When is the last time you booked a flight or gassed up the car for a road trip to explore somewhere new? With spring break season upon us, one thing is certain – travel is a surefire cure for a case of cabin fever after a long and harsh winter season. Wondering if you should go ahead and plan that trip this year? All signs point to yes.

Travel is something the Boomers and Millennials have in common. According to a recent AARP study about travel, both generations are fond of travel opportunities and have at least one excursion planned in the next 12 months. While Boomers tend to focus on trips to mark things off their bucket list, Millennials choose to travel to explore or celebrate a milestone. In either case, travel offers plenty of benefits for all ages.

Build Flexibility and Critical Thinking

Travel, whether domestic or abroad, gets us out of our comfort zones and requires new thinking skills. You may have to learn a new mass transit system when you visit a new city or patiently handle when your luggage ends up miles away from where you land. In either case, travel encourages flexibility and critical thinking we may not normally use in our routine days.

Increase Empathy

Seeing how other people live, in other parts of the country or world, can go a long way when it comes to building empathy. Travel teaches us that we are all quite similar, but that different issues affect different people in new ways. When you travel, you get to meet people you wouldn’t in your normal day-to-day life, and that can change your perspective in a good way.

Exercise Opportunities

Traveling can give us more opportunities to get our steps in. Even a relaxing beach vacation often requires moving a bit more than in our life back home. Up the ante by signing up for a walking or biking tour of the city you will be visiting.

New Social Connections

Finally, travel gives people of all ages the chance to make a new friend or two. Whether you strike up a conversation with a neighbor during yoga class or have dinner with the couple at the next table, you are sure to strengthen social skills and interaction while traveling.

Do you like to travel? We’d love to hear stories about why you make travel a priority in your life. Submit your story to us here at Open Book Open Hearts and you could be published on our site. Bon Voyage!