advertisement
Home » News » Vacation Unlikely to Improve Overall Happiness

Vacation Unlikely to Improve Overall Happiness

Most of us are happy as our vacation approaches. We look forward to a break and often believe the time away will cure all woes of the workplace.

New research does support the contention that vacationers tend to be happier than non-vacationers in the lead up to their break, but once they are back, there is very little difference between the two groups’ levels of happiness.

These findings by Jeroen Nawijn and his team from Erasmus University in Rotterdam are published online in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

Current research does suggest that vacations are associated with a number of positive feelings. Nawijn’s study sets out to answer four questions.

Firstly, are vacationers happier than non-vacationers? Secondly, does a trip boost happiness? Thirdly, if a trip does boost happiness, how long does this effect last? And lastly, what are the roles of length of time away and vacation stress?

The author assessed how vacations impact happiness among 1,530 Dutch adults, 974 of whom took a vacation during the study period. In particular, Nawijn looked at differences in happiness levels between vacationers and those not going on vacation, as well as whether a trip away boosts post-trip happiness.

Jeroen Nawijn found that those planning a vacation were happier than those not going away, and suggests that this may be due to their anticipation of the break.

Following a trip, there was no difference between vacationers’ and non-vacationers’ happiness, unless the time off was very relaxing, in which case the slightly increased happiness was particularly noticeable in the first two weeks back. The effect wore off completely after eight weeks.

The author explains that it is not surprising that trips do not have a prolonged effect on happiness, since most vacationers return to work or other daily tasks and therefore fall straight back into their normal routine fairly quickly.

Jeroen Nawijn concludes by looking at possible implications from three points of view. From an individual point of view, he suggests that people are likely to derive more happiness from two or more short breaks spread throughout the year, rather than having just a single longer vacation once a year.

From a policy perspective, in order for families to be able to stagger their trips throughout the year, the school system would need to become more flexible. And lastly, from a managerial point of view, the author would advise tourism managers to provide vacation products which are as stress-free as possible.

Source: Springer

Vacation Unlikely to Improve Overall Happiness

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Vacation Unlikely to Improve Overall Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/02/19/vacation-unlikely-to-improve-overall-happiness/11593.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.