There’s nothing like a vacation to rekindle a romance. If you haven’t experienced this magical effect firsthand, a recent survey by the U.S. Travel Association on travel and relationships leaves no doubt. According to the organization, 79% of couples said traveling together had strengthened their relationship while 63% said traveling helps couples stay together longer. There are many wonderful benefits of traveling. Neuroscience research tells us that the brain craves novelty and that’s what travel is all about. In fact, we’re actually hard-wired for novelty-seeking. From an evolutionary standpoint, our ancestors had to adapt to an environment where the threats were as uncertain as their next meal. Constantly being on alert for changes around the rocks and bushes was highly advantageous for finding food rather than becoming it. Leisure time has also been proven to contribute to a sense of well-being, which studies show translates into relationship satisfaction. In fact, an improved sex life was among the benefits of traveling cited in the travel association’s survey. Seventy-seven percent of respondents who reported traveling as a couple said they had a good sex life, compared to 63% of those who didn’t experience such getaways. And that takes us back to the novelty factor. “Couples who travel together benefit from novel experiences, which have the potential to help reignite passion,” says sexologist Jessica O’Reilly with Astroglide.
Trips Are Better Than Material Things
Recent research out of San Francisco State University found that people get more pleasure out of life experiences than material goods. Even anticipating a trip can release a surge of dopamine in the brain. And while we’re talking about pleasure, the travel association survey found that 63% of respondents said a vacation was important in enhancing their love life while just 15% credited a gift to igniting romance. Experiencing new things and being in new locales also creates a burst of dopamine, which is the same neurotransmitter that drives the libido. So when it comes to travel and relationships, couples experience a double dose of this pleasure chemical. What’s more, you don’t have to go far to experience the benefits of a getaway. If a trip to an exotic locale is not within your budget, a long weekend spent away from home can also fan the flames of romance.
Living in the Moment
Another of the many benefits of traveling is living in the moment. Couples can let go of the past and put worries about the future aside when their thoughts are captured by the intensity of a ski trip, beach excursion or even a lavish dinner at sunset in a newfound place. But it’s important to be fully present in the moment. Save those Facebook posts for later. So, are you ready to get packing? Remember, you don’t have to go too far.
Does vacation enable recuperation? Changes in well-being associated with time away from work. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10912359 Couples Who Travel Have Better Sex and Here’s Why. https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/articles/couples-who-travel-have-better-sex-and-heres-why/ The hidden cost of value-seeking: People do not accurately forecast the economic benefits of experiential purchases. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2014.898316 Paulina Pchelin & Ryan