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7 Reasons Taking Vacations Together Actually Makes You Healthier

Photo: Maria Markevich / Shutterstock
couple smiling on the beach

Thinking of nixing your summer vacation because of a heavy workload or a demanding boss?

Most Americans lose an average of four vacation days per year, according to a survey conducted by the travel website Expedia. That means if all employed Americans forfeit four days, we're wasting 500 million unused vacation days annually!

Why? Expedia says that most people cancel due to work concerns, some find it difficult to coordinate family schedules, while others prefer to cash out their unused days instead.

RELATED: 7 Reasons People Who Travel A Lot Are More Likely To Be Successful

If you think that by staying home this summer you're helping your relationship, think again. Before you decide to sacrifice your annual getaway, consider the benefits of going on a couples' vacation.

Here are seven proven benefits of taking a vacation together, as a couple.

1. It boosts your happiness.

A summer getaway puts you in better moods — it's a fact.

Participants in a study published in the Journal of Applied Research in Quality of Life experienced an increase in happiness simply from planning a vacation. Plus, this elated state of mind lasted for an average of eight weeks.

2. It reduces the risk of heart disease in men.

That trip you're planning to the Hamptons is good for his heart, says science.

A study conducted by the State University of New York, Oswego found that middle-aged men who took frequent annual vacations had a reduced risk of death overall, especially those deaths attributed to coronary heart disease.

3. It improves women's mental health.

According to a study published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal, women who take frequent vacations are less likely to become tense, depressed, or tired. Moreover, these psychological benefits lead to increased quality of life and also improved work performance.

4. It improves marriage satisfaction.

The same study found that women who take vacations more frequently were more satisfied with their marriages. Those who didn't take frequent vacations reported experiencing negative impacts on time spent with their children or spouse. Time to pack your bags.

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5. It reduces stress levels at work.

Tired of him constantly complaining about his tough boss? He needs a break. Evidence shows that leisure pursuits such as taking vacations alleviated job stress levels, in a study of 900 lawyers, conducted by Canadian researchers Joudrey and Wallace.

6. It strengthens family bonds.

The family that travels together, stays together.

"Family vacations contribute positively to family bonding, communication, and solidarity," according to a study of international researchers led by Purdue University Xinran Lehto, which explored the positive impacts that vacations can have on families.

This is due to the time families spend together on vacation outside of their daily routines, making shared memories to last a lifetime.

7. It cultivates intimacy in your relationship.

According to research commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, those couples who travel together are "significantly more satisfied with their relationships, enjoying better sex and improved romance long after the trip ends."

In fact, the research found that taking even a weekend getaway was more likely to spark romance than giving small or large gifts. Lastly, we should note that not taking a vacation actually harms work productivity and the economy.

RELATED: Why I Travel To Cure My Broken Heart

Diana Marie Collins is a lawyer, writer, food blogger, and adjunct professor at the University of Scranton.

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