There are plenty of things that make us happy: Funny movies, ice cream, a good book. But research shows that travel brings people more happiness in life than anything else, even marriage and family. And it doesn’t matter if you book a luxury cruise or go on a road trip across the country — any kind of travel can boost those endorphins!
So, how exactly how does traveling increase happiness? Let’s take a look.
17,000 People Were Surveyed
In 2016, Booking.com interviewed
more than 17,000 people for their thoughts on travel and leisure. Respondents, who came from 17 different countries, were quizzed on everything from the booking process to seeing their vacation accommodations for the first time.
Their answers were surprising, to say the least. The majority of respondents reported booking and planning travel more vital to their happiness than even getting married, having children, or landing a new job.
Travel Brings More Happiness Than Many Other Important Life Events
The most surprising part of the study is that so many people reported valuing travel far more than other significant events in their lives. For example, almost half (49 percent) of respondents said vacations brought them more joy than their wedding day, and 45 percent said the same about their engagement.
Others said that going on holiday is better than going on a date with their partner (51 percent), landing a job (50 percent), or having a baby (29 percent).
Most People Rank Travel Higher Than Material Goods
You’ve likely heard people say, “I’d rather travel than own fancy things.” Now, Booking.com’s research shows that travel actually does make you happier than having more stuff! As it turns out, most people value new experiences over having lots of material possessions.
A whopping 70 percent of survey respondents reported that going on vacation provides them with longer-lasting satisfaction than they get from buying things. In addition, 56 percent of respondents said they would rather go on vacation than buy new clothes, jewelry, or gadgets, and 48 percent rank travel over home improvements.
Planning: The Best Part Of Vacation?
Perhaps most surprising of all is the fact that 72 percent of respondents stated that just planning a trip makes them feel happier. And while travel isn’t often thought of as a cure for the blues — therapy, perhaps, or some vigorous exercise — 77 percent of respondents said that they book a holiday when they’re in need of an emotional boost.
Six out of ten respondents reported that simply reading hotel reviews and imagining their future trips brings them joy, while 80 percent felt more excited when looking at a map and choosing the places they’d like to see. Of course, shopping (a known stress-reliever
) was one of the most valued parts of holiday planning overall: More than half of respondents claimed that buying new clothes for their trip offered a huge boost.
Even though a shocking 56 percent of respondents stated that the planning phase is their favorite part of a vacation, the trip itself does
offer some high points. But the surprises don’t end. While you may expect that the best part of a trip would be lounging on the beach, eating in local restaurants, or finding souvenirs, Booking.com’s respondents stated that they most enjoy the moment they get to leave their office and head out on holiday
Others said the best part of vacation
is the first day of a holiday (87 percent) or seeing their accommodations for the first time (83 percent). From there, 70 percent said they have the best time on vacation when they can make themselves at home wherever they stay, with over two-thirds preferring to sleep in a hostel or villa and another third preferring an apartment or home with local residents.
Do you agree with the survey respondents? Or would you rank your marriage higher than your last trip abroad?