Going on the trip is the fun part, right? Well, I would also argue that planning the trip can be just as much fun. In fact, I read a New York Times article a few years ago that always stuck with me. It’s based on a study they did in the Netherlands on the effects vacations, and vacation planning, had on peoples’ happiness. Their findings revealed that the most vacation happiness came from what they called “vacation anticipation.” Vacation anticipation is just as it sounds: the excitement of actually going on the trip.
After the vacation, even if they were truly relaxed on the trip, their happiness levels resumed to a baseline happiness after about two weeks. This means that the actual anticipation of the trip was bringing more happiness than after they got home! Their recommendation after these findings was to plan small trips throughout the year, instead of just one large one, to increase your vacation anticipation happiness year-round! (You can read the whole article here. If you really want to read the entire science report, here’s the actual study.)