Dr. Mike Dow, Brain-Health Expert, Explains How Short Getaways Can Help You Travel Safely While Boosting Your Mental Health
After months of quarantine, Americans are reporting feelings of isolation, burnout and that they are in need of a break, but have yet to take one. A new survey* conducted by online travel site Hotwire® reveals 62% of Americans haven't taken a vacation day since the start of COVID but interest in local travel and shorter trips is rapidly growing. In fact, 72% of Americans are still planning or are interested in summer travel this year, despite taking added precautions to stay healthy. As people slowly look to test the travel waters, Hotwire has teamed up with brain-health expert and New York Times Best Selling Author, Dr. Mike Dow, Psy.D., Ph.D. to share how to be prepared, not scared when traveling and why short "quickie" trips can have significant positive effects on one's mental health.
Hotwire reports that almost 90% of Americans are taking travel precautions this summer such as traveling more by car, staying close to home, and keeping trips short, with the majority most looking forward to visiting friends and family. The online travel site's survey also found:
- 62% haven't taken a vacation day since the start of COVID-19 and 12% have only taken one
- 81% of Americans agree that quick, local trips are the perfect way to test the water before investing in a longer vacation
- 67% agree that it's just not summer without a vacation
- Americans believe the top three health benefits of a quick trip include mental recharge (51%), reduced stress (50%) and better mood (44%)
- 86% prefer short trips to long trips, especially because they're cheaper (43%), less stressful to plan (39%) and are easier to coordinate (31%)
"Quarantine has made us stir crazy and that's probably putting it lightly. We've heard everyone talk about flattening the COVID curve, but it's also important to flatten the mental health curve," said Dr. Dow. "It's understandable to feel a bit nervous, but staying close to home and limiting your trip duration are key to reaping the rewards of travel while staying safe and saving money! Travel, especially quick, local getaways, are a valuable way to balance our physical health with our mental health and can increase connections in our brain, thereby improving both our current and future mood--so quickie getaways are actually an investment in your long-term wellbeing."
Dr. Dow says that the most important thing to remember before booking any travel is to do your research by checking for the most recent local or regional travel recommendations in both your city, as well as your destination. Also, consider booking a trip shortly before departure so there's no risk of your plans changing due to unexpected travel restrictions.
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