Why travel is the secret to true happiness

How is 2017 going for you so far? International politics getting you down?

Thought so.

What you need is a holiday. Something like this:

travel secret of happiness

Because who could fail to be cheered by having a casual bit of watermelon on a lilo? I’m not sure of the practicalities of trying to eat such a large piece of fruit on water like that but hey, no one said living the dream was meant to be easy did they?

According to new research from Booking.com, over three quarters of people (77%) book a holiday when they need cheering up and 70% of us believe that travel brings more lasting happiness than material possessions. In fact, according to the results of the research, holidays top most things when it comes to happiness – 49% of the people surveyed even said they get more pleasure from a holiday than from their own wedding day!

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get the buzz. There’s almost as much happiness to be found in researching and planning a holiday as there is actually being on it – it isn’t just about lying on the beach, gazing into the sunset. (Although that bit is probably pretty nice too.)

travel secret of happiness

If you want to get the most from your holiday in terms of happiness, then planning is everything. Even just writing this, looking at these pictures and imagining where I might go has given me a little boost, and I’m not alone – nearly three quarters of people (72%) say they get a kick of excitement just from researching where to go on holiday.

If you’re thinking about booking a holiday, why not try these tips to get you in the mood and maximise happiness:

  • Make a bucket list of places you’d like to visit or create some holiday Pinterest boards full of pictures of dream destinations. Like this one.
  • Have a look at Booking.com’s destination finder. It allows you to browse holidays by interest rather than destination, so you can find places to go based on the fact that you like photography, local history, or whatever it might be.
  • Don’t be afraid to daydream. Holidays are meant to be the chance to experience something new so let your imagination run wild should you feel so inclined. I quite fancy watching the Northern lights from a glass igloo in Finland.
  • Share your holidays plans and dreams with friends and family. Dreams are more likely to come true when you say them out loud and talking about plans as a family will help to get you all excited. (75% of people surveyed by Booking.com said travelling with family makes them happier than travelling on their own.)

Once you’ve booked your holiday, then you can really get excited. You get to plan your wardrobe, look at maps, research trips – the works. Reading reviews of where you’re going and looking at other people’s pictures is a favourite way to give holiday happiness a boost and if you were going somewhere like this then you can see why:

travel secret of happiness

Once I have a holiday booked, these are my favourite things to do:

  • If I’m going by train or plane, I like to plan what I’m going to do on the way – I might download a film or maybe buy a new notebook. The travelling should be fun too.
  • Look up local restaurant reviews and think about all the yummy food I’m going to eat.
  • Pack about four different books, imagining I will read them all. (I never do – I am too busy posting pictures of my holiday on Instagram.)
  • Imagine that I will have some kind of Reese Witherspoon/Julia Roberts style ‘moment’ abroad where I suddenly find myself and the meaning of life becomes clear. (Never happens.)
travel secret of happiness

I wish this was from my Instagram feed

Belle’s favourite bits are:

  • Deciding what make-up look she is going to do for going away day.
  • Organising her toiletries into an airport friendly bag.
  • Being the first one into the accommodation – heaven forbid she doesn’t get first dibs on the key. (83% of people in the survey said that the first day of a holiday and seeing their accommodation for the first time are the happiest holiday moments, so she’s not alone there.)
  • Discovering the wifi password.

Do you enjoy planning and researching holidays? Which is your favourite bit about travelling?

Visit Booking.com for more inspiration and holiday your way to happiness!

travel secret of happiness

Sponsored post. Images – Alena OzerovaBalate DorinChantal de Bruijnestockphoto-graf and haveseen – all from shutterstock.




  1. 15 February, 2017 / 8:39 am

    I literally cannot wait to book our next holiday. I would say that it is not always easy to find the best child-friendly hotels and locations from these websites. When you are travelling with your brood there are so many more things to consider, if you really want the holiday to be relaxing!
    Lisa @ Wonderling

  2. 15 February, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    I’m in winter hell and planning multiple vacations in my head! Really, we might get 1-2 in next 18 months but planning is good for my mood.

  3. 16 February, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Great post, Jo! I definitely agree with this … sometimes you just need to get away from it and recharge your batteries. All part of staying healthy, I like to think :)

  4. 17 February, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    I love travelling! Sadly, I can’t really afford foreign travel. I’m the kind of person who hates lying on the beach, I prefer to go see things. Not necessarily monuments and museums, just something interesting, like a Potato Festival… I dunno.

    • Jo Middleton
      17 February, 2017 / 11:40 pm

      I would love a potato festival! I love going to weird stuff. I’ve been to all kids of quirky museums – a pencil museum, a fan museum, Gnome World…

  5. 19 February, 2017 / 10:36 am

    This is great, our customers are all so excited planning their trip – and we love imagining where they might take our goodies.

  6. 22 February, 2017 / 11:03 am

    Photos sound amazing. Travelling is my passion. In this month i got married and after marriage Me and my husband planned a trip . Anyone please suggest any romantic and peaceful place.

  7. 22 February, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. The older I get, the more I crave a good holiday. Enough R&R to find my happy place, with amazing food and quality together time. Am just back from Las Vegas – not my usual kinda trip but I loved it!

  8. 23 February, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    Happiness comes from your actions and not from something outside. If you are not able to journal your feelings or emotions, use analyze.life app. It will not make you happy but help you make a journal that points out towards the causes of your worry which you can work upon to get happy.

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