Frequent travel could make you 7 per cent happier

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Every now and then we come across a study that feels as if it’s stating the obvious.

Such is this study published in the Journal of Tourism Analysis, which shows that frequent travellers are around 7 per cent happier with their lives than people who don’t travel at all.

The study, conducted by Washington State University, showed that those who regularly travelled at least 120km away from home also reported being about 7 per cent happier than those travelled very rarely.

“While things like work, family life and friends play a bigger role in overall reports of well-being, the accumulation of travel experiences does appear to have a small yet noticeable effect on self-reported life satisfaction,” said Chun-Chu (Bamboo) Chen, an assistant professor at Washington State University.

“It really illustrates the importance of being able to get out of your routine and experience new things.”

The survey investigated why some individuals travel more frequently than others and whether it had a prolonged effect on happiness and wellness.

The analysis shows that individuals who pay more attention to tourism-related information and frequently discuss their travel plans with friends are more likely to go on regular holidays than those who aren’t constantly thinking about their next trip.

“This research shows the more people talk about and plan vacations the more likely they are to take them,” Prof. Chen said.

“If you are like me and chomping at the bit to get out of dodge and see someplace new, this research will hopefully be some additional good motivation to start planning your next vacation.

“While things like work, family life and friends play a bigger role in overall reports of wellbeing, the accumulation of travel experiences does appear to have a small yet noticeable effect on self-reported life satisfaction.

“It really illustrates the importance of being able to get out of your routine and experience new things.”

Prof. Chen said travel companies, resorts and even airlines could use his research to launch campaigns about the scientific benefits of holidays, to spark people’s interest and share their opinions about travel.

Are you even remotely surprised by these findings?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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