Vacationers happier, but mostly not happier after a holiday

Jeroen Nawijn, Miquelle Marchand, Ruut Veenhoven and Ad Vingerhoets
Applied Research in Quality Of Life (ARQOL), DOI: 10.1007/s11482-009-9091-9, online since 18-2-2010

The aim of this study was to obtain a greater insight into the association between vacations and happiness. We examined whether vacationers differ in happiness, compared to those not going on holiday, and if a holiday trip boosts posttrip happiness. These questions were addressed in a pre-test/post-test design study among 1,530 Dutch individuals. 974 vacationers answered questions about their happiness before and after a holiday trip. Vacationers reported a higher degree of pre-trip happiness, compared to non-vacationers, possibly because they are anticipating their holiday. Only a very relaxed holiday trip boosts vacationers happiness further after return. Generally, there is no difference between vacationers and non-vacationers post-trip happiness. The findings are explained in the light of set-point theory, need theory and comparison theory.

Keywords: Happiness . Holiday stress . Quality of life .Subjective well-being . Tourism

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