How much do you enjoy planning for a vacation when compared to the actual vacation? If you’re typical, according to a study reported in the New York Times, the anticipation is better than the actual trip:

The study, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.

I’m going to go ahead and misinterpret these results for my own ends, because why not?

Iris and I have been planning our trip to Japan for over three years. Any time we don’t know what to talk about, we plan our trip. We’ve been working on it since Iris was two and it was just a crazy idea (“someday I want to take my kid to Japan”). Now we leave in about two weeks.

What’s going to happen in Tokyo? Who knows? Maybe it’ll be a disaster and we’ll spend the whole time overtired and grumpy:

And for some travelers, the holiday itself was stressful. “In comments from people, the thing they mentioned most referred to disagreements with a travel partner or being ill,” Mr. Nawijn said.

I hope not. But it doesn’t matter. When this trip is over, we get to start planning the next one. I’m looking forward to that as much as the shinkansen and sukiyaki.

7 thoughts on “Antici…

  1. Maggi

    Heck, I’m looking forward to your trip! I can’t wait to hear about all of the adventures you and Iris experience!

  2. Wendy

    Few things have been more satisfying to me than planning trips and having them turn out exactly as I’d hoped/planned, plus more. I have little patience with people who think they’re cooler than me because they’re “more spontaneous” about traveling; they hardly ever do stuff that’s as cool as what I end up doing, she said modestly. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been sharing stories with someone in a foreign country and they’ve said “wow, where did you hear about that?” Um, the Let’s Go guide you spurned a moment ago?

    Anyway, I do love the planning part. What IS the next trip?

  3. Amy


    Looking forward to hearing how it goes! I did find that the planning of our last trip (to France, during winter, with a four-month old) produced more of a rush than the trip itself, which was often more difficult than I wanted to admit. However, it hasn’t made me any less excited to plan the next trip, whenever and wherever that will be, because by then our daughter will be less potted plant and more of a fellow traveler – and eater! Hope you and Iris have a wonderful time, and I’ll be glad to benefit from your experience.

  4. mamster Post author

    Iris and I have been talking about Sweden but expect to be outvoted in parliament.

  5. Jason Truesdell

    Congratulations! Stay healthy. Persistent colds, and some itinerary complications due to weather, was the main downside of our trip to DC, Italy, Switzerland and Germany during the winter. Over-planning and hyper-aggressive schedules have been the main challenges on other trips, so make sure to plan some unplanned time…

  6. ginny

    make sure you hit Kiddyland–eggcellent toy store in Omote Sando and the studio Ghibli museum if you are Totoro fans….

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