AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

5 Reasons College Students Should Use Break Week to Break Away [Research]

Image: 5 Reasons to unplug during break week.

For adult learners, life can be hectic, and it may seem like you can never catch a break. Between work and school, you have a lot on your plate. However, research compiled by the U.S. Travel Association shows that clearing your plate every so often and taking a vacation has enormous benefits. With an impressive list of almost 30 references, the statistics from the article, “The Benefits are Everywhere: The Personal Benefits of Travel and Taking a Vacation,” might just inspire you to start packing a suitcase!

Let’s step away from the fact that, according to the travel association’s research, an annual vacation can cut a person’s risk of a heart attack by 50%, or that a vacation of only one or two days can lower your blood pressure, heart rate and levels of the stress hormone epinephrine. Instead let’s focus on what the research shows about why you should take a vacation to improve your time at work and at school.

1. “Travelers experience a 25% increase in performance on vigilance tests after returning from vacation – travelers 45 or older show a 50% increase in performance.”

This means that after giving your brain some quality R&R, your levels of alertness and attentiveness will improve. Translate that into the classroom or work environment and that means you are more focused. Think of the knowledge you’ll attain and the projects you’ll accomplish!

Related: 6 Travel Tips for Online Students

2. “Even the anticipation of vacation travel generates an increase in positive feelings about one’s life as a whole, family, economic situation, and health.”

What I love about happiness is that you can’t argue with it. Everything is better in life when you’re happy—even school or work. So even just planning a vacation, or counting down the days until you start one, can improve your mood.

3. Three out of four executives believe that vacations are necessary for them to prevent burnout (78%) or that vacations improve their personal job performance (75%).

If you trust anyone, it should be executives. They’ve made it to the top, and three-fourths of them find great value in taking vacations. If executives are doing it, you can too.

4. According to a study by American Express, more than a third of small-business owners say their best ideas – the ones that lead to business growth – come not at work but during their downtime.

You could be lying out by the pool ordering a drink equipped with a mini umbrella when the light bulb goes off above your head. Your best idea could be waiting for you at your next vacation destination, so don’t miss it.

Related: Top Survival Skills for Juggling Your Education and Career

5. You deserve it.

This last one doesn’t come from research at all. It’s just from me to you. You work hard, you study long hours, and you are bettering yourself and your future by attaining your degree. If a big vacation isn’t in the budget, take a road trip a few hours away and just escape for one night. The main point is to treat yourself and get away. You’ve earned it.