Have you ever noticed how you can look forward to a vacation for months and months, and when it finally comes, it feels like it’s over in an instant?
I love to travel, and in my opinion, anticipating a vacation is half the fun of actually taking a vacation. I usually have two or three trips on my calendar at any given time, because having trip to look forward to makes me happy.
Sound strange? It’s actually been proven that people are happier when planning or anticipating a vacation. In a 32-week study, researchers from the Netherlands measured the effect that vacations had on overall happiness and how long it lasted among 1,530 Dutch adults. Of the study group, 974 of the participants vacationed during the weeks-long program.
Here ‘s a brief recap of what they learned. If you ask me, it’s reason enough to get that next vacation on your calendar!
- People experienced the biggest increase in happiness when simply planning the vacation
- You don’t have to take a long trip to benefit; even a short trip will boost your level of happiness.
- Those who took a “relaxing” vacation were most apt to have a higher level of happiness after their vacation
- A positive vacation can boost energy and reduce stress
- The happiest people planned out their vacation well in advance; pre-planning eliminated stress
- The happiness effect of vacation lasted for eight weeks
- Since the largest boost of happiness comes from planning the vacation, so having more vacations to plan is a good thing; instead of a two-week trip, for example, take two one-week trips
As if I needed a reason to plan another vacation, I now have seven! It’s time to take another look at my calendar and see where I can squeeze in another trip or two. After all, I am a firm believer in the saying, Do What Makes You Happy. How about you?