We travel for different reasons, in different ways, and to different places. The preferences vary from traveller to traveller: hot countries, cold countries, long trips, local trips, solo travel, group travel, all-inclusive, adventure holidays - and so on.
But there is one thing all travel has in common. It teaches you the same lessons - no matter where you go, how you spend your trip, and how long you stay. The multiple benefits of travel are a common denominator for all kinds of trips, and in this article, we will list the most valuable ones.
Travelling opens your eyes to things you never considered before. One of the main benefits of travel is collecting new experiences. They can be physical, emotional, or psychological.
For example, trying local cuisines may have you tasting dishes you never knew existed. Perhaps you will come across an ingredient you would never consider using on a daily basis, but once you swallow your prejudices, it will turn out yummier than you expected.
Trips also have the power of making you realise the world has a lot to offer. Leaving home may seem scary or unnecessary at first. But when you overcome the initial fear, you discover that you shouldn’t have worried and that the pros of exploring new places outweigh the cons.
Every trip to somewhere you have never been before is a huge step out of your comfort zone. You have to figure out everything - transport, finances, accommodation, local customs, or how to navigate the city or country.
The fact you are planning to travel somewhere you have never been before is an additional challenge. It takes a lot of courage to venture to an unknown place and trust that the research you have conducted will ensure a good stay.
The language barrier is often another difficulty many travellers need to face. Communicating with someone who doesn’t speak your native language is a fantastic exercise to increase your confidence and prove to yourself that you can find your way out of any situation.
When we stay in our bubble for a long time, we get used to our own ways. We all have our rituals and best practices, a routine we follow on a daily basis.
Why is travel good for you? It helps you discover that there are other ways of doing things, and that they are all equally great.
You may not agree with everything you see or experience during your trips. But just knowing about them will open your eyes to how beautifully different we all are.
Most people travel because they want to discover something new, unordinary. If every corner of the world was the same, there would be no reason for us to go anywhere.
What makes travel so alluring and life so entertaining is the diversity. Different people, different habits, different cultures, different landscapes. All of it attracts us to the notion of travelling and the more we see, the more open-minded we become.
Prejudices are born out of fear. It’s easy to judge the unknown and form opinions about things we have never personally seen or experienced.
One of the main benefits of travel is witnessing many things you wouldn’t if you stayed at home. You can talk to people with different habits and learn their points of view.
And just like that, something foreign will become easier to sympathise with. It will no longer be just a tale from another country or continent but a personal story - something you have seen or done.
You don’t have to start practising the things you discover during your travels. But just understanding them is a step towards increasing your tolerance for everything that is different from what you are used to.
During your travels, not everything will go as planned. There will be many emergencies and last-minute decisions which need to be taken sooner than you can blink.
Of course, you can minimise the risk of unexpected turns of events by preparing a detailed travel plan beforehand. But still, no matter how good of a planner you are, certain things just remain out of your control.
Situations like that generate stress, but they are also perfect real-life lessons which help you build up your endurance. The more surprises you experience, the more used to them you become. You work out a course of action, which you can then implement each time something goes wrong.
Next to endurance, flexibility is another must-have trait of every traveller. Not only does travel teach you to keep your cool in case of emergencies - it also allows you to develop the ability to think on the spot and quickly come up with new solutions.
Delayed or cancelled flights are (sadly) a norm these days. Frequent travel has you always thinking of a plan B in case plan A doesn’t work out. You start to avoid strict schedules and leave enough time for eventual adjustments in your travel plan.
If your original accommodation doesn’t live up to your expectations, you collect resources to use to quickly find new lodgings in case it ever happens again. Generally, you learn to turn each negative experience into a chance to improve, and that makes you more resourceful with every trip you make.
What do people learn from travelling? How to say no, in literally every situation you can imagine.
It can be when someone is trying to sell you a souvenir you don’t want or need. Perhaps when you are trying to negotiate your terms, and someone is convincing you another deal is much better. Or maybe when you need to fight for a refund you know you deserve but which someone is refusing to give you.
Being flexible and adaptable doesn’t mean being a doormat. You deserve to plan an unforgettable experience and benefit from every aspect of it. Travelling often comes with having to put your foot down - a skill that is hard to get but valuable to have.
It is in your best interest to do thorough research before embarking on a trip. After all, how else would you know anything about a place you have never been to before?
When you travel, you build up a collection of favourite resources to look for information. These days, obtaining advice is easier than ever - there is a magnitude of travel blogs to choose from. Even TikTok has become a place people often turn to for useful travel hacks.
The amount of information is exactly why you should be more careful now than ever. Only use data obtained from verified resources you know you can trust.
When looking for tips and tricks or local recommendations, primarily ask around among the people you personally know. Maybe one of your friends or family members has visited the place you plan to go and can share some personal advice or trustworthy sources of information.
Pro tip: even if a site seems trustworthy, check the date when it was last updated. Even the most useful recommendations have no value if they are outdated.
Another thing to watch out for is scams. Double-check every travel agency, accommodation provider, or trip organiser. Look for actual testimonials and verify how many results come up when you Google the name. See if the provided contact details are accurate and if the address matches.
If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call and ask your questions. If it still seems fishy, look somewhere else. It is better to pay a bit more for guaranteed quality than save on a questionable experience or even be scammed.
When planning a trip, you have to make many calls and send countless messages. During the travel itself, you are in touch with multiple people speaking a variety of languages.
If you find it difficult to talk to strangers, travelling will change that. You may never be fully comfortable with initiating conversation, but you can definitely get used to it.
When it’s your comfort on the line, it’s likely you will eventually give in and make that dreaded call. When travelling to unknown places, you really don’t want to leave too much up to luck and count on the best scenario.
Additionally, one of the main benefits of travel is making new connections. Talking to the locals is one of the most gratifying elements of every trip, so don’t let your insecurities stop you.
No matter if you travel solo or with company, there will always be people you can talk to. Perhaps solo travellers may feel more inclined to make new friends to have someone to interact with. But for some, it is easier to meet new people when in the company of somebody you already know.
You can strike up a conversation with a fellow traveller and exchange tips and tricks. You may also approach a local for personal insights. Not even the most detailed travel guide will be able to provide you with the knowledge someone who lives in a certain place can share.
Having friends all around the world is wonderful. It has its limitations, such as the necessity to maintain long-term relationships. They take effort to upkeep, but are incredibly rewarding if you succeed.
Making a friend during your trip will also give you a reason to go back someday. If you are close enough, you may even be able to benefit from free accommodation during your next stay, and repay the favour by inviting them over to visit you.
Not to mention, having international friends brings new points of view and refreshing perspectives into your life. When you meet someone from another country, you get to know the place on a deeper level as well.
There is no better way to get to know someone better than to travel with them. When travelling, you remove yourself from familiar territory, start living under different conditions, and develop new habits.
Oftentimes, you have to turn your life around to adjust to the reality of travelling. Such a big change is a true test for people who embark on a journey together.
Travel may subject you to unexpected situations, unwanted changes, and difficult choices. Additionally, everyone has a different style of travelling. Every traveller expects to meet different goals and approaches each trip with various expectations.
Some prefer the slow travel experience, while others favour intense trips. While one person would like to relax on a holiday, another may want to pack the itinerary with activities.
Such aspects need to be discussed with every friend, family member, or partner we choose to travel with. Often, a compromise needs to be made, if it turns out the expectations of each side don’t match.
Living under special conditions and outside of one’s comfort zone can sometimes bring out a side of us we don’t normally show. It’s not uncommon if not even we had been aware we had such a side!
Travelling together can turn out to be a bigger challenge than you may expect. It can tighten the bonds, or it can drive a wedge between people. Even if you think you know the person or people you plan to travel with, make sure to discuss every aspect of your journey together to avoid possible misunderstandings.
This point is especially valid for solo travellers. It is a topic which is not mentioned nearly enough when talking about solo travel, and many people find it surprising when they experience it on their own.
Namely, you spend a lot of time alone when you travel on your own. Many travel bloggers prefer to avoid mentioning that aspect, showing the cheerful reality of being surrounded by newly made friends 24/7.
The truth is, it will take a while for you to make friends while you travel. Additionally, the people you meet may have different plans than you. Fellow travellers would have likely come with their own itinerary which won’t always match yours step for step. Locals may be at work and have other duties preventing them from dedicating all their time to you.
So while you should expect to make friends, do also prepare to spend some time by yourself. If you sleep at a hostel, you will likely be surrounded by like-minded people most of the time, but may be alone during your daily escapades. If you rent a hotel room or an Airbnb, you will be in your own company a lot more.
But being by yourself is not necessarily bad. Travelling helps you learn new things about yourself. When you are alone, you have the time to reflect on things you might normally skip over. We all need some me-time once in a while - even the biggest of extroverts - so appreciate that opportunity.
When you travel, you won’t only learn about new places. You will also find out a lot about yourself.
As we have already mentioned, travel forces you into a special mode, which is often very different from how you normally operate in your everyday life. You are surrounded by the unknown, have to rely on yourself (and whoever you’re with, if you have company), and need to adjust to certain conditions.
You might need to make decisions you would never have had to at home, or listen to your instincts in case of emergencies. The truth is, you won’t really find out who you are at your core and what you are capable of until you’re pushed out of your comfort zone.
One of the main benefits of travel is discovering new cultures. You will likely come across customs you didn’t know existed. You will like some of them more than others, but if they catch your attention, why not bring them home with you?
If you happen to spend your New Year’s Eve in Spain, you might adopt the tradition of consuming twelve grapes at midnight. If you spend Christmas in Germany, you may bring home a gherkin-shaped ornament to decorate your Christmas tree from now on.
A new custom is one of the best souvenirs you can come back with. As important as nurturing your own traditions is, it’s not impossible to pair them with new ones.
Not to mention, it’s a great conversation starter. Imagine being asked about a peculiar habit you have observed abroad and inspiring someone else to introduce it into their life as well. It’s like being an influencer!
Bear in mind, this is not an exhaustive list of the benefits of travel. In reality, things travel teaches you are never-ending, and every traveller decides for themselves which lessons are the most valuable to them.
Every trip is different so whenever you travel, you learn something new. It’s a good idea to write your thoughts after every trip in a travel journal and draw conclusions for the future.
Can you think of any other things travel teaches you? If there are any benefits of travel that are important to you but weren’t mentioned here, feel free to drop them in the comments!