In a world where we’re switched on, tuned in, and Wi-Fi’d up 24/7 it’s important we take a break, whether that’s as a family, a couple or a solo traveller. But the all-inclusive beach holidays of yester-year just aren’t cutting it anymore. Holidays with companies like Jules Verne are increasing, as people are seeking experience-based travel – and with good reason.
Experiences on holiday are proving nourishing for the mind, body and soul as we escape the stresses of the everyday and look to expand our horizons elsewhere. With 43% of tourists wanting to discover what the area has to offer over simply lying by a pool, it’s fair to say experience-based holidays are here to stay. But what are the benefits of seeking out experiences on holiday, and how can they help you on your return home?
You’ll find mindfulness in ‘doing’
The act of mindfulness has been a growing trend for a number of years, and it seems we find relaxation in ‘doing’. For many of us, lying on a beach and not ‘doing’ is like torture, because our minds are unable to switch off. Instead people are relaxing by hiring a bike to cycle across stunning landscapes or kayaking through beautiful scenery.
The focus on something else other than our thoughts is helping us to become more mindful by homing in on the task at hand, instead of worrying about what to cook for dinner. By taking part in these sorts of activities whilst we’re on holiday, it will help on our return home. We’ll be more focused on individual tasks and become more aware when our mind does start to wander. ‘Doing’ things on holiday will also help our children concentrate in the classroom as they’ll become more able to focus.
You’ll live longer
Yes, it’s true! Studies have shown that regular travellers (people who are travelling twice a year or more) not only live longer but have a lower risk of dying from something stress related. It’s thought that making time to travel a couple of times a year allows your body to recover from the stresses of everyday life.
Worryingly, men are especially at risk of stress-related diseases if they don’t take time-off – but women aren’t too far behind. If that’s not a sign to put the ‘out of office’ on and take the family away, I don’t know what is!
You’ll stimulate your brain
The brain is a clever old thing – when we do the same things over and over again, we go into automatic pilot. How many times have we driven home from work and have no recollection of getting there? That’s because to a certain extent we’ve switched off and are just going through the motions. But all that changes when we seek out new places and new challenges. Our brains get fired up at the thought of the unknown and we’re forced to focus on the task at hand.
Stressful situations, like our flight being delayed or getting lost driving in the wilderness, even being spoken to in a language we don’t understand induces that panic in us all – but our brains actually love this type of unfamiliar stress. Have you noticed how good our children are at adapting to the unfamiliar? That’s what happens when we’re forced into unchartered territory – and it’s thrilling!
You’ll improve your career prospects
That’s right, if you’re looking to improve your career – seek out experiences. Instead of languishing on a beach as the dread of returning to work slowly seeps in, people who get out and about and explore their surroundings are more likely to return home feeling energised and enthused with a new zeal for life.
Travelling and seeking out experiences in unfamiliar places, forces you to build a good rapport with strangers. This is something many people find quite daunting. But the more you do it the easier it gets and this ability to converse well with strangers can also help in your career too. You’ll become more adept at talking with new people, and project an air of confidence.
You’ll help your children
Exploring on holiday can also help your little ones at school. Not only does travelling as a family provide you with a myriad of experiences and memories but travelling will help your children with their personal development and sense of identity. Getting out and exploring an unfamiliar place exposes your children to hands-on learning, giving them a far greater insight than traditional schooling.
As your kids become more used to experiencing new people, new places and new cultures, both you and your children will be pushed out of your comfort zone. This will help them (and you) grow exponentially in confidence with each new and amazing experience.
You’ll build better bonds
Whether you’re travelling as a family, with your partner or just with friends, going out and exploring together will help you build better bonds. Having someone by your side will give you confidence when you’re in an unfamiliar place to do things that perhaps you wouldn’t consider doing as a solo traveller.
As you discover new places, meet new people and learn new things, sharing these experiences with someone is undeniably greater than just posting pictures to your Instagram. You’ll create memories and build bonds that will last a lifetime.
You’ll realise memories are more valuable than things
You only have to walk down our empty high-streets to see that we’re moving away from buying things – and it’s not just because of our love of online shopping. We’re actually moving in to an “experience economy” – we’re all spending more money on experiences instead of things. And it’s these memories we make that are far more valuable than the things we own.
When we seek out experiences over things, we’re actually making ourselves happier, instead of feeling anxious about ‘keeping up with the Jones’. When we’re reminded of a good experience, we instantly become happier, and the best bit? As we age, this phenomenon only increases, while the satisfaction we get from buying new things reduces. That might be why it’s getting harder to buy that perfect Christmas or birthday present for your other half!
They say travel is the only thing that you buy that can make you richer. And seeking experiences can make you happier and healthier too. Like any family we’re trying to raise happy, curious and confident children, and if more holidays with plenty of adventures are the answer – we can get on board with that idea!