I have some appalling numbers for you: The average American gets 16 days of vacation per year, but only uses 4 of those days! Only 25% of Americans use all the time allotted to them, while 15% does not use ANY of their vacation time. America is also up near the top for overweight countries. Can you see a connection? We hope to inspire you to travel more and use those vacation days, so here are 7 ways that travel benefits you and your family.
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Regular Travel Benefits #1
Travel takes you out of your comfort zone!
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so do at least one thing every day that scares you!”
AdventureDawgs are all about living life to the fullest. You can’t reach your full potential by staying in your comfort zone. Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be huge, you can take it in baby steps. Start off by trying a new restaurant. Check out the newest attraction in or around your town. If you have the goal of doing one thing that scares you or makes you uncomfortable each day, pretty soon it becomes a habit. In no time at all you will be adventure junkies like we are and you’ll be planning that white water rafting trip!
This one also has an added benefit of increasing self-esteem. It is especially good for parents as it shows your children they can do and be anything. We have a young teen, and I love seeing the look on her face as she accomplishes that difficult hike, or conquers class 4 rapids. What an incredible gift and habit to pass down to your children. That brings me to my next travel benefit:
Regular Travel Benefits #2
Regular travel strengthens family bonds.
“Each day of our lives, we make deposits in the memory banks of our children” – Charles R. Swindoll
Do you remember all the toys you received for Christmas and birthdays? If you’re like me, probably not. I do however, remember the amazing vacations, trips, and journeys shared with my parents. Those memories are treasures to me. I am also thankful that my parents, especially my Dad, passed on his love for travel and adventure to me. It is the greatest inheritance ever.
You will be amazed at how much travel experiences can give you a stronger relationship with your children. Nothing strengthens the family ties like a 17 day tent camping trip through the Pacific Northwestern US! We were completely unplugged which gave us plenty of time for talking, playing board and cards games, and just enjoying our time together. Camping is also an awesome team building exercise as everyone has to do their part to help set up, cook, tear down, etc. Our children don’t stay children long, make the most of the time we have with them. I promise, they will thank you for it when they become adults.
Regular Travel Benefits #3
Regular travel keeps your mind and body healthy
How often do you find out that something you love is also GOOD for your health? Well, I have some good news for you because travel is good for your health! There have been numerous studies over the past few years and they all agree that travel has health benefits.
Travel is an excellent stress reliever. No matter how much we love our job, or how low stress it is, we need a break from it sometime. We also need the occasional break from our busy lives in general. Getting a break refreshes us and helps us come back as better employees, spouses, and parents.
If you are like us, you’re adventures always include some kind of outdoor activities. Why run on a tread mill at the hotel gym when you can hike a trail in a state or national park? When you get out and commune with nature, it has its own array of health benefits for both the mind and body. Other outdoor activities such as zip lining or white water rafting are challenging to both your mind and body.
Speaking of keeping your mind healthy, that brings me to our next benefit:
Regular Travel Benefits #4
Travel can be educational in fun and unusual ways
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – St. Augustine
We should never stop learning and looking for ways to improve ourselves. Travel is one very fulfilling way to do just that. We love exploring US National and State Parks for just those reasons. There is so much to learn about history, culture, and nature just to name a few. You can visit local museums and monuments to learn about the areas you are visiting. A personal favorite way to explore a new area is to try the local cuisine. Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler. You will be amazed at what you can discover once you get off the beaten tourist path. Just be sure to do it safely. Your kids will be learning and not even realize it. This is a way of passing down our history to our children, who will then pass it down themselves. In addition, this helps preserve the history and locations for future generations.
“The traveler see what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” Gilbert K. Chesterton
Regular Travel Benefits #5
Regular travel opens your mind and gives you a whole new perspective.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
The great Samuel Clements, aka Mark Twain, said it best. Travel helps you to see that while we have many differences from other who inhabit this beautiful world, we have even more similarities. Regardless of what the outside packaging looks like, we are all the same inside. We are all trying to make our lives the best they can be. Everyone has the same basic needs. As you immerse yourself in other cultures, you see the similarities and overlaps in them. Regardless of what religion you practice, they all have the same core values at their center. Traveling helps you to see the world in a whole new light. It helps you be more open minded and accepting, even appreciative, of the differences that make us all so special. The similarities are what bind us and the differences entertain and enlighten us.
Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.- Miriam Beard
Regular Travel Benefits #6
Regular travel allows you to meet new people.
“The language of friendship is not words, but meanings.” – Henry David Thoreau
I cannot count the number of wonderful, interesting people we have met in our travels. From chatting up locals to get details on the best places to eat, to top notch guides on our adventures, we have been truly blessed. Travel gives you a common connection with the people you meet. Everyone is either a local or a traveler. No one knows an area better than a local. Ask them where they’re from and where they would go to eat, not where the tourists eat. If your new friend traveling instead of local, so are you! It’s always fun to share travel stories and they may also have some information you can use to improve your trip. “Where are you from?” is always a good conversation starter.
Regular Travel Benefits #7
Travel helps support and boost the economy.
“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” – Moorish proverb
According to the US Travel Association, travel generates 2.1 trillion dollars to the US economy. Yes that’s trillion, with a “T”. It also provides 15.1 million jobs. Those dollars are even more important to small town economies than larger ones. When you visit that small town, and stay at the local B&B, eat at the local restaurants, and shop in local boutique shops, you are helping support the American dream. You still support the economy when you visit bigger locations and patronize chains but we personally feel like you get a much bigger payoff when you support local small business. This travel benefit has a huge payoff because you know you are doing some good in the world.
So have I convinced you that you need regular travel in your life? There are so many ways that regular travel benefits you. Can you think of any other than the ones listed? Please let us know in the comments!
If you are ready to start living your adventure life, stay tuned for the next post! We are going to give you some tips on how you can afford to travel regularly on almost any budget. Better yet, subscribe to our emails so you never miss a post or valuable information for traveling.
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