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Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Abstract : 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 post-trip 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.

Jeroen Nawijn1, 2, 3 , Miquelle A. Marchand4, Ruut Veenhoven1 and Ad J. Vingerhoets5
(1)  Faculty of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
(2)  Academy for Tourism, Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, the Netherlands
(3)  Mgr. Hopmansstraat 1, P.O. Box 3917, 4800 DX Breda, the Netherlands
(4)  CentERdata, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands
(5)  Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands