Kiwi.com: Why traveling makes us happy?
20 March 2023 – In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Happiness, the travel-tech company, Kiwi.com, has taken a look into why traveling makes people happy through seeking the opinions of their social media followers, conducting consumer research and asking the views of psychologists.
The research showed that more than half of people plan their trips well in advance, and more than half already begin to get that happy feeling just by planning the trip. The happiest holiday for three out of four respondents means sunbathing or relaxing on a sunny beach and going swimming, however, getting out of the chill zone is also something travelers look forward to.
Andrew Parker-Blagg, Vice President of Brand and Global Communications at Kiwi.com, shared his thoughts: “At Kiwi.com, we believe one of the greatest freedoms we have is to choose where to be – to be free to discover and to explore. Travel brings unique experiences that can unlock a deep sense of happiness, and we wanted people to celebrate that. That’s why we asked our followers and others what are the moments and places they associate with happiness.”
In response to a question on Kiwi.com’s social media about the one element that makes traveling a happy experience, one user replied, “Everything from the moment you leave home to the moment you return home. The way there, the arrival, every day spent there”.
The research, conducted by the STEM/MARK agency for Kiwi.com, confirms that more than half of respondents (54%) plan their trips in advance to have something to look forward to and to talk about.
“It is not a surprise that planning, booking trips, as well as sharing stories about our vacation and looking at pictures afterward, make us feel happy. After all, it is the anticipation and excitement before our vacation that usually stretches for a longer period of time than the vacation itself,” explained Veronika Luňová, a psychologist at Prague Integration, a company focusing on mental health awareness.
According to Luňová, the process can give people a sense of control over their lives and a much-needed break from their daily routines. “Sometimes, it might be the booking and planning of the vacation that feels as if it has already transferred us to the place, at least for a little moment,” she added.
Sunny beaches are the happiest places
Kiwi.com’s social media followers named various bustling cities such as Singapore, Las Vegas, Boston, and Venice as the places that made them unexpectedly happy. Though, according to the Kiwi.com research, 70% chose a sunny beach as their happy place. Traditional laid-back small towns (42%), snowy mountains (32%), or hills and fields (38%) were voted by more participants as happy places than large cities (24.4%).
“Spending time in nature can do a lot for your wellbeing, as it has been shown to reduce stress levels. And being near the beach and water is a protective factor for mental health. For most people, the beach is a place to relax and unwind. The salty water and air, the sand, the sound of the sea, the sunshine, all help to relax and recharge. The water, the warm air and the sound of the waves create a sense of mental calm,” says Kata Mráz, Head of Clinic at CGP Europe, a company that provides customized Employee Assistance Programs.
Doing sweet nothing or adrenaline rides?
The research also showed, people tend to associate leisure and relaxing activities with happiness, such as sunbathing on a beach, which was voted by 73% of participants as their happy place, or watching sunrises and sunsets, voted by 56%. Kiwi.com’s social media followers, on the other hand, lean more toward getting more adrenaline, leaving their comfort zone, or gaining self-confidence as they take on new challenges and find their way out of difficult situations.
“The very act of planning a trip presents us with new situations and challenges, which, if we manage to overcome, can boost our confidence. It also makes us more open-minded, as we can get to know other places, cultures and observe how others deal with different situations. And looking at photos and videos of our travels can bring back memories, take our minds off the daily grind and relive the moments of the trip”, explains Kata Mráz.
“The reasons why people travel are as wide and varied as the destinations they book with us. Whether that’s experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, or simply unwinding with the people they love without the distractions of day-to-day life, we know everyone is looking for their own version of what happiness means to them. That’s why we at Kiwi.com do what we do every day, to try to make sure low-cost travel is open and accessible to everyone,” comments Parker-Blagg.
“Overall, it is likely the entire process, from planning the trip to sharing the memories afterward, can contribute to a sense of well-being and happiness. This may be why people seek to travel again and again, looking for new experiences and opportunities for happiness and personal growth,” Luňová concluded.
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Veronika Luňová is a psychologist at Prague Integration. In her work, she focuses on spreading mental health awareness within organizations as well as providing individual counseling to locals and expats living in the Czech Republic. Veronika originally comes from the Czech Republic, however, she has spent the past six years living abroad and traveling to different destinations.
Prague Integration is a company providing mental health support for expats and locals in Prague, Czech Republic. Currently counting 30 qualified team members, Prague Integration offers counseling services in more than 15 languages in both online and in-person formats. These services cover individual/group/partner/children and teenager counseling and corporate clients.
Kata Mráz has been working for CGP as Head of Clinic. She completed a master degree in psychology at University of Szeged, subsequently pursued graduate training in cognitive psychology at VIKOTE, Hungary. Her interests have included work with teens, and young adults. She uses a broad range of cognitive behavioral and insight oriented techniques in the counselling process.
CGP Europe: CGP Europe provides customized, high-quality EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and related workplace services to address a range of issues that impact the health and productivity of employees and the well-being of their family members. Established in 2011 and headquartered in Budapest, CGP currently cooperates with leading companies from 20 European countries.
Kiwi.com is a leading global travel tech company headquartered in the Czech Republic, employing over 1,500 people worldwide. Kiwi.com’s innovative algorithm enables users to find better route options and prices other search engines can’t see, performing 2 billion price checks per day across 95% of global flight content. 100 million searches are carried out every day on Kiwi.com’s website and partner channels. On average over 60,000 seats are sold daily.
Kiwi.com PR team