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Vacations can help you unwind and improve your mental and even physical health; we know that much from studies and our own experiences. But how do we make the most out of our vacations? As it turns out, planning a vacation that is just the right length can be the answer to this question. According to a study by the University of Tampere in Finland, happiness levels are highest when vacations are capped at a certain number. And that magic number is eight. Out of the 54 people who were part of the study, the highest happiness levels were seen on the eighth day of the vacation. After that, things went downhill so to speak. ALSO READ: 25 travel quotes that every traveler will love or be inspired by! Also Read - Two Doctors of Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital Assaulted While Buying Grocery, Case Filed
While some would suggest a solid two weeks at least for a proper vacation, trip planning company Utrip’s CEO Gilad Berenstein suggests that seven to ten days is the perfect range for a getaway. So while those weekend escapes can certainly help, you should probably plan something longer. Berenstein adds some more words of wisdom, suggesting that you plan out your activities in advance if you get stressed out too easily. He says that most of the trips seen by Utrip that last longer than seven or ten days are usually not about relaxation; they are about getting out and exploring, like hiking through a country or going backpacking. Also Read - Do You Have Celiac Disease? You May Die Prematurely
Other experts give out similar numbers. According to author Jaime Kurtz, who wrote The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations, eight days is probably just right for the traveler to get past the stress parts of their vacation and a new time zone, and feel comfortable enough to finally unwind. Christopher Winter, MD, a sleep specialist and neurologist from Charlottesville, Virginia, suggests that you need around a day as an adjustment period for every time zone you fly across. It takes time for your body and its systems – sleep, digestion and circulatory – to readjust to the rhythm of a new time zone, according to him. NOW READ: Here are 6 Reasons Why You Need to Travel Solo
Winter notes that this adjustment period gets shorter and shorter the more you fly, especially if you are going on trips to places halfway across the world. But readjustment and time zone problems are a challenge. The best way to get past this? Early to bed, early to rise and get outdoors, and regular meals to get your body back into a rhythm quickly. And plan your trips so that your adjustment period doesn’t take up most of your vacation days.