AARP Travel released in October the results of its latest study, examining the health and wellness benefits of leisure travel.
According to the survey, those who travel reported better emotional and physical health and improved relationships and productivity at work. Additionally, overall well-being is one of the biggest advantages of travel, with the benefits starting during the initial travel planning phase and extending well beyond the trip, the study said. The longest lasting travel benefit reported is improved relationships with loved ones, lasting six weeks on average.
The study shows four of five baby boomers experience at least one health benefit during a trip and 73 percent notice at least one health benefit post trip. By far, boomers get the most health benefits during the trip (56 percent). One in five indicate they experience health benefits before, during, and after the trip equally. Millennials experience a far bigger benefit from planning a trip (23 percent) than Boomers (6 percent).
“This research shows there are many health and wellness benefits during all stages of travel across generations, and seeing those benefits significantly improves their satisfaction with the trip,” said Alison Bryant, AARP research senior vice president. “Any type of travel, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long trip, can be an effective way to renew and recharge and the benefits far outweigh the short-lived drawbacks.”
Key findings from “AARP Travel Research: The Health Outcomes of Travel – Perceptions of Boomers”:
• One in five (21 percent) indicate they experience health benefits before, during, and after the trip equally.
• Of the 73 percent of Boomers who notice health benefits post-trip, the most unexpected benefits are better sleep (51 percent), more energy (50 percent) and increased productivity (46 percent).
• Most Boomers credit their travel health benefits simply to relaxation and fun (72 percent) and to spending quality time with loved ones (67 percent).
• The health benefits that most improve during a trip include improved emotional well-being (54 percent), connection with loved ones (52 percent), amount of energy (35 percent), intellectual curiosity (34 percent) and mental clarity (30 percent).
Additionally, planning a trip completely focused on wellness is not done by many and does not differ by generation. A wellness-focused trip is most likely a result of more intergenerational travel happening within the younger group surveyed.
When planning and taking a trip, wellness is not thought of as an underlying reason to travel, but as a by-product. Most are open to just letting the feeling of wellness happen. A significant majority of boomers (96 percent) who planned a wellness activity on their trip, but did not exclusively focus on it, said they were “somewhat or very satisfied.
The full survey results can be found at www.aarp.org/travelwell.