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When a Vacation Reduces Stress — And When It Doesn’t

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This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and discusses why employees have varying levels of happiness after returning from vacation.

To put it simply – all vacations are not created equally.

There is no doubt that a positive vacation creates a significant increase in happiness and energy levels while reducing stress. However, a poorly planned stressful trip can leave you more burnt out than before. According to the research, the post-vacation blues are more a result of the type of vacation you take than taking the vacation itself.

So is it easy to just have a great, stress free vacation? According to the research, apparently not. Luckily there are some steps you can take to help plan your stress free vacation.

    1. Go far away. We all know the benefits of a staycation – lowering your carbon footprint, saving money and being a tourist in your own city are all great things. However, a 2013 Twitter study revealed that the farther away the location, the better the trip tended to be for the traveler. Skip the staycation and explore the world.

    1. Plan in advance. One of the leading contributors to a stressful trip is poor planning. Lack of adequate preparations leaves you scrambling around and in a state of frenzy. Start planning your trip out at least a month in advance and your vacation stress reduces greatly.

    1. Hang out with a local. This may seem odd, but one of the biggest stressors of a trip is managing the tiny travel details that all add up. Getting in-touch with a local host can give you a better lay of the land, creating a much richer experience.


So it’s up to you, will you have an amazing vacation or face the (stressful) repercussions of a no-so-amazing one?

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