If you work your backside off all year, vacations are like an oasis in the desert. Before you actually catch your flight, board the cruise ship, or gas up to hit the road, there are a ton of things that you have to account for. Planning the perfect getaway can be a little stressful, but in the end, vacations help revitalize us.
There are so many decisions to make. Where should you go? What sights should you see? How much should you spend? Once you answer those questions, next comes one of the most important factors of a vacation. How long should it last?
Most of the time, it only makes sense that our wallets or purses help dictate how long we can stay on vacay. Some people opt for weekend getaways and they seem to do the trick, while others don't count anything that lasts less than a week as a vacation. However, a new study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies reveals just how long the perfect vacation should last.
If you've ever gone on a weekend getaway, you know that they are usually over before they get started. Even if you extend your vacation out to the five-day mark, you've likely noticed that it's time to go home just when the feeling of relaxation starts to hit you.
According to the study, in order to reach maximum relaxation, your vacations should last eight days. This amount of time will give you enough time to travel, unpack, settle in, and mentally switch out of work mode. Durig the study vacationers experienced positive effects like better and longer sleep within eight days, but experience degenerative effects during longer vacations.
Unfortunately, even though eight days appears to be the perfect amount of time to be away and decompress, there is a downside. Though health and wellness increased significantly during time off and peaked on the eighth day, upon returning to work, these levels dropped to baseline within the first week.
It's a shame that the vacation afterglow doesn't last long at all. Then again, that's the perfect reason to take more vacations.