The Surprising Science of Travel and Longevity – 60

We know that travel is fun, relaxing and makes great memories. But did you know that travel can benefit your health in other ways, even contributing to your longevity. Today, we’re putting on our lab coats and dusting off our text books.

The Connections Between Travel and Longevity

Whitepaper from the Global Coalition on Aging

Global Coalition on Aging’s new white paper is a meta-analysis of existing academic and social research

This 2018 study was conducted by an organization seeking to help us age well. So not connected to the travel industry.

And while the study was geared more towards an emphasis on saving for vacations, their analysis found some interesting data on travel and health.

“Women who vacationed at least twice a year had significantly less risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart failure, compared to women who rarely vacationed and traveled.”

“Men who did not take an annual vacation were shown to have a 20% higher risk of death from all causes, and about a 30% greater risk of death from heart disease.”

Research webpage:

Fact Sheet:

Taking Vacations Effect on Women’s Depression and Tension

Wisconsin Medical Journal


“The odds of depression and tension were higher among women who took vacations only once in 2 years or once in 6 years compared to women who took vacations twice or more per year. The odds of marital satisfaction decreased as the frequency of vacations decreased.”


“Women who took vacations were much less likely to suffer from depression and other mental health issues. Subsequently, these women on average had better relationships, were less fatigued, and enjoyed a higher quality of life.”

Link to the study:

How Having Planned Vacations Affects Stress

Taylor and Frances Peer-reviewed papers

2019 study funded by Project: Time off, which is a project of the U.S. Travel Association.

Participants completed Weekly surveys and track their heart rate with wrist-worn consumer devices.


“A statistically significant interaction was observed between weekly stress and the time period leading up to the vacation on ambulatory heart rate…A plot of predicted values demonstrated that the relationship between weekly stress and heart rate was stronger when the vacation was further away in the future and imparted less of an effect as the vacation approached.”


“Vacations may have physical health benefits that extend beyond the vacation experience by reducing the association between stress and ambulatory heart rate in the weeks leading up to a planned vacation.”

Link to article:

Vacation Frequency and Metabolic Syndrome

This 2020 study was conducted by the same group of doctors, this time using blood work. And not funded by U.S. Travel Association.

Wait. What is metabolic syndrome?

  • High BP
  • High blood sugar
  • Excess body fat around the waist
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes


“Over the past 12 months, participants took approximately five vacations  and used about 2 weeks of their paid vacation days Participants rated vacations positively, expressing low levels of travel-, childcare- and financial burden-related stress. As vacation episodes increased, metabolic syndrome incidence decreased. Notably, risk for metabolic syndrome decreased by nearly a quarter with each additional vacation taken by participants.”


“Overall, vacations are experienced as positive events. This positive subjective experience may translate into physical health benefits given that vacation frequency may protect against metabolic syndrome and symptoms.”

Link to the study:

Shayne’s Book

The Happiness Infinity Gauntlet*: How to Make Happiness Your Superpower Using Marvel’s Infinity Gems.

Question: How do vacations affect your well-being?

Please let us know in the All Things Travel Podcast Facebook group!

Start Making Your Magical Memories!

Ryan and Shayne are both Travel Advisers with Creating Magic Vacations, an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Feel free to reach out to us for a free quote and to start making magical memories.

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