You’ve got about one month left, people — one month to plan, pay for, and embark on that last-minute vacation.
The question is: should you?
I’m not being facetious. Not all vacations are built the same. Some are truly relaxing. Others are more like side jobs that end with you returning to your regular job and a to-do list that’s grown by leaps and bounds since you departed. Which makes you wonder if leaving was such a great idea in the first place.
How can you ensure that your trip will be the former kind and not the latter? Fast Company has published nine tips for foolproof vacations, including this girthy bit of wisdom: you’re better off choosing quantity over quality.
A once-in-a-lifetime trip, like a month in New Zealand, would be amazing. But the “once-in-a-lifetime” aspect of such vacations limits their overall contribution to happiness. Research increasingly finds that we return to previous happiness levels fairly quickly (we spend life on the “hedonic treadmill”), and so smaller pleasures experienced frequently contribute more to overall well-being than major but less infrequent ones. Another study found that the health and wellness benefits of a vacation peaked at about eight days in. So look for already-shortened workweeks for getaways so you can plan several eight-day vacations (weekend plus workweek plus weekend) in a year for the price of three to four vacation days a pop.
Apart from the bit about “smaller pleasures”, it’s advice straight out of the Size Queens’ Playbook. Which is hopefully the title of Bradley Cooper’s next movie.