Getting the Most Out of a Vacation

A friend of mine was talking recently about the phenomenon that makes us enjoy the act of preparing for a vacation more than the vacation itself. I knew what she was talking about, and readily agreed, but at the time, I didn't realize it was a proven thing! This New York Times article details why anticipating a vacation gives us more happiness and joy than the actual vacation itself.

"The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip. What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year. If you have a two week holiday you can split it up and take two one week holidays."

I am in full-on preparation mode for our upcoming trips. Coco and I go to Ibiza in a few weeks and then to the States in June. I'm busily washing Coco's travel cot and its bedding, preparing summer clothing and we even got a new Maclaren buggy that folds for traveling. I'm having a great time anticipating these trips. And now that I've read the article, I don't feel the usual pressure to have an absolutely amazing time while I'm away. In the past, I've always felt like I failed somehow when I found myself on my long-awaited vacation and not having the best time of my entire life. Knowing that it's normal to get more actual happiness out of the anticipation period before the vacation than the vacation itself is comforting somehow. But isn't it just bizarre?! Do you agree with the article? I agree with it, but it definitely seems wrong somehow! ;)

(Photo via Pinterest)


  1. Maybe it is better not to expect so much from a holiday and get less excited with the preparation so you can be surprised with the holiday itself :) Reverse Psicology :)Karina Kuhn

  2. Hmm not sure I agree with this one! I used to be like this, but since doing our big year-long cycle trip and meandering aimlessly for three months afterwards before settling here, I'm ruined. The thought of organising a holiday puts me off going on one, and so we don't go away nearly enough! If someone else can do it all for me and I just have to mindlessly jump in a plane/train. then that is my idea of an awesome holiday!

    1. I agree with you on the planning aspect. Groan! But, the anticipation factor is huge for me. :)


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