Science Has Figured Out Just How Long Our Vacations Should Be

published May 4, 2023
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A lot goes into planning a vacation, especially if you have kids. Where should you go? When can you take time off? What gets you the most bang for your buck? Should you do a lot of long weekends or a few big trips? All the running around and crazy planning can seem like it just isn’t worth it. Luckily, science is here to help!

A 2017 Travel and Leisure article shared some good news from the Journal of Happiness Studies: they’ve used the power of science to identify how long your vacation should last. In order to maximize relaxation vibes, your vacation should last eight days. That gives you enough time to unpack, settle in, unplug from work and actually relax. Vacationers showed positive effects like better and longer sleep after a week, with diminishing returns on vacations that lasted longer than eight days.

According to the study, there’s good news and bad news. “[Health and Wellness] increased quickly during vacation, peaked on the eighth vacation day and had rapidly returned to baseline level within the first week of work resumption.”

So the vacation afterglow doesn’t last forever, but you can still reap plenty of benefits and shouldn’t use it as an excuse to put of taking time off. Or as the surprisingly sassy folks over at Journal of Happiness Studies say, “Asking why we should keep going on vacations is …comparable to asking why we should go to sleep considering the fact that we get tired again.”

Hard to argue with that.

This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Science Has Figured Out Just How Long Our Vacations Should Be