Research Shows Your Vacation Needs To Be This Long To Switch Off

There's a reason that long weekend didn't feel enough.

woman swimming vacation
Image via iStock

You might think that a three-day long weekend is enough to help you recharge and return to your daily life feeling rejuvenated and mindful, but according to science, it’s not. In fact, your ideal vacation should last eight full days to really let the time-off benefits sink in.


Thanks to research, published in Journal of Happiness Studies, we now know that getting that eight-day break really is best for our own mental health. So feel free to send this story straight to your boss, along with your time-off request.

After observing the vacation habits and activities of their subjects, researchers were able to find that your peak vacation happiness actually occurs on the eighth day of your break. Plus, getting that week (and one bonus day) actually gives you enough time to travel and unpack, forever ending that “I need a vacation after my vacation” line.

But if you don’t want to travel far (or have some budgetary restrictions), you don’t need to get away to get the benefits. A staycation will totally do the trick, the study shows.

Traveling, seeing new places, and exploring different hotspots is just one part of a successful trip. But to get the health and wellbeing benefits that will go on long after your return flight home, the real reasons you’re so happy post-vacation is because you’ve likely slept better, refused to respond to emails, allowed yourself to switch off and generally felt less stress. Instead, you’ve focused on catching up on sleep, eating what you want, indulged in a solid beach read, and spent serious quality time with your loved ones.

And that is the reason why you should plan your next break. Just make sure to block off a solid eight days to make it all worth it.