Great Vacations Make You Happy - or Not
Traveling to destinations you’ve long dreamed about can boost your happiness, according to new research. But only if you do it because you want to, not because you’re out to impress others.
Ryan Howell and his colleagues at San Francisco State University studied 241 people who went on adventures or vacations that reflected their interests reported feeling a sense of well-being. Other benefits included increased feelings of social connection and independence.
But none of that holds true for people who go on adventures or vacations just to impress others, Howell said. "When people buy life experiences to impress others, it wipes out the well-being they receive from the purchase,” he said in a statement.
"The biggest question you have to ask yourself is why you are buying something," Howell added. "Motivation appears to amplify or eliminate the happiness effect of a purchase."
The findings were published in the “Journal of Happiness Studies.”
As part of the study, researchers also developed a tool to help members of the public determine what influences their buying choices. Visit www.beyondthepurchase.org if you’re interested in finding out more about yourself.