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Tuesday 29 November 2022

How holidays can help boost our overall happiness

Travellers will be looking trips and destinations that aid their happiness in 2023, one expert predicts.

And that pursuit of happiness will be even more important in tough economic times that lay ahead.

I'm not sure how seriously you can take comments from someone who calls themselves "Dr Happy" - but here we go.

Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites’ Resident Happiness Expert, Dr Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy) has shared his reasons why the search for happiness will be a key travel trend in 2023.

While many people may think that rising living costs will take travel off the agenda, founder of The Happiness Institute, Dr Sharp (aka Dr Happy, below), says there’s no need for travel to be extensive for it to have a positive impact on our physical and mental wellbeing.

Rather than Ferraris, Fendi and fine dining, the reason travel is such a significant contributor to our happiness is simpler things, such as ‘taking time out from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, creating opportunities to try new things, and sharing experiences and making connections with friends and family.

"Research has shown that travel taps into some of the key principles of happiness because it’s intrinsically linked to embracing new experiences and breaking out of our usual routines, Dr Sharp says (sorry, I just can't call him Dr Happy).

"Trying new things gives us the good feels and creates opportunities to learn and gain confidence, which in turn reduces stress and boosts our mood and satisfaction levels – contributing to that overall happy feeling.

"There is no doubt experiences trump material possessions every time, and the more frequently we’re able to get away, the happier we are.

“Even the initial step of researching and booking time away creates the joy of anticipation, with an incredible 97% of people confirming they feel happier when they have a trip to look forward to, and 71% of people saying they feel energised when they have travel coming up within six months."

Minor Hotels’ Head of Commercial for Australia and New Zealand, John Thompson, says the company’s new brand platform Happy Folks Choose Oaks centres around the same philosophy, that simple things such as a weekend staycation in your own city, a road trip to a regional destination, or a coastal getaway with family and friends were central to happy stays for the company’s guests.

Thompson says there is a definite trend towards extended long weekends, with travellers increasingly booking stays from Friday through to Monday instead of the conventional Friday/Saturday weekend getaways of old.

This is due to the flexibility of remote and hybrid working - and a growing intolerance for hectic airports (Friday night, Sunday night, Monday morning) and peak-hour traffic.

Following experiences with airport chaos, lost baggage, cancellations and soaring prices, Australians are also swapping airline cabins for the car and taking more self-drive holidays, Thompson says.

Visit the Oaks Hotels website for more info and the chance to win a holiday as The Happiest Person.

To view the commercial and assets, please find link here.

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