Feeling down? Plan a vacation. Not only will getting away makes you feel better, but planning and anticipating the vacation will also give you a happiness boost.
When we imagine the most blissful part of our vacation, we picture ourselves sipping coconut cocktails at a barefoot bar or stumbling across an enchanting waterfall.
But the happiest part of your vacation actually happens way before you ever step foot in your destination.
According to a 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, just planning or anticipating your trip can make you happier than actually taking it.
While all vacationers enjoyed pre-trip happiness, the study's authors found that people only experienced a boost in happiness post-vacation if their trip was relaxing. If their vacation was deemed "stressful" or "neutral," their post-trip happiness levels were comparable to those who hadn't taken a vacation at all.
Pre-trip happiness, however, is a different story entirely. The study found that all vacationers experienced a significant boost in happiness during the planning stages of the trip because, as the researchers suggest, the vacationers were looking forward to the good times ahead.