Study Confirms that Just Booking a Vacation Creates a ‘Holiday Halo Effect’

By now, you’ve seen the perpetual headlines that remind you that today is “Blue Monday,” AKA the saddest day of the year.

While we question the extent to which the whole day may trivialize depression, one thing is for sure: It’s easy to feel less-than-ideal when the hours of sunlight happen while you’re at the office, the contents of your runny nose freeze on the regular, and you risk ending up in a cast with each stroll down un-salted residential streets.

Let’s not even talk about the pain in the ass (and the back, for that matter) that is snow shovelling.

You know what can make everything feel a little better and give you a newfound reason to get out of bed in the dark depths of January? A good, old-fashioned all-inclusive vacation; that’s what.


While, as founder and CEO Julian Brass stresses, the ideal goal is to create a life you don’t need a vacation from (and something we should all strive for), sometimes a beach vacation is just what you need to beat the winter blues and to add a little sun-kissed life into your face.

We all need something to look forward to, after all.

Not to mention, there’s something distinctively therapeutic about the ocean and a little dose of vitamin D. Plus – in contrast to vacations of spring breaks past – your vacation can fuel your overall wellness level when you do things like yoga, organized sports, massages on the beach and spa services.

Nothing inspires a live-in-the-moment mentality better than a vacation either.


But anyway, back to the whole “something to look forward to” element: A recent study commissioned by Sunwing found that even just booking a vacation brings people joy. The further you book it in advance, the longer you have to bask in the dreamy glory of looking forward to it (the survey found that seventy-two per cent of Canadians plan vacations at least a month in advance).

This vacation mindset “halo effect” can extend positive feelings beyond actual time off.

Ninety-percent of Canadian vacationers agree that just knowing that a vacation is coming brings them joy. The study found that one-quarter of vacationers mentally begin their vacation at least a week before their trip, and 22 per cent start as soon as they book.

“It’s no secret that vacationing can have a positive impact on your health and wellness overall. However what interested us most about this survey was the fact that you do not actually have to travel to notice an improvement in your wellbeing,” said Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “According to the results, just knowing a vacation is coming up can be transformative. We were fascinated to learn that planning a future trip or reminiscing about a previous one can create the same feelings of positivity generated by actually travelling.”


When it comes to the daily grind, seventy per cent of vacationers reported feeling more motivated to work if they had a vacation coming up.

The survey also found that returning to reality post-vacation isn’t as depressing as one may think. The survey found that reminiscing about a previous trip is a key driver in creating a positive mindset, with 50 per cent of respondents agreeing they often think about their next vacation as soon as they return from their last.

The survey found that this pre and post-holiday halo effect can indeed last longer than the actual trip itself; on average around 20 hours or the equivalent of half a working week.

So, if you were looking to justify hopping online and booking that vacation, this is just the fuel you need.

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