Taking Off to Calm Down

Americans are trying to beat the stress, the fares, the crowds, the chaos

While scores of people vowed to leave the country if their candidate lost the presidential election, few are actually following through on that threat. Travel does appear to be booming, however, for those seeking short-term stress relief after a long political season.

“People talk about wanting to get away this time of year for all sorts of reasons,” said Theresa Jackson of Enlightened Journeys Travel in the metropolitan New York City area. Jackson specializes in high-end travel to exclusive destinations.

Sober Vacations International books vacations for people trying to detox.

“Some, particularly those in the upper income levels, are making time for a ‘reset’ [right now]. I see people working incredibly hard and taking time for themselves in months other than the traditional vacation times,” she said.

Vacation Trends
Reset vacations are a new trend. The focus is soothing destinations, de-stressing amenities, and complete mind rest. With no sightseeing or schedules, these vacations are located at beaches, spas, and rural mountain resorts. Cellphone and computer use are extremely limited; Wi-Fi services are blocked in guest rooms and community areas.

These pricey travel experiences appeal to executives and high-earners. Those who can’t afford a full 10 days of “reset” can opt for shorter stays or fewer amenities.

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Related: Post-Election Stress Disorder: No Joke

“Wellness is a key factor in these reset vacations,” Jackson said. “People are seeking to reduce their stress and step away from the demands of work and other stressing factors.”

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Another type of reset vacation is non-alcoholic adventures. Sober Vacations International books sober vacations at beach resorts for 500+ people, appealing to those trying to get away from drinking to detox or because they have quit drinking completely.

Something for Everyone
Students are another group of travelers who are taking off now, usually for out-of-country destinations. Shaun Swartz, of GoBeyond Student Travel in Sarasota, Florida, says college students are often looking to expand their world experience.

[lz_bulleted_list title=”Health Benefits of Travel” source=””]Decreased risk of heart disease|Healthier aging|Reduced stress and depression[/lz_bulleted_list]

“The greater awareness of global issues has led many young travelers to ask themselves, ‘How can I travel with purpose?’ rather than opting for a traditional vacation,” he told LifeZette. High school students are stamping passports, too — with many taking a gap year before applying to college. They travel at this time of year due to lower costs and crowds, and often travel without a return date in mind.

“We’re really seeing an increase in the number of students traveling for both educational and community service opportunities,” Swartz said. “High school students are realizing the importance of community service when it comes to gaining a leg up during the college application process.”

Most Wonderful Time of the Year — for Travel
Travel also tends to be less expensive right now and does not involve children as often — opening up a range of destinations and purpose for a trip that is adult-focused.

Rudradeb Mitra is a travel entrepreneur who has lived in eight countries — including the U.S. — and who runs an online business called Culture. Most people he talks with are traveling to get out of the routine. Social confirmation is the second most-common reason, he said.

Related: Best Pet Travel Tips Ever

“People love to put pics on social media and have people like them,” he said. “It makes them feel important. The third highest reason is escape. For various reasons, often from childhood, some people cannot create bonds and relationships. They are traveling to escape from their current life.”

Many people gave a fourth reason: experiencing new things. Travel provokes learning and growing. Mitra found older adults often fall into this category.

Pat Barone, MCC, is a professional credentialed coach and author of the Own Every Bite! bodycentric re-education program for mindful and intuitive eating, who helps clients heal food addictions.

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