Why you should take a holiday in winter, according to science

With summer officially over, the autumn/winter season is fast approaching – but if you can already feel the holiday blues kicking in, don’t cry into your pile of cosy blankets just yet. A new study has revealed that winter getaways could actually be the key to increasing our  happiness.

The research, carried out by Irish airline Aer Lingus, found that booking a winter break can give holidaymakers an additional 71.5 hours of happiness – that’s an extra three days of elevated serotonin levels for you to enjoy. And the good news doesn’t stop there.

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Whether you’re keen on a pre-Christmas holiday or a new year getaway, the study also found that happiness levels actually spike the moment we start planning our travels, as holiday makers feel 39% more positive in the three months leading up to a winter break.

That means you’ll be full of smiles from the moment you pick a destination, to the second you book it and kick off your holiday shopping, right the way through to your airport check-in. Naturally, things then get even better as peak winter break happiness is achieved when you have the first meal and drink upon arriving at your destination.

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‘From a psychological point of view, having something positive to look forward to on the horizon helps you to stay optimistic for the future,’ Honey Langcaster-James, psychologist and founder of the popular travel blog, WanderlustPost.com told Evoke.ie. ‘Sometimes when people are looking ahead to several months of winter, they can feel a little bit negative because they don’t see something positive on the horizon during those grotty three or four months.’

‘Getting away from the general day to day routine really helps boost that sense of happiness and satisfaction.’

Plus, our holiday happiness doesn’t stop as soon as we get home. The research by Aer Lingus suggests that we actually continue to be in great spirits from touching down on home land and setting foot in the door, to unwinding with a nice cuppa and jumping into bed.

And on that note, we’re off to book a winter holiday.