Lonely Planet Writer

Did you know? There are 6 ways travel can improve your personality

Travel is something we often feel compelled to do or at the very least fantasize about doing it. We link it to adventure, escape, relaxation, and soul-searching. Whatever notions we might have about the transformative power of long-term travelling, it turns out we’re not actually too far from the truth!


A number of studies suggest that long-term travel is beneficial to your personality and can actually improve you as a person. Here are six findings that prove that travel makes you a better person!

1 More Trusting

A study carried out by William Maddux in the Academy of Management Journal discovered that people who travelled to different countries for extended periods of time became more trusting in others as a consequence. Speaking to Buzzfeed life in September of last year, Maddux said, “The more foreign countries people travel to, the more their sense of generalized trust increases.”


2 More open to new things

Travel opens you up to new experiences and things you would normally never try or engage in, and according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it trickles back into your normal everyday life. The study connects this to meeting new people, suggesting that meeting new people while travelling expands your horizons, making you actively seek out new experiences when you return to your day to day.

US citizens abroad became a more common sight in 2015.
Image by Sonny Abesamis / CC BY 2.0

3 Teaches you to solve problems

As part of the same study carried out on German students by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the researchers tested students to see how they compared with students who had been travelling when it came to a computer task. The students who had travelled or lived abroad were 20% more likely to better solve the task than the other students, which made the researchers believe that being abroad for an extended period of time allows you to think outside the box and see multiple outcomes or solutions to problems.

4 Humbles you

One of the other interesting discoveries by the same study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, was that the students who returned from different countries were humbler than the ones who hadn’t left the country. The researchers attributed this to the student’s coming in contact with something vast and different which gave them perspective of their own lives and achievements.


5 It makes you happier

A study by the ingenious title Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases, finds that people who are ‘anticipating’ a good experience are extremely happy, even happier than if they’re anticipating a more concrete thing, such as money or a purchase. Just booking the holiday, let alone going on it will make you happier.


6 You’re more productive in your day to day

The US travel association, which earlier this year brought us studies about how millennials have travel guilt, and how Americans don’t take enough holidays, suggests that people who take all their holiday days have a 6.5% of being promoted in their job. This is because taking breaks makes people more productive.