As much as Americans post about being overworked and needing a vacation on social media, we aren’t taking steps to stop our workaholic habits, whether we’re in the office or working remotely. What’s more, some don’t realize how vital it is to take time off from work.
As a matter of fact, the US has been labeled as a “No Vacation Nation” by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. American employees and employers don’t recognize the immense benefits a vacation provides.
The World Health Organization stated that working 55 hours or more a week increases the chances of a stroke by 35%. Vacation time is critical to keep us alive. We cannot expect to survive without taking a break. Gifting a vacation is almost like giving the gift of life if you will. The gift of travel is absolute proof that one cares and empathizes with another.
“Four in five Boomers experience at least one health benefit during a trip and 73 percent notice at least one health benefit post-trip. By far, boomers get the most health benefits during the trip (56 percent). One in 5 indicate they experience health benefits before, during, and after the trip equally. Millennials experience a far bigger benefit from planning a trip (23 percent) than Boomers (6 percent),” quoted Travel Agent Central.
Here are 10 valid and important reasons why travel would be the perfect gift for anyone this holiday season.
10/10 Gifting A Vacation Improves Physical Health
Everyone wants to improve their physical health. Gifting a vacation can be considered a present of health. Vacation time reduces health risks that many Americans tend to suffer. According to the National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1 in 3 American adults have metabolic syndrome, a number of preventable conditions. These symptoms include:
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Excess weight/belly fat
- “Bad” LDL cholesterol
Studies have proven that people who take vacations decrease their risk of these factors, which raise heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and type 2 diabetes. A yearly vacation alone benefits adults’ physical health.
9/10 Gifting A Vacation Improves Mental Health
Whether stress comes from work, the home environment, family matters, or anything “negative” that might be of importance in an individual’s life, chronic exposure to stress changes the brain structure. Taking a vacation relieves stress because it allows us to become calm and relaxed for a few days. This gives the body and mind a break, and it begins to heal.
Here are some statistics on how travel benefits mental health:
- Less anxiety and a better mood last weeks after a vacation
- Travelers reported a 7% increase in happiness
- 29% of women decreased likelihood of depression
- Tolerance is improved, and frustration is decreased
8/10 Gifting A Vacation Improves Sleep
While on vacation, travelers tend to sleep better because they aren’t thinking about what they have to do next, what needs to be paid, or what drama they’ll encounter next at work.
A sleep study published on Sleepopolis states, “66% of respondents feel more stressed out during the holiday season.”
With this being the case, what better way to show someone that in the near future, they will have time to get much-needed sleep and relax because you have gifted them that opportunity?
7/10 Gifting A Vacation Improves Mindfulness
According to a study published by The Journal of Positive Psychology, a vacation day is the same as 15 minutes of meditation. The purpose of meditation is to quiet the mind so that we aren’t living in the past or the future, two things that do not exist, yet many continue to worry about.
Taking a vacation takes us away from living on autopilot. Being away from your predictable environment grants most to fully appreciate and be present. Vacationing awakens a child-like curiosity and excitement. Not only that, when the mind isn’t focused on our daily routines, it naturally relaxes into the present moment.
6/10 Gifting A Vacation Increases Mental Motivation & Brainpower
A Harvard Business Review study found that after a vacation, 94% of respondents had as much or more energy.
Exploring a new destination gives the mind an opportunity to come up with new ideas and have in-depth thoughts.
“Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought,” says Adam Galinsky, a professor and author of studies on the connection between creativity and international travel.
5/10 Gifting A Vacation Strengthens Bonds
Travel has proven to bring individuals together. People who travel with loved ones experience a sense of togetherness, better communication, and more satisfaction which leads to longer, lasting relationships. This applies to romantic, platonic, and familial connections.
Women, in particular, feel more satisfaction in their marriages if they took two or more vacations per year.
4/10 Gifting A Vacation Is Like Gifting Happiness
Planning a trip helps increase happiness; now, imagine actually being on vacation. Even eight weeks before the vacation, people feel happier knowing they’re going to get away. As stated earlier, those who travel feel 7% happier than those who don’t. What’s more, it’s no surprise that 94% of people say they feel happier after going on vacation.
The part of the brain that processes new things and feelings of reward is stimulated for those who travel to new destinations. The brain is rewired when individuals take vacations. Because you’re feeling mentally clearer, it’s only natural to feel more at ease and happier.
3/10 Gifting A Vacation Lessens Stress
Relaxing in Sempione Park near Arco della Pace, Milan
A 2013 study revealed that 80% of respondents believed travel improves their overall mood and outlook on life; 75% of them also claimed travel helps them reduce stress. With just three days of vacation, anxiety decreases, travelers feel rested, and their state of mind improves.
Furthermore, the mind tends to ease as the vacation date draws near. No matter the length of the vacation time, it will still display the positive benefits of this getaway time. A Cornell University study showed that anticipating travel feels better than anticipating material gains.
2/10 Gifting A Vacation Increases The Chance Of Getting A Raise
Harvard Business Review claims that employees who take vacations are more likely to get a raise. Yes, that’s right! Care for yourself, and your job will mostly do the same back.
The study says that those who took less the 10 days for vacation time were 34.6% more likely to get a raise. But those who took 10 or more days of vacation had a 65.4% chance of getting a raise or bonus.
1/10 Gifting A Vacation Is Something To Remember
Vacations are also fabulous times to create lasting, positive memories. Looking back at happy memories can drive away stress, anxiety, and depression. People have admitted that taking photos while on vacation is precious to them, so much so that they wouldn’t trade it for any money in the world.
Travel memories are so important because they are associated with happier times. Remembering better times helps a person’s general mood. Travelers remember their time spent with friends, family, or even alone. They also like to reminisce on the food they enjoyed and the people they’ve met. We’d assume any activities experienced during that time holds space in their memory as well.