In our fast-paced world, it is rare that people can cut themselves off from routine and take a vacation which completely relaxes them. A holiday which goes beyond time zones, change of location, stress of travel and food to rejuvenate the soul and the body fully.
The question that comes to mind then is, how long should an ideal vacation be. Most people try to plan holidays during their free time. In between extended weekends, school holidays and as an add on to official trips. Is that the perfect way to do it then? What should the ideal vacation length?
There are mixed opinions on this. Some say that a minimum of two weeks is required, others feel it depends upon your priorities. The time one has and the extent to which one can pay and take out time are other factors.
Scientists carried out a research on this and came up with the following findings –
The verdict – a holiday with a little more than a week is ideal to unwind. Eight days to be precise is the minimum most people take to completely relax when away from their usual routine.
They felt this was ideal time to overcome the travel stress, the time zone changes and the acclimatisation to the new place.
Also, the fact that one’s body needs time to adjust to the above-mentioned changes.
W. Christopher Winter, M.D., a neurologist and sleep specialist in Charlottesville, Virginia, says that every bodily action—heart beats, digestion, sleep—all happen in a rhythm based on timing. “When you travel, it takes time for your body’s chemicals to shift and re-establish that rhythm,” Winter says.
Researchers also noted that a vacationer starts feeling an increase in happiness after the first few days of the vacation, with the peak reaching mostly around the eighth day. Moreover, eight-day trips give travellers enough time to unpack, get their bearings and settle into a new, more relaxed routine.
After the eighth day, positive vibes and wellness starts to seep in.
As researchers noted in their conclusion, “It takes some time to wind down after a stressful work period and acclimatize to vacation.”
The benefits of an eight-day vacation may be well-worth the time off the routine. It gives travellers better composure, calmness and diminished stress.
Simply taking time away from your ‘jammed’ world, is likely to provide you with the same positive benefits as an eight-day trip to another location. Complete cut off is the main essence here. Whether its away to another location or close by – that’s not important….the manner in which you spend the holiday or time, is!