We’ve all been there – you’re work-free and schedule-free, but everything seems bland and pointless. You can’t help but wonder how all that pre-vacation enthusiasm has evaporated when the time for fun has finally arrived. Researchers looking into the psychology of happiness have been asking this question, and they might have found some encouraging results.
The secret to a happy vacation
It turns out that the best way to feel happy on a vacation is to… schedule a lot of activities!
Wait, don’t run away screaming! As stressful as the word ‘schedule’ can be when thinking about vacations, a recent study at the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan (published in the Journal of Happiness Studies) has proven that there is a positive relationship between time management and happiness when it comes to your free time.
You already know why you should keep your hands off that laptop and ignore your work emails when you are on the beach; your vacation should be all about the fun. If you haven’t planned fun activities for your free time, you are basically wasting it (two weeks catching up on sleep is not useful and you don’t sleep 24/7).
How to make the most of your vacation
Pack your vacation with activities like day-trips, kayaking, water parks, self-organized ice-cream tasting and melon-cocktail preparation (it’s easy: remove the top of a melon, take out the seeds and pour a bottle of white wine inside. Let is rest in a fridge and in three hours it’s ready!). The actual activity doesn’t matter as long as you perceive it as fun and you have a few things scheduled every day.
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