No one ever needs an excuse for a holiday but there are some moments in life that call for a trip away. Whether you’ve reached a big milestone, are about to welcome a new life or have some extra time up your sleeve, a trip overseas might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
At the end of every year
You don’t have to save your holidays for those big life milestones. Regular breaks make you a more healthier and productive person, which is exactly why it’s essential to make time for a holiday every year. A report in the Harvard Business Review found using your annual leave could increase your happiness, lower your stress and boost the likelihood of a promotion at work. Simply put, when you’re not burnt out, your brain works better.
It doesn’t have to be a month-long jaunt. A study from the University of Rotterdam found that three- to six-day breaks could bring as much happiness as longer trips – sounds like a reason to add a few extra days to your Christmas break.
Where to go: Never been to the Red Centre? Or snorkelled with colourful fish in Ningaloo Reef? This is your opportunity to see more of Australia.
Before a baby
Pregnancy means your life is about to change forever – and for the next 18 years, your holidays will too. That’s why one in five Australian couples opt to squeeze in a final overseas hurrah before baby makes three. It’s the perfect time to book a resort-style trip, where you can laze by the pool, enjoy each other’s company and savour sleep-ins – while you still can.
Where to go: You probably won’t feel like spending more than eight hours on a plane in your second trimester so the easy hop to Fiji is ideal. Mocktail, anyone?
Most Australians are entitled to four weeks’ annual leave, which is great for short breaks but makes big, rambling trips across continents harder to arrange. If you find yourself at a natural career break, make the most of it by ticking off the journey that’s always been on your bucket list. Once you’re home, you’ll start your next role rejuvenated, with a fresh perspective and with your wanderlust quenched – for the moment. Plus, without the temptation to keep an eye on work-related emails while you’re exploring the world’s natural wonders, you’ll really be able to recharge.
Where to go: Head south – to South America, that is. Whether you want to marvel at the ruins of Machu Picchu at sunrise or recline on a stretch of sand at Copacabana, there’s plenty to do on this continent, no matter what your travel speed.
When you retire
The end of your working life deserves to be marked properly. Without work deadlines looming, this is the time to book the getaway that’s been present in your desk-side daydreams for years. Take your time to enjoy the journey, or you might even choose to spend an extended period abroad – one recent survey found that 81 per cent of expat retirees were happier after relocating overseas for a significant period of time.
Where to go: A walking pilgrimage along Spain’s Camino de Santiago can take you a few days or a few weeks, depending on how far you go and how often you stop to explore the villages along the way.