Life-changing decision? That requires thinking. Bet you don’t want your vacation to involve more thinking than choosing the next tropical drink with a little umbrella.
If so, you’d lose that bet.
Everyone spends precious vacation time differently. Maybe it even varies: Being pampered on a cruise one year, hiking the Himalayas the next. A family road trip, a couples getaway, or a solo adventure.
No matter the type of vacation, they all have one common factor. We’re out of our normal routine and able to think about other things. Important things.
Just what life-changing decision are we talking about, anyway?
A survey by JetCost.com found that over three-quarters of us (77% to be exact) start to consider a major change when we’re abroad. (JetCost is based in France, so they’re interested in international travelers.) About 4500 Americans were asked if they’d ever thought about making a life-changing decision during a vacation.
Not only had they thought about it, they went straight for big stuff. Here’s what they decided:
- 31%: get a divorce
- 18%: quit their jobs
- 14%: become healthier, get in shape
- 12%: have children
- 11%: move somewhere else
- 10%: start their own business
- 9%: follow a dream, such as acting
- 5%: get a pet
Quite a range, huh? Oddly, another 6% thought that having an affair was a good idea. When they were questioned in a follow-up survey, 26% had moved forward with their decision. (Compare this to the measly 8% of us who keep our New Year’s resolutions.)
And of those 26%? Only 10% regretted their vacation-inspired decision.
But wait! There’s more!
Lest you worry about the outcome of your next vacation, there’s another survey–this one from British travel site Kuoni-that has different results. (Funny that I can’t find any research from the U.S.) It’s a little older, done in 2010, but is more optimistic. This time, the focus was on domestic travel and what people talk about during their “holidays.”
- 41% discuss work/life balance
- 39%: getting healthier
- 36%: their love lives
- 34%: improving sex when they return home
Brits in the survey overwhelmingly (74%) felt that getting away can make or break their relationships. This is probably because a quarter of the women hoped that getting away might “re-ignite the flame of love.” Another third of them wanted to “get re-acquainted” with their partner.
One interesting finding was that, relationships aside, 38% of these folks decided to quit or change their jobs. That’s more than double what the JetCost survey showed.
True, the two surveys were conducted with different intentions. Still, the results seem to tell us that vacations tend to make us think about our lives and what could be different…or better.
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