Do you travel frequently? If so, then there are chances that you are leading a much happier life than those who don't venture out at all -- a whole 7 per cent more -- reveals a new study.
The study, published in the journal Tourism Analysis, showed that participants who reported regularly traveling at least 120 kms away from home also reported being about 7 per cent happier when asked about their overall well-being than those who reported traveling 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, Assistant Professor at Washington State University.
"It really illustrates the importance of being able to get out of your routine and experience new things," he added.
For the study, the participants in the study were asked about the importance of travel in their lives, how much time they spent looking into and planning future vacations, and how many trips they went on over a year.
They were also asked about their perceived life satisfaction.
Out of the 500 survey participants, a little over half reported going on more than four pleasure trips a year. Only 7 per cent of respondents did not take any vacations.
As travel restrictions due to COVID-19 begin to relax in the future, the research could have important implication for both tourists and the tourism industry.
Based on the results of the study, Chen said travel companies, resorts and even airlines could launch social media campaigns, such as creating hashtags about the scientific benefits of vacation, to spark people's interest in discussing their opinions about travel.
Previous studies have examined the stress relief, health and wellness benefits of tourism experiences, but they have tended to examine the effect of a single trip or vacation.
"This research shows the more people talk about and plan vacations the more likely they are to take them," 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," he added.
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