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Travel Money, Travel Advice

Is Spending Money on Travel Worth It?

Many agree that travel broadens horizons, recharges people and creates unforgettable memories.

And, according to statistics, the average person in the UK spends up to approximately 10% of their annual income on holidays.

So, many people definitely see value in going abroad for pleasure.

However, defining that value more precisely can be trickier. So, the short answer to this question is... It depends (on a number of factors).

However, in this blog post we will help you get come up with a more definitive answer for yourself, by examining some of the key factors around the question.

The Benefits of Travel (& Associated Expenses)


Diagram of health benefits of a holiday

More rest

Everyday life can be very hard. They invariably take a toll on your body and mind.

Rest helps a lot. And so does visiting other countries and taking a break.

The health benefits of a holiday can overlap with the benefits or sleep and rest more generally, including:

  • Reduced cortisol levels

  • Reduced heart problems

  • Better cognitive performance


Of course, this refers to holidays where you're not replying to work emails the whole time...

Sunshine and Vitamin D

There are many benefits to getting more sunshine, especially for populations that lack it!

If you're reading this from the UK, it's likely you're not familiar with extended periods of sunlight. We do a lot of things well here, but sunny weather isn't one of them.

A lack of sunlight can have negative effects on your brain and body, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Some of the symptoms of SAD include:

  • A persistent low mood

  • Irritability

  • Feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day

  • Sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Poorer blood pressure regulation

  • Poor bone health (which is more of a problem as you age)


The Harvard Medical Center has also linked insufficient sunlight to poor bone health. As you age, weak bones make you more susceptible to serious injuries.

And the International Journal of Environmental Research notes that a lack of sunlight is a serious public health problem.

Young women doing yoga on beach

The Cost of Health

Studies have found that improved health is linked with improved income.

How exactly this link works is still debated, but what is known is that those that report 'less than good health' stand at:

  • 31% of the lowest income range

  • 22% in the middle income range

  • 12% in the highest income range

Health insurance is also obviously cheaper for healthier people, too. Your medical history and lifestyle are factors private health insurers consider calculating costs.


Personal Growth

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

– Andre Gide

In order to become the best version of yourself, you often first need to put yourself in environments to do so.

One of those may be a new location abroad. This can help you grow in a number ways, which could benefit you personally and even professionally.

Cultural Exposure

Whether it's for 1 week or 11, travelling can give you a new perspective on life, especially when it comes to learning from new cultures.

You might learn a novel way to solve a long standing problem simply by being exposed to a different way of thinking.

It can also help with your empathy, because if to have a good time abroad you'll probably need to empathise with the locals to a degree.

You could discover any of the following:


Image of people having fun on holiday

It's not what you know it's... yeah, we can all finish that sentence.

But did you know that you can network on holiday?

You don't need to show up to the hotel with business cards (if that's even still a thing in your industry). But you could meet your future business partner or boss by the pool or on the beach.

This meeting could have a huge positive impact on your career and/or life once you get back home. Plus it'll also be a great excuse for your next holiday.


Disadvantages of Travel

As great as travel is, there are still downsides to consider. Let's take a closer look at some of them.


It seems that everything is expensive nowadays, even cheap holidays cost more money nowadays.

The most recent official statistics show that annually, UK residents spend over £58.5 billion on travel (over £15 billion more than the previous year).

And the average cost for 9 days abroad from the UK is £1,904 per person.

Logistical Challenges

Unlike a popular saying, when going on an international trip, the destination is normally better, much better, than the journey.

But to get to your paradise, you sometimes have to go through hell... This can consist of:

  • Getting to the airport - Depending on where you live, and which airport you're flying from, the journey from your house to the airport can be a nightmare.

  • Getting the appropriate visa - Some countries further afield than Europe can have tricky Visa processes, even for tourists. If this process goes pear-shaped, it can lead to rearranged or cancelled flights, and stress!

  • Flying - For the short haul, budget airlines in particular, the level of comfort can be challenging, e.g., lack of leg room, overbooked flights, etc. For longer flights, missed connections due to delays can ruin a trip before it's really started.

  • Tourist destinations - It's been well documented that many locations globally are suffering from their own success. As a result they end up having too many people visiting. Sometimes visiting these locations, such as Venice, Barcelona, and Santorini can be unpleasant because the area just can't handle that amount of people.


Health and Safety

Doing as the Romans do, isn't always great advice, especially if you don't have the stomach (literally and physically) to deal with some of the customs and foods.

Besides the risk of food poisoning in some places, you might find some places are worse for your food intolerances. (Not that the UK is perfect - according to one report, it's the worst place to travel for gluten intolerance!)

There can also be an increased likelihood of accidents due to the nature of the activities involved in travel.

Culture Shock

Changing locations doesn't just mean your mobile phone provider welcoming you to the country. It often means a lot has changed.

Leaving your comfort zone can be gratifying, but it's definitely not comfortable. In some cases, it can lead to 'culture shock'. One well-known psychological model (Oberg, 1954), breaks it down into five stages:

1. Honeymoon stage
2. Distress (disorientation/disintegration) stage
3. Re-integration stage
4. Autonomy/ adjustment or integration stage
5. Independence (or biculturality) stage 

Whilst real culture shock is relatively rare, it can be serious. On the flip-side, mild culture shock can lead to personal growth.

Should You Spend Money on Travel?

The question of whether travel is worth it doesn't have a straightforward "yes" or "no" for everyone.

However, it's useful to consider different areas, such as health benefits, personal growth and even networking opportunities.

Travel isn't without its drawbacks, such as costs, logistical difficulties, health and safety concerns, and the potential for culture shock.

Ultimately, whether spending money on travel is worth it depends on individual circumstances, preferences, and priorities.

So, determining the value of travel is like travelling itself each individual must take their own journey to arrive at their conclusion.


Using a debit card on holiday

Save Money When Spending Abroad

So, If you do decide to travel abroad however, Currensea's card can offer rates and fees that are lower than the card you already use.

Wondering how this could be possible? Check out how our travel card works to find out more.