What Holiday Should You Take

What Holiday Should You Take

Do you need a holiday and if so what?


To answer the question of the title, there are seven sub-questions to be answered:

(1) Is taking holidays good for your health?
(2) Is it better to spend money on experiences than material purchases?
(3) Are several shorter holidays better than one or two longer ones?
(4) What should you do on holiday: nothing, try new experiences or do the same old same old?
(5) How should you deal with the non-fun stuff?
(6) How much should you post to social media should while on holiday?
(7) When should you time the high point of the holiday?

What does the latest research say?

(1) Is taking holidays good for your health?

The answer to that is yes. One statistic: men who take no holidays suffer 30% more premature heart-attack death, and for women it is 50%. And on other statistics, people who take few holidays have more ill-health, and that is after taking into account smoking, diabetes etc

(2)Is it better to spend money on experiences than material purchases?

As you don’t have unlimited money, would you get more satisfaction from buying material things than holiday experiences? After all, when the holiday is over, it is over, but material things you keep.

However, research shows that though there is similar satisfaction with experience and material purchases at the start, satisfaction in material purchases goes down over time, but for experiences, it goes up. It is counterintuitive that something ever present gives less long-term satisfaction than a relatively short-lived experience.

What is also surprising is that even bad experiences can become good; looking back, stressful circumstances can seem funny and they provide great stories to tell.

I remember being driven in fog at night in India from the airport to the destination. The driver was driving much too fast in the poor visibility. Many vehicles did not have lights or even reflectors. The roads were chaotic with animals, people, bikes and more all over the place. People in India just don’t follow the rules of the road. All of a sudden, there would be a large truck heading towards you on the wrong side of the road or a tractor and hay cart slowly crossing right ahead of you. The stats for road deaths in India are horrendous.

My requests to the driver to slow down were fruitless as he did not understand English and, anyhow, he was on a mission. The experience was really hair-raising then, but now when I tell it, it amuses me. And, I would love to go back and explore India more.

(3) Are several shorter holidays better than one or two longer ones?

Research says yes for the following two reasons:

(a) The health and wellbeing benefits of a holiday are strong but fleeting. The maximum benefit is reached on the eighth day. So, you get more benefit from several shorter breaks than one or two longer holidays.

(b) Much of the benefit of a holiday is in the anticipation. While the odd spontaneous short-break is fine, if you plan most of your trips ahead, there is pleasure in planning and thinking about the trip. Imagining the fun you will have is often more fun than actually experiencing the fun.

(4) What should you do on holiday: nothing, try new experiences or do the same old same old?

Research shows that people are happiest when relaxing, connecting with people on their travels, exercising, eating and learning.

Nothing is a good option as getting plenty of sleep and relaxing is a key benefit of a holiday. By nothing we don’t mean exactly nothing: it may include reading, eating, socialising, enjoying nature and exercising. Quiet ambling around or perhaps a gentle cycle ride should fit the bill for some exercise.

Having a tight schedule, getting up early, being constantly on the move and worrying about making connections is a recipe for stress and a trap many fall into.

When you are a young kid most experiences are new, fascinating and memorable. Also, time goes slowly. However, adults tend to stick to routines and, therefore, the vivid memories don’t get created and time flies by quickly. Therefore, you need to include new and interesting experiences in the mix.

What is new and interesting will depend on you. Learning something new is one possibility. Examples might be improving your photography and videography, learning to make cider, discovering new foods or understanding the history of the area. Activities that are a challenge can give you a sense of achievement. Examples are camping in the wild, a certain walk, a cycle tour or a high-adrenaline thrill such as whitewater rafting.

Experiences are more likely to involve connections with other people, who are either those you travel with or those you meet on your travels.

Another benefit is that, at a later date, you may meet people who have engaged in the same experiences, and as a result, you’ll find you instantly bond with those people as you share the experiences. Contrast that to material purchases, which can be negatively compared to those of others; their diamond or car is classier than yours.

(5) How should you deal with the non-fun stuff?

While some cooking for yourself and house chores may be ok once or twice while on holiday, if one person normally assumes that role, it will be nice if they can have a break from that.

If a family travels with children, it is usually good for the parents to get some breaks from the children. If grandparents or friends travel together, a solution may be some sharing arrangements with them. Alternatively, some travel companies can engage the kids in activities during the day while the parents escape for several hours.

(6) How much social media should you use while on holiday?

In posting to social media about your holiday while on holiday, you are advertising to be burgled. In addition, are people that interested in plates of food and people standing like possums in the headlights? Research says people are not interested. Worse still bragging about some amazing experience that the readers have not had risks alienating them with envy. Friendships are based on things people have in common. So, what you gain from that special experience could be more than lost later on.

Therefore, wait until you return home and curate just the best, say, 10 photos that tell a story and, in Facebook, put them in an album where people can decide whether to look at them or not.

Some additional research on social media use: people who spend a number of hours each day on social media are less happy than those who limit it to about one hour.

(7) When should you time the high point of the holiday?

Research reveals that you evaluate an event, in this case a holiday, from the high point and the end point. So, even if all of a trip was disappointing except for the ending, which was great, you will have a positive memory of the trip. So, plan for something great at the end of the trip. For example, if you are really excited to skydive for the first time, it may be best to leave that for last.

NZ PURE TOUR aims to fulfil those needs with:

  • Peaceful places to relax and unwind at country estates.
  • Opportunities for light exercise such as walks and easy cycling.
  • Opportunities for learning such as Photography Walkshop.
  • Activities that are interesting, different and memorable.
  • Environments that makes it easy to connect with family, friends and others. The Waikato Cherry Tree Festival is one example of that.
  • The removal of stress and effort, which might include providing food, providing transport, occupying the kids while the parents have some free time and generally organising as you require.

Returning from an NZ PURE holiday should mean you don’t need another holiday to recover; you return to work far less stressed than when you left.

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