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August 22, 2015

What's the ideal length of a vacation? Researchers find magic number

Team of Finnish researchers survey 54 vacationers to find out the most restorative way to get away

Travel Vacations
Vacation Contributed Art /

It's vacation time

At this point in the summer, many people have already taken their vacations, while others are right in the swing of them.

For future planning, it's always good to take stock of how you feel after a vacation. Was it enough of a break, too much of a break? Multiple factors play into the planning of a vacation, from the nature of your work to family and budgeting, so it makes sense to try to get better at balancing those aspects of life when the time comes. 

A team of Finnish researchers set out to determine the best length of time for taking a vacation, following 54 people through their experience of highs and lows. Assessing well-being using a series of quick questions, the researchers arrived at the magic number of 8 days, The Globe and Mail reports.

The researchers discovered that vacation-related joy didn't climb ever upward as tourists' tans deepened and work receded to a distant memory. In contrast, happiness peaked after eight days away.
"It could be that eight days is the ideal to fully gain the benefits of a holiday," said Jessica de Bloom, a member of the research team.

Next time you go to plan your vacation, it may be wise to consider going just over a week for maximum satisfaction and readiness to return to normalcy.

Read more at The Globe and Mail.