The past two years have highlighted that the world is dealing with health systems that are under severe pressure. Government are increasingly asking their citizens to prioritise self care and the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
Travelling is good for the soul and there are significant healthy benefits to being a frequent traveller.
Have you considered making use of an international travel SIM card?
One of the major benefits of international travel is trying new food. However, it is important to note that the majority of medical emergencies when travelling abroad are food related.
Being aware of your allergies is the first step to eating healthy when travelling. Avoiding fast food where possible is a good way to eat healthy as is using natural ingredients. Finally, make sure you are preparing your food with clean water.
Make sure that you know how to respond to an emergency when travelling abroad.
Further reading: Travel emergency tips (Prepare & deal with an emergency abroad).
Making use of taxis, ride sharing or public transport can be stressful as well as expensive if you are not familiar with the destination that you are travelling to. Where possible, walk to the sight that you want to see/experience, it is the best way to experience a city.
Also, why not book an adventure-based holiday? Certain countries, such as New Zealand, pride themselves in their adventure-based activities.
Planning a trip abroad? make use of a top travel app.
Further reading: Top 110 Best travel apps (2022 International tourist guide).
Though it may sound quite obvious, do you know exactly how many days of vacation can maximize the stress-reducing benefits of travelling? Well, it’s eight days. A team of scientists at Finland’s University of Tampere found in 2015 that it requires eight days to fully gain from the benefits of a holiday and bring down stress levels.
Stress is the primary reasons for several ailments such as heart diseases, diabetes, headaches, depression, etc. So, the next time you plan to travel abroad make sure you spend at least eight days to fully enjoy your vacation and also lower your stress levels.
A Cornell University study found that one experiences a direct increase in happiness by just planning a trip.
Thus, health benefits kick-in just as you begin planning your vacation abroad. A good enough reason to tick the next international travel destination from your bucket list, isn’t it?
Did you know that there are lifelong benefits to travelling abroad?
Further reading: 10 Life-long benefits of travelling abroad.
Going on an international vacation also boosts your immune system. Studies have found that when you visit new places abroad, your body is exposed to different pathogens that create stronger antibodies in your immune system.
These antibodies boost the overall immune system of your body and make it more robust and fit to fight diseases and ailments.
Heart attacks have been one of the leading causes of deaths in India. According to the Indian Heart Association, 50% of heart attacks in the country occur under 50 years of age, while 25% of it occurs under 40 years of age. While adopting healthy lifestyle habits can curb chances of heart attacks, travelling abroad can also reduce the risk.
A Framingham Heart Study found that men and women undertaking an international trip abroad are less likely to suffer heart attacks and heart diseases. This is because they are more stress-free and less anxious compared to those who don’t travel abroad.
There are significant spiritual benefits to international travel.
Further reading: 6 Spiritual benefits of travelling to foreign countries.
Another aspect that gets positively affected by travelling abroad is creativity. Experts have found that international experiences increase cognitive flexibility, depth and thought coherence. This is further enhanced when you indulge with the locals and immerse yourself in their culture.
Multicultural engagement and adaptation have a positive influence on the entire body, including the brain that aids you in being more creative than before. It also keeps negative thoughts at bay, thus helping you to lead a happier life.
A study reported in the World Health Organisation (WHO) found at least 6.5% of the Indian population suffering from some form of serious mental disorder. Depression, which can be hard to bear, can even prove fatal. The right diagnosis and treatment can help overcome depression. A good way to do this is to travel abroad.
A study from Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that those, especially women, undertaking a vacation at least twice in a year are less likely to suffer from depression as well as chronic stress than those who don’t.
There are educational benefits to international travel.
Further reading: 4 Educational benefits of travelling abroad
By keeping you fit, reducing stress levels, lowering chances of heart attacks and boosting your immune system, travelling abroad can help you live longer. Research has shown that all these things when come together boost brain health and adds to an increased chance of living longer.
Also, since travelling helps you meet new people and learn about their way of living, it makes you more emotionally stable.
Know what foods you are allergic to. Most medical emergencies when travelling abroad are food related. You also need to make sure that, if you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, that you are wearing your emergency medical bracelet with an emergency contact number.
According to studies, Greek, Japanese, Mexican, Korean, and Thai food are considered some of the healthiest in the world.
It is important to note that not all medical schemes (health insurance) will cover international medical care. It is important to purchase travel insurance before travelling abroad as it will typically cover most medical emergencies.
Your hotel will be able to give you some good advice on some of the best eateries in the city that you are travelling to. It is also important to note that you don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant to get an authentic meal. Often, street food is a good way to experience the food of the country you are visiting. Chat with locals, they know where to find the best food.
Often, wandering around a city allows you to absorb the sights, sounds and smells of the city that you are visiting. Some destinations, such as New Orleans, are best experienced by foot.