Are you planning to forfeit your hard earned vacation days this summer, even though you desperately need a break? Times are tough, you say, this is no time to be thinking about travel. WRONG.

Think back over the last five years of your life. What immediately stands out? Wasn’t it that trip to Yosemite, the cooking school in Italy, the wild flowers in early spring in Provence or the kind merchant whose hand drawn map helped you find your way when you got lost in Bangkok?

Now, more than ever, you deserve a vacation. Here’s why…

1. Doctor’s Orders: Studies confirm what any traveler already knows: vacations are good for your health. Among the documented health benefits of leisure activities are a diminished risk of disease, an enhanced immune system, reduced obesity, and increased life expectancy.

In addition, roughly one-third of employed U.S. adults (34%) reported feeling better about their job and feeling more productive upon returning from vacation, according to’s 2010 International Vacation Deprivation Survey. Take that, Mr. Scrooge.

2. The News Not Fit To Print: Thanks to a daily barrage of gloom-and-doom news headlines, one could easily conclude that life stinks, people are rotten and the world outside your door is unsafe. However, when I scan my database of travel memories, I see a world where kindness is the rule –not the exception.

In Morocco, for example, only two months after 9/11, I repeatedly experienced the benevolence of strangers eager to express their outrage over the attacks. In another instance, an elderly Vermont couple invited our bicycle tour to camp overnight in their backyard, baked us brownies, and provided us access to their clothes washer and dryer.

Sure, stuff happens. But why not go anyway? Meet new people, exchange ideas, share a smile, and LIVE the good news not fit to print.

3. License to Play: Somewhere between the job, the bulging inbox, and the daily run around, it’s easy to forget that life is supposed to be FUN.

If an extended escape just isn’t in the cards this summer, take a vacation from the routine: go play soccer with the kids, take the bike for a spin, hit the hiking trails, or gather up some friends, crank up the tunes and party like you did before life got so serious. Bottom line: give yourself license to play.

Read more reasons to defy ‘logic’ this summer and JUST DO IT in my article ‘Summer Vacation - Just Do it’ published in the current issue of The Adventure Blogincluding how to leave the planning to the experts and book a just-show-up getaway with a trusted adventure travel company.


Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".