Let’s Go There: Planning a Trip Can Boost Your Happiness

Here’s some news we can all use: new research shows that even the simple act of planning a vacation can boost your happiness and even increase your energy levels.

The recent survey, from researcher Michelle Gielan, showed that 97 percent of respondents reported having a trip planned makes them happier. Seventy-one percent of respondents felt greater levels of energy when they had a trip planned in the next six months. 

These findings were released as part of a new travel industry-wide initiative called “Let’s Go There.” The effort, coordinated by the U.S. Travel Association, brings together major airlines, hoteliers, local destinations and other businesses part of the travel ecosystem.

I know that I’m MUCH happier when I’ve got a countdown to my next vacation. I’ve had many vacations that had to be canceled/rescheduled this year due to Covid-19. I’m planning on returning to Walt Disney World on November 29, 2020 to celebrate my dad’s birthday; and we are planning a post-Christmas celebration at Disney’s resort in Hilton Head, SC the first week of January with my brother. Not to mention the two Princess Cruises I’ve got on the books for March & November of 2021.

I’m currently planning on a guided tour in 2021 as well…I just can’t decide on a destination. It’s fun researching the possibilities. The only requirement I’m demanding for this particular destination is that I can not have been there before, and that it will require a passport to get there…and maybe a visa! I want to go somewhere new for me, and hopefully somewhere exotic. This quarantine has been rough on me, and I really need something to look forward to. An African Safari, Morocco, India, Peru, Sri Lanka, China & Ecuador are high on my list. I’ve even looked at Turkey, Egypt, Nepal & Switzerland. I had such an amazing time last year on my Adventures by Disney guided tour of Arizona & Utah, I can’t wait to do another! Just the simple thing of planning which destination I will book has been a MUCH NEEDED escape for me.

I can’t wait to book this trip, to where ever in the world I decide to go…then the fun begins on reading about the sites I’ll see, reading a couple of books that are set in the destination I go, and assembling an iTunes playlist of the music from that country & culture. I’ve got quite a few wonderful playlists that I’ve created, and every time I listen to them, the songs immediately take me back to my happy place of “being on vacation”! Currently, I’m listening to my British Isles playlist. “Portobello Road” from Walt Disney’s Bedknobs & Broomsticks immediately sends me back to the Saturday Morning street market of Notting Hill, and the Travel Book Shop (with the blue door).

“The memories and experiences that travel enables cannot be replaced,” said Jill Estorino, President and Managing Director at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and a co-chair of the Let’s Go There Coalition. “This campaign is a first step in inspiring Americans to think about planning a vacation, and encouraging them to look forward to experiencing the wonder and joy—and even magic—that only travel can offer.” 

Given the benefits to planning travel, it might be the right time for you to start thinking about your next vacation. If so, here’s my shameless plug to use my services on your next vacation:

The year 2020 has been very difficult for me personally & financially. It’s been hard being a travel agent during a pandemic, but I am thankful that it hasn’t been worse. I’ve stayed healthy, and my immediate family has as well. It’s hard to complain when you have your health! But, I am going a bit stir crazy. I’m ready to go as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Here’s hoping that my vacation photos of 2021 are massively better than those from 2020! I’m also hoping that you and your family are safe and well, and we all get back to some kind of new normal as soon as possible!