Better Than Wrinkle Cream? Travel’s Anti-Aging Effect

July 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Here’s a sobering statistic: In a study of 2,300 American workers who get paid vacation, only 25 percent said they take advantage of every day they’re allowed. Sixty-one percent said they continued to work even while on vacation.

There are plenty of other blog posts — books, even — that could be written on American work culture and why we don’t take advantage of the benefits of our jobs. This blog post is a plea to consider traveling more.

Travel Keeps You Healthy


(Photo credit: Deb Stgo)

Why? A recent article in the Dubai Chronicle documented the results of a survey several existing studies on leisure travel’s health effects and found that it actually boosts cognitive and cardiovascular health, particularly in middle-aged people or older.

One study, for example, followed women from 45 to 64 years old for 20 years; women in the study who took vacation twice a year were at much lower risk of having a heart attack or dying of a heart-related disease than those who traveled every six years.

If you’ve encountered significant delays and other frustrations during your travels, you may feel the exact opposite. But I think that to reap the anti-aging effects of travel, you have to flip the old adage around: It’s the destination, not the journey.

My Own Experience

I can personally attest to this, actually. My wife and I are fortunate enough to be able to travel to the Caribbean a fair amount, and it’s absolutely essential for helping us relax.

A big part of the relaxation for me is shaking up my routine and immersing myself in a totally different environment and culture, away from my everyday lifestyle. Vacation is an opportunity to shake yourself out of your deepest ruts.

I am, unfortunately, often part of that 61 percent of workers who continue to work while on vacation, but it’s for self-preservation. I go through my emails once a day and flag the important ones for my attention when I return. It only takes a few minutes and makes coming back to work the following week a lot less stressful.

I’d love to hear whether you connect with the findings of this survey. Do your vacations alleviate your stress levels? How do you cope with the stress of returning to a full inbox? Share your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

The Vacation Nation: Unlimited Paid Time Off

February 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

One of our favorite business blogs is Spin Sucks, written by the PR company Arment Dietrich and its founder and CEO, Gini Dietrich. They frequently feature guest bloggers who are experts in their line of work, and we especially loved a post about paid time off (PTO) by Lindsay Bell, a relatively recent hire at Arment Dietrich.

Not that Lindsay is an expert in paid time off, but she’s an expert in being a working stiff (in a former life, of course) and living among the ranks of “no vacation nation,” otherwise known as professionals in the United States.

Of course, American workers have paid time off, but what little they do have is often eaten away at by life’s little nuisances: sick kids home from school, a busted sump pump. Suddenly, those vacation days in your PTO bank are gone, and you’re as pale, pasty and stressed out as you were before it ran dry.

Her post is about unlimited paid time off (UPTO), and we’re rather intrigued by the idea. We’ve written about one company’s revolutionary vacation policy , but there are less-extreme versions, too.

These company policies recognize that most American workers never actually stop working; it lets them strive for a greater work/life balance; and it implies a real sense of trust on behalf of management in the company’s employees. Companies monitor the amount of time taken and still require notice for longer periods away from the office, but in offices with UPTO, employees no longer need to ask for a half-day just to go to the doctor or run an errand in a neighboring town. They just do it.

Our take: Whether you have five days or an unlimited amount, use your vacation time, for heaven’s sake! And if your days are numbered, so to speak, don’t just use those days off to run errands, pay bills or paint your house. See the world. Make it count.

We love the idea of unlimited time off, though it may not be practical for every industry. It’s going to be hard to implement and monitor universally — we urge caution and careful thought for companies considering it — but we’ll agree with Lindsay that times have changed, and it’s time to start reevaluating policies like PTO at companies whenever possible.

Travelpro Luggage Outlet is on Sale!

September 16, 2011 by · 1 Comment 


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Travel Shows We Like

July 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Travel enthusiasts are rarely asked about their favorite television shows. After all, who wants to sit in front of the TV when there are countless destinations to explore?

But, when the subject of favorite travel shows comes up, that’s a different matter. There are a number of excellent programs available that enable frequent travelers — as well as committed couch potatoes — to vicariously experience exotic locales worldwide. Here are some of our favorites (with descriptions from each show’s website):

Rick Steves at the Mountain Hostel, Gimmelwald...

Rick Steves. Image via Wikipedia

  • andiamo!: An award-winning travel series with a mission: to open the minds of individuals who want to experience life to the fullest, and enjoy all the finer things that life has to offer. As the series’ host and travel expert at-large, Donna Perkins accomplishes this with a style and exuberance which can best be described as perfect. Travelpro is a co-sponsor of andiamo! which airs on all NBC-owned local stations, R & R, Family Net HD, Colours TV, America One and AMG.
  • Samantha Brown: In her 10 years at Travel Channel, Samantha has visited dozens of countries, hundreds of cities and countless hotels around the world. She takes you to all of her favorite places and her go-to hotels, restaurants and activities. Plus, she shows you to her secret, off-the-beaten-path discoveries.
  • No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain: As he continues to explore every corner of the globe in his Emmy Award winning Travel Channel series, Anthony Bourdain encounters the weird, wild and downright outrageous personalities and places that help define the international cultural landscape. It’s the foreign food, however, that best captures the host’s attention. In the world of a cook, an understanding and appreciation of how others eat is akin to discovering secret societies and cryptic subcultures.
  • Rick Steves: Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials. His Rick Steves’ Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets.
  • Rudy Maxa’s World: Rudy Maxa is one of America’s premier consumer travel experts whose writings and radio and television shows have helped save thousands of travelers both time and money. Rudy hosts a series of public television shows  that are broadcast throughout North America on local PBS stations as well as in the United Kingdom, Russia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and India on Travel Channel International.
  • Peter Greenburg: Peter Greenberg is America’s most recognized, honored and respected front-line travel news journalist. Peter is Travel Editor for CBS News, and appears on The Early Show, Evening News with Katie Couric, and across many CBS broadcast platforms.

So, if your next trip is months away, don’t despair. You can see (and often taste) the world from your couch through these outstanding programs.