Vacations Make Us Happier than Romance or Work Success but the Post-Break Buzz Lasts Just Seven Days

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New research by® also reveals American parents are: rejecting the ‘always on’ trend and reclaiming vacations with digital detoxes and a blanket ban on work chat; extending their post-vacation happiness by bringing exotic food, drink and music back home and reliving their vacation experiences on social media to keep the post-vacation positivity going for longer.

Many of us are guilty of always keeping one eye on email, so it’s refreshing to see that people are actually turning their backs on the ‘always on’ trend and switching work off to enjoy their family vacation

HomeAway®, the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace, has found that a fourth of American parents of 0-16-year-olds say vacations make them feel happier than a romantic night with their partner or a successful day at work. Spending quality time with family, friends and other loved ones on vacation ranked among the top answer (53%) for why taking a trip makes participants feel happy.

Being close to the beach (32%) and the ability to spend time in the sunshine (29%) were also popular answers. But, with the post-break buzz lasting just seven days, one in four (22%) immediately book another trip on their return.

Others try hard to hang on to the happiness factor by re-creating that vacation experience at home by sharing their snaps on social media (41%), bringing back local food and drinks (26%), listening to vacation playlists (19%) and having reunions with fellow travelers (17%).

The research, commissioned by vacation rental experts HomeAway reveals that:

  • U.S. respondents identified that vacations (28%) make them happier than a romantic night with their partners (11%) or having a successful day at work (3%)
  • The happiness boost from a vacation lasts just seven days for 42% of U.S. travelers, and a whole month for 20%
  • Just 3% say their bachelor or bachelorette party was their happiest vacation, with most instead opting for the first vacation with their kids (34%) or their honeymoon (20%)
  • The vacations that make U.S. travelers happiest are on the beach by the sea (45%), followed by countryside breaks (17%) – just 9% say they’d be happier on a city break

Digital Detox
After a trend in recent years for workers to be ‘always on’, American parents of 0-16-year-olds are reclaiming their vacations and putting strategies into place to make sure they can check out and switch off when they’re away.

Almost a fourth (24%) will put in extra hours at work before they set off so they can relax while away. While almost four in ten (37%) actually switch off their mobiles and disable email during their break, one in four (24%) issue a blanket ban on any work conversations during their vacation, and another fifth (19%) refuse to even watch or read the news so they can totally switch off from home.

“Many of us are guilty of always keeping one eye on email, so it’s refreshing to see that people are actually turning their backs on the ‘always on’ trend and switching work off to enjoy their family vacation,” Bill Furlong Vice President of North America said. “Vacation allows us to step way from our increasingly hectic lives and do what is most important: spend time and make memories with the people we love.”

American travelers are also becoming increasingly savvy to the situations that can spoil their happy vacation mood. Overcrowded locations like hotels, having to be near other travelers and not having enough privacy or space are some of the biggest irritations experienced by Americans on vacation, according to the HomeAway research. This may explain why many (15%) U.S. travelers would choose to stay in a vacation rental property during their summer break.

*Note to Editors: The survey was conducted by OnePoll in February 2016, amongst a total sample of 4375 parents of 0-16 year olds in the UK, U.S., France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

About HomeAway

HomeAway, based in Austin, Texas, is the world leader in vacation rentals with sites representing over one million paid listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries, and is a part of the Expedia, Inc. family of brands. Through HomeAway, owners and property managers offer an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online. The HomeAway portfolio includes the leading vacation rental websites, and in the United States; and in the United Kingdom; in Germany; and in France; and in Spain; in Brazil; and in Australia; in New Zealand, and Asia Pacific short-term rental site,

HomeAway also operates, the most comprehensive global site for finding bed-and-breakfast properties, providing travelers with another source for unique lodging alternatives to chain hotels. For more information about HomeAway, please visit

© 2016, Inc. All rights reserved. HomeAway, Let’s Stay Together and the HomeAway logo are trademarks of, Inc.

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