Take a break, but make it short!

Deciding against taking an extended holiday might not just be better for the purse in times of recession but also for your well-being, psychologists claim. Short breaks during the year, rather than one long one, apparently do more to contribute to that feel-good factor we so look for in a vacation, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Professor Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist at Duke University North Carolina, claims that using your holiday allowance in bursts will make you happier. ‘On a long vacation, day seven is less good than day one because it's not as exciting. That's why in general, going away four times [a year] provides more benefit than you would expect, and going away for one week provides less benefit than you would expect.’

If that sounds a little complex, holiday-goers give other reasons: a weekend getaway allows you to visit more destinations rather than spending time in just one place, you have more long-lasting happy memories, spend less in the short term and can decide to take a break on the spur of the moment.

So what’s the downside? Tim Harford, the author of ‘Dear Undercover Economist’, claims more trips increase the stress associated with travelling. 'If you pack three times as many holidays into the same amount of leave, you can expect three times as much trouble', he says.

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