We Like Anticipating Vacation Better Than Vacationing

Study shows that we're happier before we get on that plane
By Jeremy Wagner,  Newser User
Posted Feb 19, 2010 4:51 PM CST
We Like Anticipating Vacation Better Than Vacationing
Would we rather dream about being there than be there?   (©04deveni)

When booking your next holiday, you might want to schedule it several months into the future—according to a new study, we're happiest when we're anticipating vacation...not actually on it. Dutch researchers looked at 1,530 people, 974 of whom went on a trip. While it's no big surprise that trip-anticipators were more content than those who hadn't planned a getaway, the trip-takers reported being happiest in the lead-up to their trip.

And once those vacationers were back, they were no more likely to feel lingering happiness than those who hadn't gone away at all. The only exception, notes Time, were those who took what the researchers called a "very relaxed holiday trip," but that afterglow faded in about two weeks. The findings suggest that it might be more beneficial to take several short holidays throughout the year, rather than one long trip.
(Read more vacation stories.)

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