Occidental Xcaret, Christa Thompson, traveling for the first time, Mexico

We are all appreciating our vacations a little bit more these days after spending so long in lockdown and having such serious restrictions on our travel, but there have always been huge benefits to these trips. That’s right! So what are the health benefits of vacation?


Before we go into the health benefits of vacation, you should be mindful of using sun protection when you are sunbathing and of your eyes. You can check out All About Vision and their vacation eye health guide here.




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The Health Benefits of Vacation


A vacation is a time to relax and forget about all the usual everyday considerations that bog you down. Whether you go once a year or try and take a vacation at every opportunity, holidays can improve both your mental and your physical health. Here are some of the health benefits of vacation.


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Physical Benefits of Taking a Vacation

Better Sleep


There are some considerable health benefits of taking a vacation. Sleeping is one of them. Without the early morning wake-up calls or late nights working hard to finish that project, you can get a much better night’s sleep.


You can sleep in or even nap during the day if needed. Environment and the lack of stress have a direct influence on the quality and the amount of sleep you get. If getting enough sleep is a priority for you, choose a destination that’s going to be quiet and peaceful at night.


Even if you love city breaks, you can still find apartments or hotels that are in a more residential area to get some much-needed shut-eye.


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Reduce Stress-Related Ailments


One of the great health benefits of vacation is that it can reduce the occurrence of stress-related ailments such as heart disease or high blood pressure. The New York Times has reported that taking a vacation once every two years, as opposed to every six, can lessen the risk of developing coronary heart disease or heart attacks.


To further reduce your risk, plan an active vacation where you’re taking part in lots of sports or doing a bit of hiking. You never know, this might inspire you to keep doing these things throughout the year too if you have a lot of fun.


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Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash


Reduce Burn Out


Less chance of burning out. Employees who take time out to relax and unwind are far less likely to experience burnout. A vacation helps to boost their productivity and creativity in their work so, by taking regular vacations, you can actually improve the quality of your work!


To heighten these effects, make sure you leave anything work-related behind at home, including your work phone. Tell everyone at the office that you won’t be checking your e-mails and anything urgent will just have to wait for you to come back.


And taking your work laptop away with you is an absolute no-go.


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Happy vacay selfie! Xcaret Park


Reduce Stress and Anxiety


One of the most important health benefits of vacation is that you can reduce stress and anxiety. We often deal with stress and anxiety on an everyday basis and the root of these feelings are usually things like work, school, home maintenance, and other chores.


You get away from all these things on vacation and give your mind a break from such high-pressure triggers. If you’re an easily stressed person, think about choosing an all-inclusive resort for your vacation. This way, you won’t have to think about a single thing.


Planning a vacation and navigating new places can make some people feel anxious. If you’re one of them, recognize this in yourself and plan accordingly.


Sacred Mayan Journey Xcaret. Christa Thompson
Enjoying the view of the Caribbean Sea at Xcaret Park


Increase Mental Motivation


Chronic stress and burnout can make it difficult to achieve certain tasks and can also have a detrimental effect on a person’s memory. One of the health benefits of vacation is that it can serve as a mental tune-up that can improve your mental health and your cognitive functioning.


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Gauge and Sean took a solo ride on the Ferris wheel for some kiddo step-dad bonding.


Improve Personal Relationships


This can be a bit of a catch-22 situation in that you go on vacation to spend time with your family but often the increased time together can create friction and cause arguments. However, despite the inevitable family disagreements that come with a vacation you always come home at the end with new memories and a closer bond with your loved ones.


To minimize the risk of disputes, have a chat with everyone you’re planning to go away with about what they want from their vacation. Managing expectations is a great way to get everyone on the same page before you book your flights.


That way, anyone who really doesn’t want to go can opt-out before it’s too late.


Occidental Xcaret, Christa Thompson, traveling for the first time, Mexico
Loving the morning seaside hike at Occidental Xcaret


Increase Happiness


Probably the overall most noticeable of health benefits of vacation is being happy. This seems like an obvious one, but vacations make us happier!


This boost in your mood does not impact you while you are actually on vacation but can help make you happier for weeks and weeks leading up to it. Even the planning of the trip can help improve your overall mood and help motivate you in your everyday tasks.


While some people may feel temporarily down when returning home from their vacation, this is completely natural. To reduce these feelings, try and have something to look forward to when you get back as well. This could be a meal out or even just a catch-up with friends.


In Closing


The health benefits of vacation are many. You can rest, let go of stress, reboot your productivity, and return home happier and with closer relationships. Where will you go to recharge?

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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