Recent studies have shown that the positive effects of vacations tend to be both short and weak.**

Indeed, some people may even have trouble adjusting to the change in routine and experience separation anxiety from their work and family norms (leisure sickness).


– Shorter, more-frequent vacations: 3- to 4-day weekends, or Wednesday-to-Wednesday vacations.

– Return from a week-long vacation a day early, on Saturday, and use Sunday to decompress, re-enter.

– Take active holidays. Exercise = health and happiness.

– Savor the anticipation, cherish the post-vacation glow.

Research shows that anticipation and fond memories contribute almost as much to our contentment as the actual experience itself. Moment by moment the effect is less. But the cumulative impact is greater since it is spread over a much longer time frame.

Closing quotes:

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” — Milton Berle

“A vacation is like love—anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort and remembered with nostalgia” — Anonymous

“I envy people who can just look at a sunset. I wonder how you can shoot it. There is nothing more grotesque to me than a vacation.” — Dustin Hoffman

** Jeroen Nawijin, NHTV Breda University, Netherlands; Philip Pearce, James Cook University, Australia; Ad Vingerhoets, quality of life expert, Tilburg University, Netherlands