Apparently travel makes us happier than love.
Or at least, happier than a date out with our partner, having a child or even our own wedding!
Online hotel booking website Booking.com held a 17,000 person study in 17 countries and found that travel gives us a stronger spike in happiness than some the most important moments of our lives. A whopping 77 percent of those interviewed said that booking a vacation cheers them up.
Though it might seem surprising that this emotion overpowers solidifying your love, enjoying a night out or raising a child, take a moment to pause and think about the stress that comes with each of those events as well. Months of planning, attention to detail, worrying, being thrown into the deep end without any clear idea how things will go. On the other hand, with one click of a button we can plan a 10-day all-paid for trip to anywhere in the world we desire to visit. What’s better than that?
Booking a trip is like giving yourself a present. You signed up for something new. You completed an action and it’s going to be fun. You treated yo’self!
Of course the people who were likely to have taken this survey are people who were already visiting a travel website, but I like the idea that there are so many like minded people in the world. Travel is important! Even for our mental and emotional health.
In fact, it seems that this rush of emotion that we gain from travel isn’t just during the trip, but begins from the first moment we begin to plan, to the moment we book and all the way through the trip itself.
Actually, for many it’s the planning stage that gives us the most happiness. Three-fourths of the participants, that’s 72 percent, said they felt genuine euphoria even when they were simply researching where to go. Another 56 percent feels the best once the vacation is booked. Then of course you have the happy anticipation of the vacation up until you depart.
And yet, few Americans are taking advantage of this natural anti-depressant. Forty-one percent of all Americans didn’t use even one single vacation day in 2014. Read why at: Why Americans Don’t Travel
Italians, on the other hand, are living it up! Despite a continuing economic slump here in Europe, Europeans are still spending on travel, especially the Italians. According to Trainline, an independent retailer of train tickets based in Europe, Italians spent more on travel in 2016 than most.
Censuswide conducted the survey of 8,258 Europeans (2,022 in France, 2,001 in Germany, 2,017 in Italy and 2,218 in the UK) last month, and found that Italians clocked up the most trips in 2016, followed by the Germans, French and then Brits.
Though jobs security is slim and the economy sluggish, Italians still spend a total of €358.9 billion in 2016. That’s 6,953 euro per person in Italy. The Italians also took the most trips away, with an average of 5.4 holidays or short breaks per year. (How can you resist when you have long weekends and budget airlines?!) Germans took 3.8; the French 3.3 and the Brits took the least of all at 3.1 on average. Read: In Defense of the Weekend Trip
The most agreed upon reason participants gave for why they love to travel was to discover something new.
Obviously this extends to the culture and surroundings in general, but also food, sporting events and festivals. It seems the French, Germans and Italians were far more interested in seeing nature and scenery than Brits, with almost half giving this as a reason for traveling compared to just over a quarter of Brits.
Whatever your reason for going, it seems the important thing is to want to go. Remember, dreaming about a trip is just another way to live that travel life. Whether you’re still in the dreaming stage, researching or booking and waiting, travel is clearly a boon to our moods and mental health. After all, even just the idea of a trip makes us happy… maybe even more so than our own wedding!