6 Easy Ways to Get More Enjoyment from Your Trips

I’ve shared this before but it really bears repeating — the best advice comes down to: spend time planning vacations, take more trips, work while you’re gone, and experience new and unusual things.

  1. Planning vacations contributes more to your happiness than actually taking them. You may need to go on vacation to justify all of the planning time.

  2. You get all of your relaxation benefits on the trip itself, but don’t expect to be relaxed when you get back. We quickly snap back into the stress of daily life, sans any benefit from the vacation. Go in knowing you’ll enjoy yourself while you’re gone, but don’t set the bar for “needing a vacation” that you expect to be reset, relaxed, and in a different place with work upon your return.

  3. Being on vacation can actually be stressful. We put pressure on ourselves to enjoy, quickly, in a compressed period of time. After all, unless you travel frequently, you only get one shot per given period of time and you have to make the most of it.

    So take more trips. Don’t make them one-shot deals. Avoid the stress where each trip has to be perfect. Don’t try to do everything, it’s better to leave some sites unvisited and have some experiences left for the future. Leave yourself longing for more.

  4. People actually enjoy trips more when they’re interrupted by real time, as counterintuitive as it seems. Many short trips get interrupted by returning to work in between. For longer trips consider staying connected.

  5. Look for intense or unusual experiences, things you’ll remember specifically. You’ll get more lingering value out of the trip that way than just a general sense that you must have been relaxed but where did the relaxation go?

  6. Make travel part of the trip. And since planning contributes to happiness spend time working through contingencies so you know how you’ll handle things like missed connections along the way.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Related to #6: speaking from recent experience, don’t underestimate the cost of rail transport in Japan! A short day trip to Hakone from Tokyo proved to have a cost breakdown roughly 80% transportation, 20% other; and a time breakdown of roughly 60% transportation, 40% other.(Granted, some of the modes of transport were scenic, like cablecar. 🙂

  2. #3 is something that I only have miles/points to thank for. When paying retail price and flying in Y, there was more urgency to ‘make it count’. Now with the knowledge that I can continuously generate miles, I’ll happily fly to a single destination for a week and not feel the urge to see 5 countries in 4 days like we used to.

  3. Good advice-I have seen #1 pop up in various happiness studies. Seemingly, it makes sense to plan in advance.

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