Research Has Shown Planning A Trip Can Boost Mental Health
June 3, 2020
Studies out of Cornwall University have shown that people who plan their trips ahead of time experience better health, social situations, economics, and, in general, a better life.
There is no doubt that planning a trip can be difficult. Especially considering, no one will be under the Tuscan sun anytime soon during the spring or summer months ahead.
That said, there is no reason why you should put off your vacation plans for the year. Planning a trip can significantly improve your mental health during these very difficult times. In 2014, the University of Cornwall researchers, Amit Kumar and Matthew Killingsworth published a paper showing how experiences provide more satisfaction than any material goods.
Their paper focused on an often overlooked topic of experiential vs material consumption and the psychological effects before consumption ever takes place for either.
The study discovered that delayed gratitude, especially relating to travel, was actually more pleasurable than immediate or delayed consumption of material goods and services. In 2002, there was another paper that has reinforced the idea when it found that UK citizens were happier when planning a holiday trip.
It seems that people who are waiting to go on a vacation or holiday are happier with their lives, experience less negative or unpleasant feelings, and therefore enjoy positive feelings. A holiday group has shown they are happier with their families, their economic situations, and health compared to a non-holiday group.
Let The Journey Begin!
According to Killingsworth, your future-mindset can be a great source of joy if you know there are great things coming your way, and traveling is especially good as something to look forward to.
Planning a trip can be very exciting if we know enough about where we are going and what we plan on doing to start our imagination. You can start imagining things in pleasant details like enjoying the sunshine or the smell of a campfire. That said, there are enough unknown details to allow us to wonder about many different moments.
According to Killingsworth, we will start to consume a trip as soon as we start thinking about it. We imagine eating gelato in a piazza in Rome or water skiing with friends, we do not see as much as we would like to, so we get to experience in our minds.
There Is Therapy In Planning Travel
If you are someone who loves to plan a trip, there are many reasons so starting right now could be rewarding well beyond mental health.
Even though COVID-19 presents a challenge due to the dangers it poses to health and the restrictions to travelers in popular tourist places like Greece, France, Germany, Brazil, Italy, and Japan. At the same time, it offers opportunities to visit other destinations such as Bora Bora, Sri Lank, Oman, Nepal, or the beaches of Argentina.
For others that want to spend their holiday in nature, there are added incentives to get away from COVID-19 and be able to enjoy the great outdoors in places like the UK, Italy, and the U.S. which have become impossible because of lockdowns.
Being stuck in lockdown in our homes and neighborhoods for endless weeks, planning a trip can give us something new and different to talk about.
There are many countries around the world that are more exotic and within regions that rely heavily on money from tourism to sustain their lives. Traveling shortly after the pandemic and spending money will help the local markets recover from economic destinations forecasted by the UN.
One traveler had visited 14 countries as diverse as Nicaragua, Namibia, and China and is currently residing abroad in Italy. He is a contributing writer for GNN (the Gourmet News Network) and can pass on some tips for planning a trip. I have heard that an Australian Aborigine will take a walk to experience the land and find a sense of one’s self. The two are inseparably linked in some way or another.
I, personally, think of towns and parks I will pass on my journey whenever I plan a trip. I like to pick destinations that connect overland because I believe the places in between where magical things can happen. Once I have my destinations and activities in place, I will get my atlas and see what kind of climate and terrain exists in those areas. After experiencing the joy of viewing the pages of the atlas, or map, and follow my finger along the route, I want to go! It helps me feel closer to my destinations. I can also open Google Maps and zoom in so I can see the names of various businesses and take a walk along the route, taking notes of all the interesting things I will see along the way.
At some point, if it comes stressful, I will simply file it away on a word document for another day. You can also plan the itinerary and become quite excited about it before ever embarking on it for years. I decided to plan a trip to Ecuador, Peru, and Chile for the summer of 2017 and am excited about one day at a time.