After counting down the days—nay, weeks—to that Caribbean getaway, resuming day-to-day life can bring about some serious post-vacation blues. So what’s the point of vacation if the happiness effects are so short-lived? According to researchers, there are a few ways to prolong your trip’s happiness benefits.

For starters, make the most out of the first couple of days (we suggest splurging on a swanky hotel for a night or booking that ocean-view spa treatment). The reason? The beginning of a vacation is often the most memorable, so starting it with a bang will create your strongest, happiest vacation memories. One happiness researcher also says maxing out your levels of fun on the final day of your vacation can also be beneficial in the long term. “Going out with a bang, going on the hot air balloon or whatever on the last day of the trip, could also be a good strategy for maximizing reminiscence,” said Dr. Margaret Campbell, a happiness researcher at the University of Colorado.

Enjoy the anticipation leading up to your vacation and then enjoy talking about it when you return. This allows you to savor the satisfaction you’ve received from making such a big-ticket purchase. What are some other ways you maximize your vacation happiness?



Science of Us: How to Maximize Your Vacation Happiness