Packing your things into a well traveled backpack or suitcase and waving goodbye to your commitments and obligations for “X” number of days is something we all need from time to time – or, as many times per year as possible if the travel bug has truly bitten. There are considerations and plans to be formulated, of course, like setting savings goals and actually reaching them to help fund the trip (see investment isa for long-term ideas). And you might need to buy new travel clothes, find someone to look after your dog, arrange for someone to take over your workload in the office, etc., but once everything is in place, only one question remains: how long is too long?
If you think this is a question that doesn’t need answering, you’ve clearly never been to a “family” resort in Ibiza that is miles from anywhere and filled with rowdy holiday makers (who had most likely not checked where the resort was actually located) making noise around the clock. I’m going to say perhaps one day of that was enough. Two weeks was torture. So, what is the golden number when it comes to booking the perfect amount of vacation time?
It’s not as long as you think (probably not as short, either)
The answer is eight days. That’s all. Eight days. According to research, that’s the right amount of time to get used to the area, experience all that the area has to offer, feel comfortably anonymous and like you haven’t started to make the place a new home, and then finally end your trip before the feelings of fun and wonder wear so thin as to leave a bad impression of your overall trip in your long term.
Part of this time, researchers on the topic have noted, is actually spent “winding down”. Depending on your job and depending on the average levels of stress you experience on a daily and weekly basis, the time you require to wind down can range from a few hours to a few days. Nevertheless, eight days remains the optimum time frame within which you are most likely to get the most out of your vacation and leave before things stop feeling adventurous. There may even be health benefits …
Eight days a week
Lennon and McCartney got it right when singing that eight days a week was not enough. They were lyricising about love, of course, whereas we are interested in travel, but the sentiment remains that eight days a week would be fantastic (when it comes to time travelling!). The health benefits of an eight day travelling trip include better sleep, less stress, and increased feelings of well-being. Time to book a trip?