How Travel Broadens the Mind


It’s true: travel does broaden the mind and enrich our lives with new experiences. Whether you’re a college student abroad or a tourist on holiday, you can reap the educational benefits of travel, according to a study forthcoming in the Journal of Travel Research:

Empirical evidence about the educational outcomes of travel is scattered across many fields of study. This paper reviews the literature on the educational benefits of travel, beginning with the literature on study abroad. Learning outcomes have been found from the travel portion of the study experience, and some research has found that out-of-class experiences were the most impactful portion of study abroad. Personal growth, increase in life skills, and knowledge also result from independent international travel, as well as “objectiveless” travel. A few studies have focused on adults and sJTR_72ppiRGB_150pixWeniors, but the research primarily has focused on young adults and college students. After a review of the literature, numerous suggestions for future study are provided, including a focus on the educational outcomes of domestic travel, youth travel, and determining which travel experiences result in the most learning benefits.

The paper, “The Educational Benefits of Travel Experiences: A Literature Review” by Matthew J. Stone and James F. Petrick of Texas A&M University, is now available online in the Journal of Travel Research. Sign up for e-alerts to be notified about new articles and issues of JTR.

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