A group of psychologists and researchers have finally put their minds to something useful: how best to take a holiday.
The criteria? A great holiday is one that relaxes you, boosts your wellbeing and leaves you feeling recharged, creative and ready to return to the daily grind.
Most significantly, the study found that the best way to holiday was in shorter, more frequent bursts.
It measured the happiness of a number of holiday-goers by quizzing them before, during and after their break.
The study, titled Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday and first published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, measured the happiness of a number of holiday-goers by quizzing them before, during and after their break.
“People derive more happiness from two or more short breaks spread throughout the year, than from having just a single longer holiday once a year,” wrote the authors.
Author Jessica de Bloom suggested that just over a week is the optimum holiday length, as her study suggested that health and wellness peak on the 8th day before gradually declining.
“Holidays work more like sleep. You need regular recovery from work in order to stay healthy in the long run,” Dr. de Bloom said.
A few other discoveries – the anticipation you feel before a holiday can bring joy, while, “Generally, there is no difference between vacationers’ and non-vacationers’ post-trip happiness.”
So while you might have the time of your life, you can forget about that three-month Europe trip making you a happier person after the fact.