Science Says Travel Actually May Make You Smarter

Here’s one more reason to book your next vacation now. Research suggests that travel may actually make you smarter in a few surprising ways.

According to Dr. Thibaud Gruber, an author of a study examining the relationship between travel and intelligence in chimpanzees, exploring new places expands your sense of reality. Soaking up new experiences literally helps you think in new ways and imagine new solutions to problems.

Another study showed that retirees who travel have livelier minds – those who traveled showed 75 percent higher rates of mental stimulation than those who didn’t travel. In addition, exploring places with foreign languages (or even just different accents) can increase your attention span and memory. Research also suggests that regular travelers benefit from increased creativity as a result of experiencing new tastes, smells and sights that create new neuropathways in the brain.

Finally, anyone who has ever traveled overseas or even to a new part of the country knows that travel can sometimes be overwhelming and make you feel vulnerable. This vulnerability is actually the result of being thrown out of your comfort zone and having to learn to adapt to new situations. The more you challenge yourself through travel, the quicker you’ll be to solve problems and trust your instinct.

Sounds like a great excuse to use up all those vacation days.