By Janet McDonald, Program Coordinator, Travel Tours

I’m always astounded when I talk to people who have accumulated vast amounts of unused vacation time. While I realize it’s often difficult to make time to be away from your work, studies have proven that those of us who use our vacation time to travel are happier and healthier for it. And your break away doesn’t need to be a three-week excursion to some distant land — although it couldn’t hurt! Even two or three days away from your normal environment and routine can help reduce stress and improve your mood. In fact, even the planning and anticipation of your holiday will give you a boost of positive energy! (A study of the impact of the expectation of a holiday on an individual's sense of well-being – by David Gilbert and Junaida Abdullah, 2002)

In an article from the Chopra Center, the author lists six benefits of travelling:

  • Promotes heart health
  • Keeps the mind sharp
  • Enhances creativity
  • Relieves stress and boosts mental health
  • Shifts perspective
  • Increases connection to others and self

And if that isn’t enough to motivate you to start planning your next holiday, according to an article from, not taking your vacation is detrimental to you and to your employer. Employees who take their vacations are more likely to be promoted and those who don’t, run the risk of burnout. Vacation gives your brain a rest and results in higher productivity upon return.

For those who find it too stressful to be completely unplugged from the office while on vacation, set aside an hour, ideally first thing in the morning, to check your email and respond to any urgent messages. Then turn off your device.

As the program coordinator for Continuing Studies Travel Tours, it will come as no surprise to learn that I’m a strong proponent for using one’s vacation time. I enjoy my work, but what keeps me motivated is knowing that on a certain date, I’ll be taking time off to go with my husband to Ucluelet or the Oregon coast for a few days, or further afield to Hawaii or Mexico for some real R&R; with my eldest daughter for a little get-away to the Okanagan; with my “peeps” for a girls’ weekend; or to Europe to visit my other two kids and my new granddaughter. And even if the travelling itself is tiring, I still return feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work — and to planning my next adventure!


Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you travelled.Mohamed

To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.Charles Horton Cooley

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Mark Twain

  • Posted June 28, 2017