Two Reasons Why Vacations Can Be So Good For You

Happy Family Vacation

We are heading into the last of the summer weather.

I know.  For those of us experiencing the record-breaking heat, our response is “Thank Goodness!”  And for those suffering forest fires, our prayers are with you.

On a positive note, we will soon have a three day weekend.  It’s the time we consider: “Should we stay home or go somewhere?”  I encourage you to go.

Why?  Well, there are two reasons it’s a wonderful idea.

Reason One:  Vacations Can Make You Happier.

People who study this stuff have found something amazing.  It’s like this:  Going on a vacation, creating positive memories with your family, creates and strengthens your own happiness and enjoyment of life.  It also strengthens family and couple bonds.   Wow.  That’s pretty compelling.

Now am I saying “take a world cruise” or “fly to some tropical islands”?  Nope.  Unless, of course, you have a bundle of money you’ve saved that you want to spend on that vacation.  The stress of running up your credit cards to do that kind of vacation – well, you know how that goes!

So consider what you can do within your budget that you will all enjoy.  A camping trip.  Day hikes. A trip to a big city, or a trip to the country.  Brainstorm with family members, look up vacation activities and destinations, and get creative.  And then comes that second reason why we want to go on a vacation.

Reason Two:  You’ll Increase Your Mental Flexibility.

You may have noticed this if you’ve been in a bookstore, or looked on Amazon.  There are cartloads of books written on:  How to Improve your Problem-Solving skills.  Working with others to Solve Problems.  Collaborating to a Win-Win Outcome.  ….and a lot more titles on that same subject.

As you can tell, lots of people have been spending time on figuring out how to do it better.

For me, the most fascinating discovery is this:  When problem-solving, if you sit in the same place, you tend to think in the same patterns!  So if you always solve problems with your spouse at the kitchen table, go sit in the living room for a change.  You’ll be able to think in new ways a lot easier.  Or go take a walk.  You get the idea.

Now, how does that apply to vacations?

If we are on vacation, things are different. We are not in the same place, thinking in the same patterns.  We have the chance to try new foods.  Experience a different city and its sights and sounds.  Discover new things to see and do.  There is a lot of change – maybe even the way you turn on the faucets in the shower.  (It’s why some vacations can be tiring if we are using a Lot more mental energy than we normally do.  So pace yourself.)  The good news: We improve our mental flexibility as we adapt to all the changes.  Amazing, isn’t it?

So I encourage you to consider taking a vacation, whether it’s for the three day weekend, or for a week or two.  It’s a great way to improve your own happiness, strengthening family bonds through shared memories. And not only that, it’s a wonderful way to improve your mental flexibility that you bring home with you, too.  Enjoy!!





  1. Andrea Williams says:

    Once a person retires, he or she seems to be on a permanent vacation, which defeats the purpose of trying new things in new places. So, my conclusion is that “retirement” doesn’t mean sit on one’s tush mindlessly watching inane television shows (unless those shows are ones that I happen to like!). Retirement means doing something different at once every week.

    • tturner says:

      I love it, Andrea. How insightful that is. Retirement gives me the time I wanted to do wonderful new things, as well as enjoy resting and reading books, my own special treat.

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