The Science of a Good Vacation

Nice article in the Globe about vacation happiness research. We’re nearing the end of summer so here are some interesting tidbits to help maximize your holiday:

  • How long we take off probably counts for less than we think
  • Taking more short trips leaves us happier than taking a few long ones
  • We’re often happier planning a trip than actually taking it
  • How a trip ends matters more than how it begins
  • Who you’re with matters as much as where you go
  • If you want to remember a vacation vividly, do something during it that you’ve never done before
  • People are happiest thinking about the trip when they are anticipating it and a few days after it ends – the least happiest is when you’re on the trip (due to dealing with logistics of traveling plus the pressure to be enjoying yourselves.)
  • How you feel during intense moments of the trip (excitement, pain, contentment) is more memorable than the average overall feeling of the trip. So if you have to decided between extending your stay or using that extra hotel money for an exciting dinner or show – splurge for the intense experiences, not the extra days. Intense > duration.
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