One Long Vacation vs. Many Short Trips

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Long vacations and short trips each have their pros and cons. On the one hand, long vacations can be exhausting, and the novelty of travel can wear thin by the end of them. On the other hand, taking a number of short trips may mean spending more time in transit, which can be stressful and require a lot of logistical work. The type of trip that will suit you best will depend on the particulars of your situation, but consider the following when deciding how to use your vacation time:

Taking more trips creates many lasting memories.

Psychologists have found that people tend to remember three things about an experience: the best things that happened to them, the worst things that happened to them, and the things that happened to them last. When it comes to vacation planning, this means that if you take fewer, shorter vacations, you’re likely to form more strong vacation memories. Each trip will have a best moment and a last moment that you can treasure.

Planning and remembering count too.

A study published in 2010 showed that many people enjoy planning a trip more than the trip itself. Some people also derive particular enjoyment from reminiscing about their trips. If this sounds like you, you should take shorter vacations. You’ll be able to plan more trips, and you’ll have plenty of trips about which to reminisce. However, if you find the logistics of trip planning unpleasant, you may want to plan as few vacations as possible.

The pleasure of a vacation tends to fade.

Psychologists have found that breaking up a pleasant experience with some unpleasantness can help people enjoy the pleasant experience more. Thus, taking a series of long weekends broken up by the routine of work may make each weekend trip especially satisfying. In fact, those who take longer vacations often find that they become bored and restless after weeks of sitting on the beach, even if that beach felt like heaven the day they arrived.

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