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The Power of Vacation: Seven Essential Benefits

Do you remember the popular “Kokomo” song by The Beach Boys? Komomo for me is more than a place, it’s a state of mind. It’s the excitement of planning for, the anticipation of what will be, and a chance to enjoy some much needed time to relax and have lots of fun. It’s an invitation to get out of your comfort and meet new people, try new things, and explore new places that seduce you to discover all that life has to offer.

As you welcome the summer months ahead, what vacation plans have you made to relax, enjoy, rejuvenate, and celebrate life?

According to the U.S. Travel Association, “American workers let 768 million vacation days go unused in 2018,” even though research studies show vacations have many benefits, including: improving our well-being, reducing stress, anxiety, and burnout, boosting our happiness, and so much more.

Can you recall your last vacation? Hopefully this is a regular endeavor that conjures up many fun memories for you!

Growing up, I’d say our family camping trips were the most memorable vacations for me: enjoying the great outdoors, hiking, camp fires, and lots of family quality time. Now, married with kids, both my husband and I value the tradition of regular vacations and always have our yearly vacation trips planned, sprinkled with fun, impromptu trips throughout the year.

We take yearly vacation trips to see family, we also enjoy road trips, exploring new places, and jumping into new adventures.

  • Have you ever taken a road trip?

  • What are the ways you enjoy family and vacation?

  • Where was the last new place you visited?

  • When was the last time you took off on a spontaneous adventure?

What have been some of the benefits you’ve experienced as a result of your vacations? Maybe it was meeting people, finding a new favorite vacation spot, or tasting a cuisine you hadn’t heard of before.

In an article by Forbes, “Why Taking Vacation Time Could Save Your Life” “A recent study found that 26% of respondents had never taken two weeks of vacation at one time.” The article also stated that “an overwhelming majority of U.S. employees have shortened, postponed or canceled their vacation time.” Sadly, the U.S. is known as the “No vacation nation.” Are you a part of these devastating statistics?

Research has found that taking vacations can: Increase our mindfulness, improve our heart health, and reduce stress. (Forbes)

Here are seven additional benefits you can experience when you take your next vacation:

1. Improved overall well-being, such as your mental, emotional, and physical health

2. Strengthened relationships

3. Aide in your mental and emotional health by decreasing stress, anxiety, and burnout

4. Boosted happiness

5. Enhanced self-care

6. Inspired creativity

7. Increased energy and performance

When you think of these vacation benefits, what tops the list as the number one reason you go on vacation? Maybe you’re like me and appreciate the layers of blessings associated with a break from work and routine.

Vacations give us the freedom to focus on ourselves, our dreams, and adventures we enjoy. They give us perspective and opportunities to create new paths. I’ve had amazing great ideas while on vacation. When do you have your best ideas? During walks, in the shower, or on vacation?

  • What does creativity mean for you?

  • How can you benefit from being creative?

  • How can going on vacation help you be more creative in your next adventure?

I recently did a pre-marital counseling session with a couple who had just returned from vacation. They said their vacation was so much fun and brought them even closer together as a couple. It left them excited to plan for their next vacation.

As you explore your little Kokomo, what place comes to mind? What are you planning for and anticipating? A hut on a tropical island … A cabin in the mountains surrounded by snow … A cruise to the Caribbeans …

Or maybe it’s what you’ll do when you get there! Hiking, skiing, surfing, exploring the wild life, or taking a scenic drive along the coast …

Whether you vacation locally or in new terrain, don’t let anything keep you from the essential perks’ vacations bring: improved health, happiness, and relationships.

One last word of advice from The Beach Boys: Get there fast and take it slow!

And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27


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