January 9, 2020

Three Benefits (and 7 Tips!) for Travel

By: Balch Hotel

Three Benefits (and 7 Tips!) for Travel

Guest Article by Henry Moore of FitWellTraveler.com

There are so many reasons to hit the road, not the least of which is having the opportunity to see new sights. But travel does so much more than expand your worldview.

Let’s take a look at three of the lesser-known benefits of traveling, with tips on how to take a vacation without succumbing to the stress of it all.

Travel makes you smarter. According to CBS Los Angeles, one of the benefits of travel is improving your cognitive functions. Whether you’re learning a new language or immersing yourself in a foreign culture (even within the borders of your state or country), your brain is stimulated from the moment you arrive.

Travel improves your mental health. If you find yourself down in the dumps when the clocks fall back each year, you’re not alone.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects millions of people and causes episodic depression due to lack of sunlight. Traveling can help thwart many of the symptoms of SAD by giving you something new to look forward to.

Plus, if you vacation on the east edge of the Gorge, you’re more likely to see the sun. Dufur boasts 300 days of sunshine a year! (Just another reason to #DoItInDufur)

Travel decreases your health risks. There’s evidence to suggest that traveling can reduce a person’s risk of heart attack and lead to greater long-term well-being versus similarly priced spending on goods or services. TripAdvisor reports that taking a vacation can help you catch up on sleep, offering short- and long-term health benefits.

While traveling offers these paybacks and more, it can also create stress, especially in winter if you don’t take a few preventative measures to ensure a blissful bon voyage.

Here are 7 tips to make traveling easier, so your trip is successful.

  • Look ahead. Last-minute trips can certainly be fun; however, planning several months in advance and booking directly will help you get a better price on flights, accommodations, and attractions, which will lower your stress about funding your trip.
  • Leave the itinerary at home. If there are certain events or locales that you plan to visit, absolutely make time for those. But leave the rest of your wandering up to whim and wonder. Don’t miss an opportunity for an interesting side stop because of an inflexible timeline.
  • Prepare your car. If you’re taking a road trip, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle checked before heading out, including tires, brakes, and oil levels. Also review your car insurance coverage. For a prolonged road trip, you may want comprehensive coverage in case your car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by poor weather.
  • Check your guilt at the door. If you’re planning a romantic vacation with just you and your partner, communicate this information to your children – or extended family – well in advance. Licensed marriage counselors Evelyn and Paul Moschette explain that vacationing actually strengthens relationships by allowing a couple to have more undivided time together. Don’t feel badly for missing events back home, since you are setting a positive example by placing the focus on your relationship.
  • Pack based on priorities. While packing for your trip, avoid the temptation to bring items you probably won’t need. For instance, if you are going to the country, you likely won’t have any use for designer dresses.
  • Instead, choose items that will fold into your experience. Comfortable shoes, appropriate clothing, toiletries, and medication should top your list. You will not only have fewer things to keep track of, but you’ll have more room in your suitcase to bring back mementos of your extraordinary excursion.
  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Perhaps most importantly, learn to let go of the little things that can cause stress. Missing luggage, unfamiliar traffic, crying kids, and travel delays are all stressors that don’t have to trigger unpleasant feelings.

At the end of the day, if you’ve made it safely to your destination, everything else can be rectified. Missed items can be bought, and new arrangements made. Remember, this is your adventure, and half the fun is forgetting to freak out over the frivolous.


Henry Moore is a guest blogger and patron of the Balch Hotel. He believes travel can change you, and good health preserves you. He combines both in his work at FitWellTraveler.com

Getaway time? Seasonal Enticement

To entice you to make the trek, we’re extending our Holiday Getaway Special through January. Book one night, get the second half off. Call us to book directly for this special deal. 541.467.2277 Booking online? Use promo code: HOLIDAY2019 (Not valid with other offers.)

Balch Bistro is open for dinner by reservation. Email us your dinner plans or call: 541.467.2277. Or let us know when you book your reservation.

The magic is closer than you think! 

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40 South Heimrich, Dufur, OR 97021, United States  
P: (541) 467-2277  
E: info@balchhotel.com