Studies have shown that simply planning your next holiday boosts your happiness up to eight weeks before the trip. That’s enough evidence to have us build a travel itinerary and click “book now” on that future vacation.
Planning your next holiday means having something to look forward to, to get excited about, and to stay motivated for. In the US some 212 million vacation days are forfeited annually, with employers staying on the job for the sake of their career. But not taking a vacation can actually do greater damage to your career path as endless studies show how time off can improve your physical and mental health, and improve your memory and focus.
While you might fall into a slump of post-trip blues as you dream of white sandy beaches and Monday happy hour, in the long run taking vacation days actually helps drive your motivation at work and shake off those Monday blues. So don’t throw away your holidays. Give yourself something to look forward to and fill your empty calendar with a dream vacation. In honour of Blue Monday, here are five reasons why you should take a break and get travel planning.
1. Get outside your comfort zone
Life doesn’t have to be groundhog day. Sure, taking a vacation can be tricky, but ultimately the reward is worth it. See taking holidays as a challenge – you upskill by delegating work to other staff and being super organised so everything still runs smoothly without your presence. Then comes the challenge of planning the trip. Of course, some people like to go it solo and plan all the logistics or transport, hotels, tours and activities solo, while others – like our past guests – know the best way to travel is to leave it to the experts. All you have to do is commit to the vay-cay, then show up and enjoy the journey of an organised tour.
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2. Improve your physical and mental wellbeing
Stress impacts us all and can have serious health effects. A long-term study of both men and women showed that taking holidays lessens your risk of heart issues. Women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than those who took at least two vacations every year. Yes, planning your next holiday is good for your physical health!
That’s not to mention the mental aspect. Neuroscientists discovered chronic stress alters your brain structure, triggering anxiety or depression. Well-planned vacations usually relieve stress, letting your body and mind rest and heal.
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3. Nothing changes if nothing changes
Feeling stuck? Unmotivated or uninspired? There’s that old saying: nothing changes if nothing changes. Your office or workplace is familiar and unlikely to inspire new ideas. You might be under great pressure from work to come up with innovative solutions to new problems, but you can’t solve them while staring at the same four walls. Start planning your next holiday because when you take yourself outside your usual environments and meet other cultures, see new things and have new experiences you will both rest and find creative inspiration. With more breathing room to think, your clearer mind might just come up with the ultimate solution.
4. Improve relationships (and find new ones)
When your nose is against the grindstone and you’re in the routine of work, exercise, eat, sleep, it can be hard to spend quality time with loved ones. Taking a vacation might be tricky to swing, but the memories you’ll make and stories you’ll have to reflect on makes it all worthwhile.
Travel also opens you up to new opportunities. When you’re on the road you’re meeting new people, visiting new places, and opening yourself up to different situations. You might meet your new best friend, the future love of your life, or even just new LinkedIn contacts who work in a similar field.
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5. Decrease burnout
Overworked, under-rested… uninspired. That doesn’t sound like the ideal employee or business owner. As they say in the travel biz: “Fit your oxygen mask first before assisting others”. What we’re trying to hint at is that you have to look after yourself first – your mental and physical health – before you can show up for your other responsibilities. Those who take time to rest, relax and recharge are less likely to experience burnout. So, what are you waiting for? Time to start planning your next holiday.
A study showed that people who “always make time for regular trips” scored 68 on the Gallup-Heathway’s Well-Being Index, compared to 51 for less frequent travellers. Another study found people return from vacation more focused and productive. Taking time off improves your mental cognition! If you want to look after your personal well-being, you need to get away.
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Longer hours at work does not equal greater dedication and higher productivity levels, so choose to take a break for the sake of your career and start planning your next holiday instead. Leave a comment with where you want to travel to next….