Many people dream of traveling in retirement, while others seem to focus more on taking on the world when they’re young. For some people, travel is a life-long habit. Really, it has benefits for any age and all generations, but we’re here to talk about why it’s an important part of retirement.
A sense of urgency
As we age, everything gains a sense of urgency. Maybe you had no chance at adventure travel when you were young. Maybe there is a debilitating, old-age ailment in your family. In any case, it can feel very important to get out there and experience the world while you can. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of travel options for those with disabilities. But that doesn’t lessen the feeling of urgency—to have these experiences while it is less difficult to do so.
Relax and Renew
According to AARP, more Baby Boomers are traveling to get away from it all. In a 2017 survey, 49% said they traveled relax (up from 38% previously) and 47% were looking to escape their day-to-day (up from 39%). Travel can get you out of your routine and away from regular demands of everyday life.
It’s Good for your Health
Bryce Hruska, assistant professor of public health at Syracuse University, has found that vacation is actually good for your heart. He writes, “What we found is that people who vacation more frequently in the past 12 months have a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If you have more of them, you are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Maybe your doctor should write you a prescription?
Travel keeps you active in mind and body. The social, planning, navigation, and problem-solving skills required to have a successful trip all contribute to keeping you sharp. Another set of skills, those of learning about a new culture and keeping an open mind to their way of life, can also be honed in travel. Lastly, people tend to walk a lot when they travel, so it can be good exercise, too.
Memorable Family Experiences
This can go along with a sense of urgency, but travel and vacation are great ways to create memorable experiences with family and a significant other. One of my favorite memories of my teenage years was visiting Mexico with my parents—our last family vacation before I became an adult. Likewise, for my mother’s 70th birthday, our whole family rented a house on the beach. Both important transitions that I’ll never forget because of the travel experience.
Making New Friends
Travel can be easier when you pool your resources with others and increase the likelihood of making new friends or deepening relationships. Group travel, cruises, and travel with friends helps you use the expertise and experience of others to ensure you have a wonderful time. More and more, people want an “off the beaten path” experience, where you are more likely to have authentic encounters with locals. Who knows, you might make a lifelong friend that you can host in your hometown sometime.
Share your Experience with Others
And, finally, when you get back from your fabulous vacation, you’ll have something to share with friends and family back home. Hopefully you’ll have snapped some photos along the way! But you can also share your new-found expertise—everyone needs travel tips and recommendations when they go somewhere new.