Can Travel Boost Your Self-Confidence (And Your Kids Too)?

Can Travel Boost Your Self-Confidence (And Your Kid’s Too)?

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to flick our fingers and magically boost our self-esteem? If we are honest with ourselves, this world can beat us up and leave us with a depleted self-image. Since my family and I have started traveling more in 2023, I’ve wondered whether travel can boost our self-confidence.

In theory, I’d assume yes. After all, every time we tell someone we sold everything we had and moved into an RV, the overarching response has been, “Wow! That is so awesome for your family.”

Can travel boost your self-confidence?

As the conversations continue, the same theme always surfaces. They aren’t suggesting it’s “awesome” because of the out-of-the-box living, I think they are actually unknowingly suggesting it’s awesome because of the character development benefits traveling yields.

Where is that research? Is there data to prove that subconscious belief? I’ve been digging and today I want to tell you what experts say about HOW and WHY travel can boost your self-confidence.

Put on your nerd hat with me (although I like to think of it as my psychology degree finally coming in handy) and let’s prove the theory that “travel can boost your self-confidence” is true.


Can travel boost your self-confidence?

Is Travel Beneficial for Our Overall Health?

In short, yes! According to the Global Coalition of Aging in 2013, which conducted a meta-analysis study alongside the U.S. Travel Association, travel was defined as not only fun but also a health booster.

The study revealed a noteworthy finding:
👩🏻 Women who embark on two or more vacations annually have a considerably reduced risk of heart attacks compared to those who vacation less frequently, approximately once every six years.

👨🏻 Men who skip their annual getaways face a 20 percent higher risk of mortality and a 30 percent increased likelihood of developing heart disease.

Is boosting your health a direct correlation to your developing higher self-confidence? Not exactly. I kept digging, reading, and researching to see if this generally accepted belief that travel boosts our self-confidence holds weight.

😊 Travel is good for you because it causes happiness!

Not surprisingly, data reveals travel makes people happy! A Cornell University study that sought to define what brings more joy between money spent on DOING vs. money spent on HAVING (interesting read in and of itself), said that people even experience a direct increase in happiness from just planning a trip. That’s bonkers!

According to this study, approximately three days following a vacation, travelers express reduced anxiety levels, improved restfulness, and an overall uplifted mood.

This research emphasizes that the anticipation of forthcoming vacation yields more substantial happiness than looking forward to acquiring material possessions. In essence, the joys of overseas travel commence well before the actual journey begins.

😊 Travel is good for you because it reduces depression!

Sadly, today in our culture depression often remains a hushed issue, even though it’s a significant concern affecting millions of Americans. Excessive prescription of depression medication is not uncommon among physicians.

Fortunately, there are more wholesome alternatives to alleviate the despair that accompanies depression, and travel might be one of them. I found a study by the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin that shared a strong remedy.

Their findings indicate that women who take a minimum of two vacations annually face a lower risk of experiencing depression and chronic stress compared to those who vacation less frequently, at intervals exceeding two years. I love those stats!!


Can travel boost your self-confidence?

But Does Good Health and Happiness Automatically Boost Your Self-Confidence?

We’ve learned that traveling cause boosts your health, and happiness and reduces the likelihood of depression. But does travel boost your self-confidence?

What is self-confidence?

The term “self-confidence” is widely used outside of psychological research, yet its definition can be somewhat ambiguous.

I found multiple definitions of “self-confidence” but I liked the Psychology Dictionary Online definition:

“Self-confidence is an individual’s trust in their abilities, judgment, and their belief in successfully facing everyday challenges.”

If we adopt this definition of self-confidence, it’s evident how mastering the ability to trust one’s skills, plan effectively, make decisions, and conquer the challenges of a vacation can significantly boost self-confidence.


Can travel improve self-esteem

Secret Formula to Boost Your Self-Confidence (And What It Has To Do With Travel)

Travel presents a distinctive array of challenges that demand adaptability skills honed in real-life situations. So, if self-confidence is rooted in the trust of one’s abilities and judgments while overcoming challenges, it becomes clear how travel seamlessly aligns with these criteria.

✅ Expanding Your Comfort Zone

Traveling is a catalyst for pushing your boundaries and trying new experiences. Whether it’s savoring exotic cuisine, taking a daring leap off a cliff, or kayaking through unfamiliar waters, each adventure becomes a personal victory.

This newfound openness to life’s adventures transforms your mindset; instead of saying, “I can’t do it,” you’ll be asking, “When can I start?”

✅ Sharpening Your Decision-Making Skills

Indecisiveness is a universal struggle. However, travel obliges you to make choices. With your time, money, and effort invested in the journey, decisions become crucial. Opting for a destination and deciding on daily activities are empowering.

Making judgments and swift choices enhances your self-esteem as action takes precedence over hesitation and second-guessing.

✅ Fulfilling Life Experiences

Travel provides a fulfilling escape from the cycle of comparing your life to others’. It offers moments of relaxation, exploration, and education. Through these experiences, you cultivate a deeper sense of self and life’s purpose.

Furthermore, travel fosters self-awareness, reducing the urge to constantly compare your journey to others’.

✅ Discover Hidden Talents

People often fixate on their weaknesses, but the focus should shift to your strengths. Travel offers this chance.

Whether it’s conquering a mountain, lending a helping hand, or delving into photography, travel unveils hidden talents and passions. These newfound abilities persist long after your trip, allowing you to concentrate on your areas of expertise and potential.

✅ Adapting and Embracing Change

Travel instills adaptability, an essential skill for life’s unpredictable twists. Low self-esteem often triggers anxiety when plans deviate. During travel, unexpected factors like weather, traffic, or flight delays frequently demand flexibility.

These inconveniences become blessings, teaching you to navigate new routes and salvage your day when things stray from the blueprint. Travel endows you with the confidence to tackle unforeseen challenges with a resilient and adaptable spirit.

Source: Positive Psychology

Another Article You May Like: 29 Benefits of Traveling With Family: Exploring The United States


Ok, Now What? Is There a Type of Travel That Is Best To Boost Your Self-Confidence?

I’m so glad you asked! If your definition of travel includes simply walking to a neighbor’s house for dinner, although it will strengthen friendships and fill your tummy, it doesn’t quite produce the same self-confidence boosting benefits as planning, budgeting, and following through with a vacation.

what kind of travel boost self-confidence

Check out this list of travel ideas and see if any get you excited (and equally out of your comfort zone, choose that one!):

  1. Solo Travel: Traveling alone forces you to rely on yourself for decision-making and problem-solving, which can increase self-reliance and confidence.
  2. Adventure Destinations: Visiting adventurous places like hiking in the Himalayas, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, or trekking through the Amazon rainforest can challenge your limits and boost self-assurance.
  3. Cultural Immersion: Traveling to culturally rich destinations like Japan, India, or Morocco allows you to interact with locals, learn about different customs, and adapt to new environments, fostering cultural competence and self-confidence.
  4. Language Immersion: Travel to countries where you can immerse yourself in a foreign language and culture can help you build language skills and increase confidence in communication.
  5. Educational Trips: Enrolling in educational trips, such as culinary classes in France, photography tours in Iceland, or history-focused tours in Rome, provides opportunities to learn new skills and gain confidence in specific areas of interest.
  6. Volunteer Abroad: Volunteering abroad, whether in conservation projects in Africa, teaching English in Southeast Asia, or assisting with humanitarian efforts, can boost self-esteem through meaningful contributions to society.
  7. Personal Growth Retreats: Participating in personal growth retreats, mindfulness workshops, or yoga and meditation retreats in serene locations can enhance self-awareness and self-confidence.
  8. Solo Backpacking: Embarking on a solo backpacking journey, such as the Camino de Santiago in Spain or the Appalachian Trail in the United States, promotes self-sufficiency and resilience.
  9. Challenge Tours: Joining challenge tours like biking across a country, running marathons in different cities, or participating in extreme sports events can help overcome physical and mental barriers, boosting self-confidence.
  10. Historical Pilgrimages: Visiting historically significant places, such as Auschwitz in Poland or the Civil Rights Trail in the United States, can deepen your understanding of humanity and inspire personal growth.

Find any that peak your interest? I want to hear about it. I am rooting for you! Now that we’ve settled on how to help YOU grow your self-confidence, how can you take this magic and apply it to your kids. How can we help boost their self-confidence through travel? You guessed it, that’s up next.

Another Article You May Like: How Often Should You Take a Family Vacation (& How Long Should It Be)?


Can traveling help your kid's self-confidence?

How Can Travel Boost Your Kid’s Self-Confidence

Now that we’ve uncovered how travel can boost adults’ self-confidence, it’s natural to wonder if the same holds true for our kids. It’s a great question, and one I’ve pondered myself.

Raising neurodiverse children, I’ve spent countless years in and out of neuropsychologist offices. In fact, I was there just two days ago. Armed with my own Psychology degree, I’ve delved into the wealth of knowledge offered by these professionals, meticulously implementing their recommendations for my children.

Here are some of their pillars and how they apply to traveling with your kids:

  1. Independence: Travel exposes children to new and unfamiliar situations, allowing them to become more self-reliant as they learn to navigate airports, public transportation, and different environments.
  2. Problem-Solving: Encountering unexpected challenges during travel, such as language barriers or changing plans, encourages children to develop problem-solving skills and the confidence to overcome obstacles.
  3. Cultural Awareness: Exposure to diverse cultures fosters empathy, open-mindedness, and cultural awareness, which can boost a child’s self-confidence in social interactions and adaptability.
  4. Communication Skills: Travel often involves communicating with people from various backgrounds, improving a child’s interpersonal and communication skills, and boosting their confidence in social situations.
  5. Decision-Making: Children may have opportunities to make decisions while traveling, such as choosing activities or meals, which can enhance their decision-making skills and self-assurance.
  6. Resilience: Dealing with travel-related setbacks, like flight delays or unexpected changes in plans, helps children develop resilience and confidence in facing adversity.
  7. Experiential Learning: Learning through firsthand experiences, such as exploring historical sites or trying new foods, can increase a child’s self-confidence in their ability to acquire knowledge and adapt to new environments.
  8. Personal Growth: Travel often leads to personal growth, as children gain new experiences, learn about themselves, and develop a stronger sense of self-confidence.
  9. Family Bonding: Sharing travel experiences with family members can strengthen family bonds and provide a supportive environment for children to build self-confidence.

Even so, customizing travel experiences based on a child’s age, interests, and comfort level is crucial to ensure they enjoy positive experiences that bolster their self-confidence.

Some of these will yield immediate results require patience and YOUR OWN self-confidence that you are doing the right things. You got this.

Another Article You May Like: 5 Ways To Enhance Your Kids Social Skills On The Road


Conclusion: Can Travel Boost Your Self-Confidence (And Your Kid’s Too)?

So, can travel make you and your kid more confident? Yep, it sure can! When you go on adventures and try new things, you start believing in yourself more. And that’s a big part of being confident.

How can travel help you

Plus, you learn how to handle surprises and changes, which can be super helpful in life. But remember, it’s not just about any travel; it’s about the right kind of travel.

When you pick trips that fit your age, interests, and comfort, that’s when you really boost your self-confidence. So, go out there, explore, and watch your confidence grow!

Maybe we will see you out there!

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