15 Benefits of Travel: Why Travel is Good for You

Broaden your mind (and your horizons), as we explore the benefits of travel

~

A young woman smiling as she walks near a sandy beach on holiday

Yes, it does indeed broaden the mind, but the benefits of travel go way beyond this simple dictum. Relaxation, self-confidence, communication skills, and relationship-building are all obvious blessings as you break free of your everyday routine. You may also ask, why is travelling good for other people? Those who head off to volunteer, teach, and assist on local initiatives turn these boons into a two-way process. Many communities rely on tourism for their own economy - even more so now, after two years of closure. Here at Plum Guide, we’ve looked at travel from every angle, backed by our global experience in providing the perfect stay for our expectant guests. Why is travelling good for you? Well, here are 15 reasons.

1. Travel broadens the mind

A woman standing looking over a foreign city on her solo travels

A woman standing looking over a foreign city on her solo travels

The older the truism, the more true it becomes. The landscapes, the cities, and the destinations you discover open your eyes, largely because you meet the people who live there. You see the colours, smell the aromas, hear the sounds, and none will be the same as you'll find back home. The traveller welcomes new ideas, like new ways to cook, create, or design. Some may even take home a concept with them, and adapt it to their own circumstances - Budapest’s iconic Chain Bridge would not have happened had Count István Széchenyi not observed and admired the bridge over the Thames at Marlow. Russians still call their railway stations ‘vokzal’ after Vauxhall in London, too. Even just trying to recreate that wonderful Thai dish at home means you'll be breaking with routine - travel with an open mind and you never know what you might find.

Tropical Foliage, Plum Guide home in Paris, France

Tropical Foliage, Plum Guide home in Paris, France

2. Travel can help you truly relax

A bird's eye view of a couple relaxing on a sandy beach by clear blue water

A bird's eye view of a couple relaxing on a sandy beach by clear blue water

The benefits of travel are not always obvious. Leaving behind the daily grind, you’ll unwind before know it - even before you arrive, on the plane, train, boat, or however you're making your way to your dream spot. Sure, there’s a schedule, and there are logistics to deal with, but more often than not, lingering is the default mode - the next bus (instead of the one you just missed) is fine. Relax. You’re away.

3. Travel builds relationships

A young couple on a large swing on a sandy beach at sunset

A young couple on a large swing on a sandy beach at sunset

Even if you’re travelling solo, you’ll always interact, quite often with a complete stranger. The conversation doesn’t have to be transactional, it can just be because the seat Gods have thrown you beside one another for the next three hours. Travelling with friends tends to bind strong ties, as experiences heighten and unusual challenges are dealt with together. As a couple, particularly when starting out in a relationship, that first trip usually seals the deal - try the traditional venture to Paris, or a sunny weekend in Barcelona.

Luca, Plum Guide home in Barcelona, Spain

Luca, Plum Guide home in Barcelona, Spain

4. Travel provides perspective

A young woman holding up a map while exploring a new city

A young woman holding up a map while exploring a new city

The things you might have worried about at home will seem far less important when you see the bigger picture. Whether it’s from a beach or a big city, you’ll soon realise one major aspect of travel - it gives you a more realistic view of your own place in the world. In other words, travel is an excellent way to forget your troubles and stresses - and who doesn't want that?

5. Travel is an excellent teacher

A close up view of numerous people cooking pasta in saucepans in a cooking class

A close up view of numerous people cooking pasta in saucepans in a cooking class

It could be something as straightforward as a painting class in Provence, a cookery lesson in Tuscany, or just a quirk of history you hadn’t been aware of - like Welsh surnames in Patagonia, or Hungarians not clinking beer glasses. You’ll learn something new every day of your stay.

The Eye of the Beholder, Plum Guide home in Tuscany, Italy

The Eye of the Beholder, Plum Guide home in Tuscany, Italy

6. Travel introduces challenges

A man in an airport with his suitcase in a dejected pose after a delayed flight

A man in an airport with his suitcase in a dejected pose after a delayed flight

Nothing ever goes as smoothly as you’d like, particularly with travel having been so haphazard for the best part of two years. It could be a cancelled plane, an overbooked restaurant, or a missing suitcase. You’ll quickly learn to cope, mainly because you have to, but also because you’ll be danged if a lost purse is going to ruin your precious time away. The kindness of strangers will quite often amaze you too - and teach you to extend the same to anyone in jeopardy on your own doorstep.

7. Travel feeds creativity

A young woman sitting on a mountain during a hike, writing in her notepad

A young woman sitting on a mountain during a hike, writing in her notepad

It’s no coincidence that so many writers choose to live in different places. Where would Hemingway have been without Paris, or William Burroughs without Tangier? Neither arrived with a clear plan or a clear sense of purpose, but both became titans of American literature. The benefits of travel needn’t be a Nobel Prize, but an inspiring trip can unlock the key to creativity, even just by freeing up more time for you to plan out your next project with clarity.

Escaping Time, Plum Guide home in Cornwall, England, UK

Escaping Time, Plum Guide home in Cornwall, England, UK

8. Travel builds self-confidence

A man on a beach at sunset in a confident pose with arms outstretched

A man on a beach at sunset in a confident pose with arms outstretched

So you’ve crossed that mountain pass in Peru, or ordered that meal in a remote Chinese village - looking back, you’ll feel a curious sense of pride in what you managed to achieve during your trip. You’ll also be encouraged to book another as quickly as possible - you've been warned.

9. Travel keeps you healthy

A man atop a tall mountain on a solo hike

A man atop a tall mountain on a solo hike

It’s perhaps stating the obvious, but travel is about movement. Apart from the effort and exercise involved in actually reaching your destination, you’ll invariably be doing a lot of walking - just let your phone count your steps when you’re exploring Rome, or strolling from your lodging to that perfect little restaurant you found in the village. Even sleeping an extra half-hour in the morning (or catnapping in the afternoon) helps your body relax after months in front of a computer screen - your property may even have its own pool or pretty garden. Whatever the circumstances, plenty of fresh air is bound to be a common factor.

The Librarian, Plum Guide home in Rome, Italy

The Librarian, Plum Guide home in Rome, Italy

10. Travel enhances your palate

A close up view of various pans full of curry and colourful food at a market

A close up view of various pans full of curry and colourful food at a market

It’s not only the street food in Thailand - you’ll notice the difference in the San Marzano tomatoes on your pizza in Naples, or the milk that you sip in your bowl of morning cocoa in France. In fact, you’ll be looking out for the change in flavours, intrigued about the condiments on the restaurant table - always be open to waiters’ recommendations, too. They know best.

11. Travel boosts language skills

A sign displaying welcome messages in multiple different languages

A sign displaying welcome messages in multiple different languages

In an era when English has conquered the world and foreign-language departments are closing down across universities, it’s refreshing to know that a few basic foreign words will enhance the experience of your stay. Saying ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ as you buy your bread in the morning adds colour to a simple two-minute exchange, and shows respect to the people you're encountering. A few words of Spanish could even prove essential if your car breaks down somewhere in the hills of Andalusia. Having to express yourself in a foreign language should make you appreciate all the more the trouble that people go to when they communicate in a language that seems natural to you.

Beautiful Sol, Plum Guide home in Andalusia, Spain

Beautiful Sol, Plum Guide home in Andalusia, Spain

12. Travel drives local economies

A tourist handing over cash at a potato stall at a market

A tourist handing over cash at a potato stall at a market

Tourism generates employment in myriad ways, not just in hotels, restaurant, and airports, but in shops and markets, entertainment venues, and even sports clubs. Revenue from local tourists not only helps maintain communities, but also historic monuments, and underlines their importance to the city and local culture. An enjoyable stay means that people will come back to find their favourite beach or village trattoria, which ultimately means that cities and restaurateurs can plan ahead, budget for the following season, and keep staff on the books.

13. Travel connects families

A young family running hand in hand along a beach having left their shoes by the car

A young family running hand in hand along a beach having left their shoes by the car

Look at any collection of family photos. How many were taken when you all went away on holiday to the seaside, or to that house with a pool? Travel brings families together - it’s the one time when no one’s rushing for school, or for a sports club on Saturday morning. After the excitement of the journey, kids can learn to swim, spend time reading, and simply spend quality time getting active with Mum and Dad. Even an evening together of board games can provide hours of family fun. Plus, children learn that there’s a world beyond the school gates - watch them embrace different languages, cultures, and foods. Everyone remembers that family holiday they had when they were seven years old.

Bright & Beachy, Plum Guide home in Los Angeles, USA

Bright & Beachy, Plum Guide home in Los Angeles, USA

14. Travel helps communities

A close up view of a person wearing rubber gloves picking up litter at a beach as part of a volunteering group

A close up view of a person wearing rubber gloves picking up litter at a beach as part of a volunteering group

There are more hands-on, practical ways you can help local economies than simply spending money at a bar or restaurant. Many do volunteer work, pitching in to provide a water supply for an African village, teaching in schools, or joining in with an initiative to boost the green economy. Perhaps you’ve adopted an animal in a sanctuary, and one day hope to fly out to see exactly how it operates.

15. Travel develops you as a person

A woman wearing a red hat sitting next to the canal admiring the view in Venice, Italy

A woman wearing a red hat sitting next to the canal admiring the view in Venice, Italy

Why is travelling good for you? For all of the above, and more. Not only does travel broaden your horizons, teach you about new cultures, and develop skills you didn’t realise you needed, but it can also change you as a person (for the better). You'll find hidden depths of your character, and discover more compassionate sides to your personality. You'll likely return home having learned something new - not only a few basic words of another language, or recognising the notes of a different currency, but about yourself. And once you realise that the benefits of travel go way beyond the simple opportunity to relax and unwind, you’ll be keen to experience it all over again. And again, and again.

Blue Creek, Plum Guide home in Lisbon, Portugal

Blue Creek, Plum Guide home in Lisbon, Portugal

Related Articles

Stay in the world's most beautiful homes

Search for a holiday home