Which Is Better: Shorter or Longer Vacations?

WhichIsBetter

When it’s finally time to take a vacation, is it better to take a few long weekends or plan a bigger getaway? According to a recent Wall Street Journal study, longer vacations aren’t necessarily better for your well-being than shorter ones. If your goal is to create an ideal vacation—one that boosts your well-being, relieves the stress that can impact our health, and helps your recharge before returning to work—then it’s more than just the amount of time you spend away that you need to consider.

Vacations are like sleep. You need regular recovery from work in order to stay healthy, so those weekend getaways might be just what you need, especially if you’re only taking one long trip a year. But a long trip also gives you the time to really relax and disconnect. Both are necessary for your well-being.

How do you get the most out of your vacation, regardless of its length? Consider these tips:

Plan farther ahead and anticipate the trip – the days before and after a vacation are almost as important as the vacation itself. Anticipating the vacation is when you’re the most excited because anything is possible! The longer you spend being excited about getting away, the more time you spend reaping the benefits of vacationing.

See or do something new – for those who struggle to decide whether to go someplace new or return to somewhere they love, The Wall Street Journal reports that psychologists recommend a new experience every time—either by visiting a new place or trying a new activity. New memories have the greatest impact on your vacation happiness since similar trip to the same place tend to blend together over time.

Maximize the start and finish of your vacation – the beginning and end of a vacation will usually leave the greatest impression. You remember the feeling of walking into your luxury room for the first time and the last family meal you shared before catching your flight home, so try to make those days extra special.

Vacations improve our lives, and research proves they help keep us happy and healthy. Studies show that vacations reduce the risk of heart attacks and depression, relieve stress and can lead to improved work performance and creativity.

So, however you decide to take your vacation days, just be sure to take them all!

Take the #VacationPledge!

Will you use all of your vacation days this year? Do you have plans to jet off to someplace new and exotic, or are you headed back to relive the memories at an old family favorite? How are you going to use those last few days off? Whatever you...