National Travel and Tourism Week
Updated: April 25, 2023
Aside from drinking 8 glasses of water a day and getting 10,000 steps, there are few things that positively impact your life like travel. From making you happier and more productive, to fostering deeper connections with family and strangers alike, here’s why travel matters.
Travel Matters to Work/Life Balance
In our culture of packed schedules, hyper-connectivity, and work martyrdom, American workers are in serious need of a break. I know you have meetings and conference calls, but taking a breather is good for your health, relationships and happiness. And guess what? You start reaping the benefits before the trip even happens! The US Travel Association says time spent vacation planning correlated with greater happiness. That’s right, I’m telling you that not only will planning trips make you healthier and more satisfied with your life, when it’s all said and done, you also get to take a vacation! It doesn’t get more win-win than that. If planning a vacation overwhelms you, it’s a perfect opportunity to connect with. Let them deal with the logistics and scoring the best deals while you figure out the important stuff, like how many shoes you’re going to pack.
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Travel Matters to Community
Mark Twain once wrote that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” There’s nothing like traveling to a new place to expand your horizons. Cross-cultural experiences are key in bursting our cultural bubbles, and fostering a sense of community and commonality. In an interview with The Atlantic, Columbia Business School professor Adam Galinsky stated, “We found that when people had experiences traveling to other countries, it increased what’s called generalized trust, or their general faith in humanity.” I don’t know about you, but upping your faith in humanity is something I think we could all use a little more of. If that means I’m going to have to book that trip to China, Botswana or Chicago, then by golly, I’ll do it.
Travel Matters to Health
Want to boost your creativity and reduce your risk of depression and heart disease? Take a trip. There’s loads of research to back this up. One of the biggest takeaways is that people who travel tend to move their bodies more. When we travel, we explore, often by foot. I swear I’ve accidentally walked a full marathon while visiting cities like or Xi’an. Just 22 minutes a day of physical activity—such as brisk walking—can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Travel Matters to Family
Want to foster deeper connections with your friends and family? Hello, vacation! Travel offers uninterrupted quality time, without work or birthday parties or TV to constantly contend with. Even though traveling with kids or your parents can be challenging, you’ll create life-long memories. That’s true even if the trip feels like an absolute failure in the moment—sometimes the worse things go, the more connected you become after the fact. The best part? You don’t have to go far to soak in the benefits of family travel. Even a to a nearby vacation area can be enough of a routine shake up to make a big impact.
Travel Matters to Education
What sounds more fun: learning all about Gettysburg on a guided tour of the battlefields, or reading about it in a textbook? How about brushing up on your Spanish while shopping at Oaxaca’s Mercado Benito Juárez versus conjugating verbs with pen and paper? Would you rather mentally figure out how much that 40 Euro sweatshirt costs in dollars, or do a math worksheet?
Learning is a happy byproduct of travel. And unlike the phrase “when will I ever use this in real life?” you uttered daily in calculus class, you will use everything in real life. You already are! From math and science to history and English, travel is the ultimate liberal arts degree. Ah, if only it were an accredited university—I’d have my Ph.D. by now!
About AAA Travel and Samantha Brown
New places, different perspectives and heartwarming people around the world sharing their day...what’s not to love? That’s why is sponsoring Season 2 of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love”—offering you added insight that brings our trusted travel information to life.