eliminate the fights over who’s doing the dishes tonight and you essentially have the recipe for some of the most bomb sexy time you could possibly have. But it isn’t all about sexy sunshine and sexy cocktails - it’s also backed up by research. A study has shown that nearly two-thirds out of 1100 couples have claimed that a weekend away is more likely to put them in the mood. A survey conducted by the US Travel Association has also found that 77% of couples who travelled together had a better sex life than 63% who didn’t take trips together. If ever there was motivation…

Live your best (and longest) life

Its official: those that travel have a longer life expectancy. Whether it’s a weekend away to the nearest town or a trip across the seven seas, all forms of travel have a lasting effect on the life of those who choose to take vacations. Research has revealed that travel reduces stress, boosts immunity and improves heart health; these factors combined leads to a longer life expectancy. Active, adventure based travel is proven to lower health risks such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, depression levels and more, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee.

So, here’s your undeniable proof to share with the sceptical or hesitant friends, parents, family or partner, that you need to travel. Don’t spend another minute stressing yourself out over how you’re going to make your next vacation happen. With Qantas, you can plan an affordable trip while looking forward to a future of endless travel possibilities. Make your booking today and live your best life - go on its good for you!