What does Science Say About Making The Most Of Your Vacation

In today’s fast-paced world, finding the time to even book a holiday may be a challenge. The world has never been smaller, and traveling has never been more accessible, yet we still manage to struggle with enjoying it. We limit our days of lounging in the sun at about ten every 365 days, and even then we don’t manage to use them to their fullest, and often come back from our vacation wanting more, having just started enjoying ourselves on the last day. Before you head out to enjoy some summer sun this year, here are a few insights on what science says are the best ways to boost your vacation time.

What does Science Say About Making The Most Of Your Vacation

Revel in the planning stage

One study has found that those who go on vacation are happier than those who don’t. Not much of a surprise there. However, much of the happiness derives from the planning itself. During your busy year, you find comfort in the knowledge that you will at some point immerse your feet in sand, which helps you get through the gloomy days. In order to maximize this effect, plan your vacation well in advance, and remind yourself of the joy that awaits you whenever you feel work is starting to get to you.

Ordinary pleasures vs. Once in a lifetime events

Happiness lies in the small things. In fact, more frequent small pleasures lead to more happiness, than a huge happy event once a year. In other words, don’t plan to spend a month at the seaside in three years’ time. Plan on having a vacation every once in a while, as this will boost your energy and happiness levels more. Go for the big event as well, of course, but don’t forget to treat yourself to small pleasures along the way.

What does Science Say About Making The Most Of Your Vacation

Treat yourself

Going on holiday is not supposed to be about being frugal, but neither is it about breaking the bank. In other words, don’t deny yourself a splurge. Find a great all inclusive deal that is also affordable, and don’t obsess about the costs. Remember that your end goal is to have fun on this trip, and if you count the pennies all the way home, you will most likely have ruined the experience for both yourself, and everyone around you as well.

Do what makes you happy

While you are on vacation, remember to do the things you enjoy, be it eating great food, dancing the night away, or running every morning. You don’t need to forget about all your enjoyable habits while away. In fact, you should focus on them in your new, relaxed state of mind more, and remember how good they make you feel. You will thus be able to find more enjoyment in them even when you return home.

Manage your workload

Going on vacation does not mean you have to not work. If you want to, you can still check your emails. Just make sure you are doing it because you want to, not because you feel you have to. If you feel you are forced to work on vacation, you will not enjoy any of it. However, if you feel you are managing your own time, and choosing to put in 15 minutes of emails every evening, feel free to do it. Don’t hold yourself back from the things you want to do, just because you feel you should not work on holiday.

Ease back into the everyday

Don’t make your final night the best night of the trip. By all means, make it as enjoyable as you can, but if you go straight from the beach back to the office, you will make the transition worse. If you feel the need to, add in one extra day between the trip and going back to work. That way, you will have the time to decompress, get some things done, and ease yourself back into working mode.

Don’t put too much pressure on your holiday – you are relaxing, aren’t you? Don’t expect your mood to change the minute you hit the beach, if you have not had enough sleep, and if you are thinking about the pile of work that awaits when you do get back home. Remember that happiness is ultimately a state of mind, and that you are in control of that state.

Categories: Travel