Science Proves 2 Week Vacations Are a Waste…in Hindsight

According to your memory, that one week vacation was likely just as fun as the longer two week trip you fought harder to get. A psychologist interviewed by Business Insider, says that when contemplating on your vacation memories, a shorter vacation is just as positive as the longer one. That’s because that extra week isn’t necessarily creating unique memories from the first week.

When you go on vacation for two weeks instead of one, you most likely aren’t “changing the story” enough to create new memories about the experience. Instead, it all eventually blends into one amorphous memory. You might be left with one or two standout moments.

One way to avoid the above is to completely switch locations and activities half way through, a “dramatic” change is necessary as per the article.

Now, that same doctor says that people’s psychology can be divided into an “experiencing self” that lives in the moment or a “remembering self” who reflects on past memories. The experiencing self actually will appreciate the two week vacation and your stress and happiness levels will certainly go up with the extra vacation time.

If you fall into the “remembering self” category the psychologist suggests that you “spend half the time doing something less expensive, like staying at home and avoiding hotel and rental car fees — because in the long run, chances are the money isn’t buying much anyway.”

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  1. Having been on 17 cruises, and soon an 18th, I can honestly tell you that none of them was long enough. If you can afford it, just stay on vacation.

  2. It just shows that some psychologists don’t know what they are talking about. By far the most memorable vacations have been the ones between 22 and 30 days. Not only that, but I can remember almost everything that happened. On the 30 day trip to Prague, Rome, Florence, and then a cruise I often remember hundreds of things and they are much clearer and more vivid than short vacations. Even when I stayed in one place, not only do I remember virtually all of the longer trips, but I have a much more vivid memory of the sounds, sights, and smells. I find one week vacations to be almost useless because it does not provide enough time to relax and break from the routine.

  3. This reads like a study that was funded by corporations trying to break the already tenuous holiday adventure spirit of Americans so that we work harder and take less of our already scant vacation days… I’m currently on a 3-week holiday through South Korea, Singapore and Bali and I can definitively say that there is never enough time… The article is misleading. “Two weed in one place is overkill” would sum it up better.

  4. I agree that they are a waste.  I would rather break those 10 days of vacation time into multiple long weekend trips.  I could get anywhere from 5-10 vacations from those same days by flying out Friday evening and coming home Monday or Tuesday.

  5. A lot depends on the vacation – 2 straight weeks of eg beach time would tend to blur together for me, for example, and a 1 week trip to somewhere that’s 2-3+ days in transit each way just won’t work. My wife and i do the “dramatic change” thing a lot too on longer vacations.

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