5 ways travel is good for your mental health

Travel enthusiasts, rejoice. As of Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifted the requirement for airline passengers to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. After more than two years of stay-at-home orders and other travel restrictions, the majority of Americans are ready to venture out and explore, according to Tripadvisor’s annual travel forecast. And that might not be a bad idea, as research has shown that satisfying our collective wanderlust has a surprising number of benefits for our mental — and possibly even physical — health.

It’s not just because time away from work and day-to-day responsibilities helps us get rid of stress. It seems our brains are happiest when we take them to new, faraway places — though it’s best to check the CDC’s COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination before booking trips to check for travel restrictions.

How does travel benefit us? Here are five ways your next trip can help your overall health and well-being.

1. Travel makes you happier

People who travel regularly (defined as trips at least 75 miles from home) report being about 7% happier than those who travel rarely or not at all, according to a study of a Taiwanese population published in January 2021 in the journal Tourism analysis.

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