Why travel is good for your mental health

Friends and peers often comment on how regularly we go away. I get asked questions like,”Are you on holiday AGAIN?!, “Where are you going next?”, “Are you ever NOT on holiday?” – well, obviously I’m not always on holiday because when would I earn a living? I’m not going to lie… sometimes it sounds like going on holiday often is a negative thing and I feel like I should be apologising for it. Like it’s a luxurious indulgence. Well, I disagree. Travel is good for self care and your mental health and not something to be apologetic about.

The reason we go away a lot is mainly because my husband works long hours, works every Bank holiday and his job is really stressful. I’m freelance, which means I have flexibility however I often work longer than 9 to 5 and even find myself working over the weekend when I have a lot on. We also live in London, which is a stressful city to live in so we need to get away to de-stress and take some time out for ourselves.

Park Hyatt Bangkok roof pool

Travel is good for your mental health

I genuinely believe that travel is good for your mental health because it forces you to:

  • take time out from work
  • reconnect with yourself
  • reconnect with your partner
  • open your mind to other cultures
  • break your routine
  • have some ‘me time’

How we maximise our holiday

As a freelancer, I could technically take as much holiday as I like. My husband, however, does not have this luxury so we plan our holidays around his leave, which works out to about 30 days with the time he gets back for working Bank holidays. So how do we maximise this time?

We like to book a few long weekends away to ensure that we are spreading our holiday throughout the year and taking time out every couple of months. Easter is the one Bank holiday my husband doesn’t have to work so we always go away for that. We usually take a summer holiday of around 10 days in June/July and then a two week holiday in October/November time. Having two fairly long holidays in the middle of the year and the end of the year, with long weekends in-between, really helps us to make sure we’re not going to burn out. Even just a four day long weekend can really help you recharge your batteries!

View of the castle in Lisbon

Staycations are also holidays

To ‘travel’ doesn’t always mean you have to leave the country. There is so much of the UK we still have to discover and the bonus about travelling in your own country is that (most of the time) you’re saving loads of travel time. There’s no getting to an airport, having enough time for check-in and go through security, the flight itself and then getting to your hotel on the other side. A two-hour flight, with travel time all added up, can take pretty much the whole day. Oh, and there’s no time difference in your own country either!

The great thing about staycations is that many hotels offer really good deals Sunday to Thursday, meaning that you get to either upgrade to a more luxurious hotel or hotel room or save money for your next trip.

Beware of travel burnout

Travel is good for your mental health but only if you don’t burn yourself out from travelling! Sam from As the sparrow flies has a great post on dealing with travel burnout – I really recommend that you read it. Yes, of course you want to see and do everything and make sure you don’t miss out on anything but travel is also about relaxing and taking time to just chill. There needs to be a balance. That’s why I love city breaks combined with a beach break so that you get the best of both worlds. You can do the ‘culture thing’ as well as the ‘lie on the beach and read a book’ thing.

Travelling needn’t be expensive

We are fortunate to travel often, because we can afford it. I know that this is not always the case for everyone however, with planning, you really could afford to go away more often. Most airlines have sales throughout the year and hotels do too. I’ve written a post on how to get the best travel deals – I hope it’s helpful!

So, will 2018 be the year you travel more? It really does wonders for body and mind.

Why travel is good for your mental health

2 Comments

  1. January 24, 2018 / 11:09 am

    I couldn’t agree more. We did a night in Manchester last year (10 miles away, we go there every week!) and just being away from home for one night in a relaxed environment made all the difference.
    Plus I think that planning breaks is great as it gives a goal on the horizon. We are already talking about a big holiday for my 4-0 later this year, and it gives us something to look forward to and not dread the year ahead!

    • Kirsty Marrins
      January 24, 2018 / 11:16 am

      It does, doesn’t it? Planning a holiday definitely helps too as it gives you something to look forward to, as you say. Oh how exciting! Which places are you thinking of, Claire?

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