While there’s no doubt about the fact that long-distance international travel is not on the cards for most of us at the moment, that hasn’t stopped many people from planning their next adventure. However, it seems as though you might not need to travel as far to feel happy as exploring close to home could do us some good.
An Impressive Study
For decades, scientists have wanted to study the impact that travel has on our moods, and that’s exactly what a study published in Nature Neuroscience wanted to analyze. What’s so interesting about this study, though, is that they didn’t want to study those who traveled to far-off countries for epic worldwide adventures. Instead, they wanted to study how people reacted emotionally to new and diverse trips around their local area.
The Positive Vibes
The study tracked around 100 people from Miami and New York City over a period of a few months, and the aim was to analyze their positive emotions and their happiness. They saw noticeable changes in these feelings over the course of the study, but this wasn’t due to life-changing experiences or ones that were extremely exciting. Instead, these changes occurred when people explored new surroundings not too far away from their homes.
To be more specific, the researchers found that “What appeared to be most critical to positive mood was simply going to a diverse set of locations, not the distance traveled in one given day.” They found that people with more variety in their daily life were happier and more positive than those who stuck to the same old routine.
Of course, we’re not saying that you should never travel the world ever again, but it’s important to note that traveling is not the be-all and end-all of your happiness. Maybe it’s time to start exploring locally.
While the fitness industry might try to sell you supplements and equipment that you don’t need, the travel industry will also try to promote numerous products that might seem intriguing, but in reality, they’re overrated. If you’re getting ready to travel, you’re going to need to pack some travel gear, but what should you skip?
Overrated Travel Gear
Bringing too much overrated travel gear can just take up space in your luggage. It can be tough to carry and haul around, especially if you have to carry it on your back. It’s easy to assume that you’ll need some of these things, but chances are that you will free a lot of room in your luggage if you skip out on taking them.
Here are 5 items of travel gear that you should skip:
1. New Travel Shoes
The travel shoes that you bring with you should be ones that you won’t mind walking in, getting dirty, wet, and most importantly, ones that won’t give you blisters. While you might believe that you need specific traveling shoes for the European roads that are covered in cobblestones, that’s not the case.
2. New Clothes
Fancy new clothes aren’t always required for travel. You might come across specific circumstances that can call for new clothes, like a new snow jacket if you’re living in Southern California and don’t have one that’s suitable for the cold weather.
Another case where you might need new clothing when you travel is if you’re traveling to a country that has a more conservative culture, in which case you’ll need long-sleeve tops and more. In most cases, you’ll have no reason to purchase specific clothing or travel gear for your trip.
3. A Passport Holder
These can be cute, fun, and seem like the perfect aesthetic asset for your travels, but they’re typically unnecessary. Most customs officers will ask you to remove the passport from the holder while some might give you a hard time if you haven’t removed it already.
4. A Document Organizer
In the old days, document organizers were that piece of travel gear that you couldn’t forget as it kept all of your MapQuest directions, phone numbers, addresses, and more. These days, digital documents are all that you need, and they can go right on your phone. This includes boarding passes, hotel reservations, and more.
5. Over-the-Top Toiletry Bags
If you have a fancy toiletry bag with various pockets, pouches, and compartments, it’s likely that it will only take up space. Placing all of your toiletries and cosmetics in a plastic bag will help you organize your items and save you space. This can also help you prevent accidents and messes from damaging the rest of your stuff – for instance, toothpaste explosions and more.
This is the kind of travel gear that most hotels will offer you free of charge during your stay, so think twice about what kind of toiletries you should bring with you.