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Do holidays really make us happier?

August 3, 2016 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Every so often a news article appears, declaring a link between holidays and happiness. But is it really that simple? Roy Morgan Research crunched the numbers and discovered that Australians who are planning a holiday in the next 12 months do seem to have a noticeably more positive outlook on life than those with no holiday planned. But while holidays and happiness are well acquainted with each other, it is important to remember that the rosy outlook of people planning holidays may also be due to other factors.

But first, the figures:  79.4% of Australians 14+ planning an overseas holiday and 77.5% of those planning a domestic holiday in the next 12 months agree with the attitude statement, ‘I’m optimistic about the future’ — compared with 67.0% of people who do not have a holiday planned.

Meanwhile, 85.6% of those planning an overseas holiday and 82.2% of those planning a domestic holiday agree that ‘I’m feeling well and in good health’, compared with 76.0% of people with no holiday planned. (Of course, the corollary of this is that people whose health is not good are unlikely to be planning a holiday anyway.)

Well-being, optimism and attitude to globalisation: holiday intenders vs non-intenders


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015-March 2016, n=15,074. Base: Australians 14+

Not surprisingly, holiday intenders – particularly those heading overseas – are less likely to view globalisation as problematic. While almost six in every 10 Aussies who are not planning a holiday in the next 12 months believe ‘globalisation brings more problems than it solves’ but this drops to one half of Australians with an overseas holiday on the horizon.

However, when we consider that Australians intending to take a holiday in the next 12 months are also much more likely than non-intenders to ‘feel financially stable at the moment’, the question arises: are the higher levels of optimism and well-being among those planning a holiday due to their excitement about their travel plans, their overall sense of financial stability and confidence – or both?

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