The most common benefit reported by our community was that travel “helps me to be more curious”. A whopping 91% indicated that they believed travel helps ‘a lot’ with their curiosity and a further 9% felt that travel helps ‘a little’ with this.
The second most common reported benefit was that “travel has helped me to grow as a person” with 74% believing that travel helps ‘a lot’ with personal growth. This was closely followed by travel providing a sense of accomplishment (71%) and meaning (67%).
Responses were more mixed when it came the benefits of travel for connecting with other people (54%) and improving confidence (64%). This may suggest that the relationship between travel and these dimensions is more nuanced. For example, the benefits of connecting with other people may depend heavily on the type of trip we choose, and whether we already have good connections in our day to day life. Likewise, if we are already fairly confident in ourselves, travel may not provide us with much of a benefit in this area.
So, how can I maximise the psychological benefits of travel?
Given the lack of research evidence in this area, it Is really difficult to make strong conclusions. However, our poll suggests that our readers believe that travel helps with their well-being, curiosity, personal growth and sense of accomplishment.
To get the most of out of our travel experiences, my advice would be to use travel as a tool for each of these important benefits. Think about how you can use your trip to be curious, to keep yourself active and interested. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and make it your mission to experience and appreciate new foods, places and experiences in on your trip. Think about what is going to help you to feel satisfied and provide a sense of accomplishment; trying a new activity, making small talk with a local, climbing a mountain, navigating the metro system on your own. Travel provides us with lots of opportunities to achieve these important psychological benefits. We just need to be purposeful in how we travel.
Garcês, S., Pocinho, M., Jesus, S. N., & Rieber, M. S. (2018). Positive psychology & tourism: a systematic literature review. Tourism & Management Studies, 14(3), 41-51.
Grégoire, S., Doucerain, M., Morin, L., & Finkelstein-Fox, L. (2021). The relationship between value-based actions, psychological distress and well-being: A multilevel diary study. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 20, 79-88.
Mélon, M., Agrigoroaei, S., Diekmann, A., & Luminet, O. (2018). The holiday-related predictors of wellbeing in seniors. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 10 (3), 221-240.
Patterson, I., Balderas-Cejudo, A., & Pegg, S. (2021). Tourism preferences of seniors and their impact on healthy ageing. Anatolia, 32(4), 553-564.
Seligman, M. (2018). PERMA and the building blocks of well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(4), 333-335.