Photos: U.S. Travelers Sing the Post-Vacation Blues
56% Typically Feel Post-Vacation Sadness, Majority Lift Spirits By Planning Next Trip
TripAdvisor Data Shows 68% Research Next Trip Immediately After Recent Vacations
PRNewswire NEWTON, Mass. (NASDAQ-NMS:EXPE)
NEWTON, Mass., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor(®), the world's most popular and largest travel community, today announced the results of its "post-vacation blues" survey of more than 1,500 U.S. respondents. Fifty-six percent of U.S. travelers surveyed said they often get the post-vacation blues upon returning from a trip, and 44 percent admitted to feeling down following a summer vacation this year.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said planning their next vacation is the best way to snap out of a bad mood post-vacation. Sixty-nine percent of travelers surveyed said the best description of their post-vacation mood is "eager to plan the next trip" as soon as their vacation has ended. TripAdvisor site data also supports this conclusion: of travelers who wrote reviews of their recent vacations (August or September) on TripAdvisor within the past 30 days, 68 percent are already researching their next trip.
No Place Like Away from Home (and Work)
Thirty percent of travelers surveyed admitted to having extended a trip because they weren't ready to come back from vacation. Fourteen percent of travelers have called in sick within the first month following their return from vacation. Forty-two percent of respondents said that their post-vacation mood was most accurately described as "reluctant to go to work." Thirty-one percent of respondents said that work was the factor that most contributed to their feeling sad, stressed, or depressed upon returning from vacation.
The majority of travelers (42 percent) said their stress level returned to what it was pre-vacation within the first week of returning from a trip. Thirteen percent said they are usually back to their previous stress level within one day. Thirty-six percent said that a longer vacation would be the most helpful way to prevent feeling stressed following a trip.
Thirty-three percent said the hardest kind of trip from which to return is a romantic trip, followed by an adventure trip (21 percent) and a family trip (19 percent). Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they get jealous of those leaving for a vacation when theirs has just ended.
Americans Call for Time Out
Ninety percent of respondents say that Americans do not get enough vacation time. Eighty-three percent think Americans need additional vacation time more than citizens from any other nation.
Expert Opinion: Travel Medicine Specialist and Stress Expert John Horton, M.D.
What does a medical expert think of the post-vacation blues?
"It is common. You're shifting from one gear to another, and that's not easy," says John Horton, M.D., a travel medicine specialist and co-author of The Inner Game of Stress (Random House, 2009). "On vacation, you're in reflection mode - you're able to be neutral mentally. Your enjoyment is in the moment itself, not in completing your to-do list. Returning brings frustration and pain - all of a sudden you have to gear back up. You've lost contact with that reflective place."
To lessen those feelings of stress and sadness, Horton says, don't fill up your schedule immediately upon your return. "In the week or two after you get back, build in as much off-time for yourself as possible. Go back into that reflective mode you were in on vacation."
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