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  • How Just Planning A Vacation Can Help You Mentally

    7/1/2020 3:46:45 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    With the country reopening, travel industry experts say people are planning short trips to destinations relatively close to home. By driving they can control the number of people they interact with, how many stops they make on the way and whether to take a detour or not — all things they can’t control on a plane.

    Now, more than ever, when we are allowed to travel again, we expect to see families, friends, and couples jumping into their cars and hitting the open road.

    But, did you know looking ahead to your next adventure could benefit your mental health. Even if you’re not sure when that adventure will be.

    Planning and anticipating a trip can be almost as enjoyable as going on the trip itself. Studies show the anticipation of an experience (like a trip) can increase a person’s happiness substantially—much more so than the anticipation of buying material goods. Travelers will talk more about their experiences than talking to people about material purchases. Experiences make for better story material.

    One of the many challenges of the pandemic is that quarantine measures greatly reduce our ability to create new experiences and connect with other people and today we need those connections and their social benefits more than ever.

    While we may not be as physically close to others as usual, we’re still able to interact with each other socially through voice and video chats. But you still need something to talk about—and plans for the future can serve as the perfect talking points for enhancing social relationships.

    Trip-planning encourages an optimistic outlook. We spend a lot of our time dreaming about the future. Our dreams can be a source of joy if we know good things are coming, and travel is an especially good thing to have to look forward to.”

    The post-pandemic future of travel is still unmapped. But try planning a vague itinerary (where to go, what to do)—without getting attached to taking the trip at any specific time. Then, start booking flights and hotels once experts say it’s safe to travel again. If the experience becomes more stressful or depressing than fun, file it away for another time.

    Learn about a new destination like Gatlinburg Tennessee. You may learn enough about the trip to imagine it and look forward to it-but there will be enough novelty and uncertainty to keep your mind interested.

    The pandemic can stop our travel plans, but it cannot stop our travel dreams. Planning for travel—thinking about it, talking about it, imagining it—may in fact be the best thing you can do to stay optimistic and, when this is all behind us, be ready to embark on your trip of a lifetime.

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