Modern society dictates that our lives revolve around ‘always on’ day-to-day activities, and eventually you mentally and physically crave packing your bags and travelling to your destination of choice.

Holiday time is essential as it helps us to relax and recharge and often, we feel the effects shortly after unpacking. Physically, our muscles relax, our senses heighten and we tend to sleep better and laugh more.

From a psychological perspective, taking a break is an important part of living a more balanced lifestyle which is in line with improving mental health,according to Hayden Knibbs, a clinical psychologist in Pretoria who was approached by Avios, the travel rewards programme, to share his insights into the matter.

Knibbs highlights a few possible benefits that you can experience when taking that much needed time-out while alone, with a partner or in a group.

Travelling alone

  • A sense of accomplishment and adventure – Travelling alone is formidable in itself, as people usually tend to travel in groups. Should you have a holiday which provides positive experiences, it has the potential to leave you with an increased self-confidence in addition to a sense of accomplishment and adventure.
  • Broadening your frame of reference – Each individual perceives and understands the world in a uniquely nuanced manner. This understanding is built up over the course of an individual’s life through mechanisms such as formal education, observation or experience, to name a few. Visiting new destinations and meeting people from different cultural backgrounds, has the potential to increase one’s knowledge and understanding of the world and its inhabitants, potentially broadening your frame of reference.
  • New connections – Meaningful interactions and emotional connections between humans, plays an important role in psychological wellbeing. While you are travelling, you have the potential to meet new people. Social media is a great tool which has made it easier to stay in touch and retain long lasting connections with the people you meet.

Travelling with a partner or in a group

  • Content creation – Travelling with a partner or in a group may add content to your relationship as experiences shared while travelling, provides potential to generate conversations. In particular, if you see something new while travelling you can then – later on or at that time – start to discuss it, which may lead to various topics of conversation.
  • Builds closeness – Sharing new experiences with a partner, particularly exciting ones, typically increases emotional closeness within the relationship.
  • Furthermore, travelling with a partner has the potential to generate fond memories which can be revisited, bringing about a sense of nostalgia within the friendship or partnership.

Mental health is often left to the wayside when it comes to overall wellness. We tend to focus on quick fixes when it comes to happiness and health, but booking that next holiday may have lasting benefits.

So take the next step and start saving towards that dream vacation you’ve been longing for – you’ll be all the more better for doing so.

To find out more about Avios, the travel rewards programme, or to become a member go to Joining is free and members can easily turn everyday spend into a trip away.

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