Did you know that having a trip planned makes you happier? Maybe you’re thinking, “Duh, I’m always happier when I have a trip planned.” Anecdotally, many of us likely feel this way. Looking forward to a vacation can help get us through the drudgery of every day. It gives us something to be excited about. And guess what? We don’t only have to rely on our own experiences to prove that having a trip planned makes people happier…science backs us up!
Made up of over 75 travel companies, the Let’s Go Coalition conducted a survey of US-based adults in August 2020 to understand the impact of planning a trip or vacation. Researcher Michelle Gielan, the founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, oversaw the study. The results indicated that “booking a trip brings joy.” According to the study, an incredible 97% of respondents said that having a trip planned makes them happier. 82% of respondents indicated that having a trip planned makes them either “moderately” or “significantly” happier than when they don’t have a trip to look forward to. Finally, 71% of respondents said they have greater energy levels when they have a trip coming up within the next six months. In a nutshell, planning a trip is just what you need to boost your mood. Though not surprising, these results are exactly what we want to hear!
Check out the percentage of respondents that agreed with the following statements about how their happiness levels are affected by booking travel:
- 95% agreed that “simply knowing there was something to look forward to would bring me joy.”
- 80% agreed that “planning travel for some time in the next six months would bring me happiness.”
- 74% agreed that “planning something would make me feel more in control amidst so much uncertainty.”
- 96% agreed that “getting to travel and feel safe while doing it would bring me peace of mind.”
Friends, these are incredible percentages! These responses show that participants overwhelmingly feel that “anticipating a planned trip delivers significant mental health benefits—and a sense of control during a very uncertain time.” In Gielen’s own words: “Booking a trip—even just getting it on the calendar—might be the very thing we need to restore our emotional immune system after months of mounting uncertainty and stress.”
Considering the results of another study that found Americans are experiencing the lowest levels of happiness in 50 years, this news is encouraging. In fact, it gives us a practical way to combat these negative feelings. Whether it’s a quick weekend trip near home or an extended getaway in a tropical paradise, having a vacation planned will increase those dopamine levels.
Okay, so we know that having a trip planned will bring greater levels of happiness. Now what? The answer is simple—book a trip!
The Emerald Coast is the perfect place to have on the radar for your next vacation. As everyone knows, the beach is where you can slow down, relax, and forget your daily worries— all while soaking up some much-needed vitamin D and working on your tan! Not only will the beach benefit you once you’re there, the simple act of planning, booking your vacation rental, and scheduling coastal activities will make you happy as well.
So, how should you go about planning this super awesome beach vacation?
First, figure out where on the Emerald Coast you would like to stay. Fortunately, there are many great options! Destin has a vibrant beach scene with great restaurants, lively bars, and the exciting HarborWalk Boulevard. Miramar Beach is one of South Walton’s diverse coastal communities, and it is also home to Silver Sands Premium Outlets, which is a discount designer outlet mall with over 100 designer stores and restaurants. Sandestin is a resort enclave all its own with fabulous rental accommodations and convenient access to the Disney-esque Village of Baytowne Wharf. Scenic Highway 30A has a dozen unique communities down the road and promises a relaxing and luxurious beach vacation.
After you’ve decided on the Emerald Coast location that works best for your travel needs, you need to book your stay. Trust us, vacation rentals in this popular paradise destination get booked up fast! Ocean Reef Resorts offers a variety of rentals across the coast, ranging from small one- or two-bedroom rentals to large, multi-family homes. Many of these are located on or within walking distance to the beautiful beach, while others even feature private pools. Book your stay online or give our reservation specialists (who also happen to be Emerald Coast experts) a call.
Once your beach rental is reserved, it’s time to move on to the fun part of the planning. Explore all the awesome and unique things that Destin and 30A have to offer. From participating in recreational activities, lounging on the beach, checking out new restaurants, and browsing shops and art galleries, there is no shortage of fun you can have. Here are just a few activities you may want to consider:
- Snorkel in the clear, warm waves
- Build a sandcastle
- Watch a beach sunrise or sunset
- Try paddle boarding on a glassy dune lake
- Bike a shaded nature trail
- Spend the day at Crab Island
- Rent a pontoon boat
- Relax at one of the luxury spas
- Go parasailing
- Book a boat tour to sightsee for dolphins
- Visit the Destin Fishing Museum
- Enjoy a Wednesday concert at the Village of Baytowne Wharf
- Take the kids to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
- Catch a fireworks show over the Gulf
This list is a start, but it doesn’t even come close to covering all the great things to do on the Emerald Coast! Part of the fun of trip planning is discovering what activities are available and which ones will make your vacation the best it can be.
We’ve just entered a new year, so why not start it off right by planning a trip? As we’ve found out, planning a trip makes people happier. And who doesn’t want to be happy? Besides, if planning your next vacation and being happy isn’t the perfect way to begin a new year, we don’t know what is. We invite you to browse our beach rentals online and start planning your paradise getaway ASAP!