Here's How Long It Takes to Actually Relax on Vacation (Video)

This is why a weekend getaway might not be enough.

According to a survey of 2,000 Americans aged 25 to 55 years old conducted for G Adventures, American travelers don’t de-stress until three days into their vacation.

That makes sense, since if you spend even part of the first day traveling you're unlikely to find time to unwind, and the second day can be swallowed up by getting used to your new surroundings.

How people find their bliss after a few days tends to differ, according to the survey. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they prefer to spend their vacations primarily resting and relaxing, like at a resort’s pool. Another 38 percent of respondents said they find joy in adventure activities and exploring their surroundings.

Instead of choosing to relax or to seek adventure, G Adventures brand manager Simon Ma says you should do both.

“People don’t have to choose between an active adventure or a restful reboot anymore. It’s a false choice,” Ma said in a statement. “Wellness travel is the new common ground. By blending movement, nourishment and mindfulness, plus time to explore awe-inspiring destinations, our travels serve to help us decompress from work and regain our sense of balance.”

Feet on beach
Getty Images

So, to have a meaningful vacation, you could do a little bit of both. And, you need to stay for at least three days. Ideally, you should stay for eight: A 2017 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that’s the ideal length of a vacation.

As the researchers noted in their conclusion, “It takes some time to wind down after a stressful work period and acclimatize to vacation.”

Which reminds us, there’s one more thing you must add to the perfect vacation equation: Don’t bring your work with you.

According to yet another vacation-focused survey by consulting firm Korn Ferry, 54 percent of respondents said they have gotten into an argument with their spouse or significant other about working too much during vacation.

It’s time to take a real break while on vacation. So get planning and get some rest, find some adventure, and reconnect with yourself and your loved ones.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles