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Study: Planning Is The Happiest Part Of Your Vacation

Dorathy Gass

While most believe the best part of any vacation is actually being on vacation, a recent study has determined otherwise. According to the report, the weeks of planning and anticipating leading up to a trip, is apparently the happiest part of the entire process.

In fact, the study revealed that all those embarking on a vacation enjoyed the happiness around pre-trip excitement; while only people who had experienced a relaxing and fun trip, experienced happiness, post-vacation. If the travel experience was at all stressful, or if they experienced an ‘average’ vacation, their levels of happiness could actually be compared to those who had not traveled at all.

Still, the study went on to note, that all travelers went through a boost of happiness while planning and organizing their vacation, because the travellers were anticipating a fun vacation in the days/weeks/or months coming. As Jeroen Nawijn, lead author, notes, the lesson learnt here is that most individual’s happiness around a holiday stems from anticipation of taking the vacation.

Therefore, it should not be a shock to anyone, that according to a Travel Secrets survey, 69% of U.S. travellers tend to plan their trips, while at work; which helps to ease the stress of day-to-day routines, and gives them something to look forward to.
You know what else eases stress? Taking an actual vacation! According to another survey, conducted by HuffPost/YouGov, over 30% of U.S. workers did not use any of their vacation time in 2015; that is, literally, zero days off from their job. The reason? Taking the time off seemed to be too stressful.

Still, vacations are needed to re-vamp, relax, and for some, enjoy much-needed time with friends and family. If planning one big holiday is too much, in terms of days off and budget, perhaps a couple of mini-vacations spread throughout the year could be a nice alternative. You still get the fun of planning something (multiple times), and heading out somewhere, without missing too many consecutive days from work.

MSN reported that Nawijn also encourages travelers to really boost that pre-vacay excitement, by fully throwing yourself into the planning stage. Talk to friends, family, and colleagues at work about it, share it on your Twitter and Facebook accounts (hashtag – #happiness), and don’t hold back on your anticipation one bit. You never know what the future could bring, and a terrible or stressful vacation could bring you back to point A, when you return home.