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Ever heard the old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” It’s true, albeit with a crucial addendum: “All work and no play doesn’t do Jill any good either.” There are many ways to get ahead in life, but sacrificing leisure isn’t one of them. Here’s why:

  • Keeping your nose to the grindstone for too long can stress your heart, mind, and nervous system beyond their capacity to repair themselves. We all need a little down time to refresh body and spirit.
  • Travel supercharges your talents and abilities, according to US News. You’ll return to your regular tasks with new energy, new insights, and new motivation to excel. That’s a winning formula for any career.
  • Those who travel abroad are more likely to enjoy higher incomes and levels of education, according to research conducted for the US Travel Association and reported by the BBC. Correlation doesn’t equal causation, of course, but the parallels provide ample food for thought.
  • Travel works its magic with amazing speed. Studies show that 89% of travelers enjoy less stress and more happiness within a day or two of beginning a getaway, according to Forbes. It seems that slowing down offers speedy benefits.
  • Taking a few days off can benefit your professional and personal life by bringing you into contact with people who share your interests. There’s another old saying: “It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference.” Vacationing can boost your networking efforts beyond measure, all while enabling you to have a great time.
  • A vacation can help to heal your soul after a down time in your life. It even offers benefits for people in recovery from substance abuse problems. It does so by reducing stress and removing triggers like familiar places and people from your environment.
  • Travel can create the perfect backdrop for healthy exercise such as hiking, walking, camping, and swimming. Are you a dog owner? If so, then imagine how much fun you and your canine companion can have enjoying invigorating physical activities together. The wide range of outdoor-oriented venues across the world means you can tailor your trip to your level of fitness.

Improved health, renewed mental energies, valuable personal contacts – who knew that something so fun could also offer so many real-world advantages? Taking time off really is a gateway to a better you. Of course, planning your trip wisely is important for ensuring you get the maximum return on your investment. Here are some travel tips to keep in mind:

  • Leave expensive jewelry and other valuables at home. Not only will this foil thieves’ plans, it will give you
    one less thing to worry about.
  • Traveling overseas? If so, then check with the State Department before leaving the country for applicable security alerts.
  • Look for pet-friendly lodging prior to setting out and make your reservations early if you want to bring
    your dog with you. This will help you avoid the hassles of trying to find a suitable place when you’re tired at the end of the day.
  • Have a friend or family member check on your home from time to time while you’re gone. This will put your mind at ease and free you to focus on having fun.
  • Be polite but discreet when dealing with strangers. There’s no shame in saying “thanks but no thanks” to
    unwanted offers.
  • Last but by no means least, enjoy yourself! That’s what vacations are all about.

You work hard. Now reward yourself with a well-deserved break. You’ll return home a better person for the experience. Happy travels.