Every year we pack our suitcases full of anticipation for that long-awaited vacation. The hope is to return relaxed and happy. Chances are, we do. According to a study by the University of Tampere in Finland, we recover far more at our vacation destination than on a day off at home. The reasons are obvious: no one has to take out the garbage, and the electronic absence note is the only answer the boss can get from us now.
You don’t even have to travel far to do this, and you don’t have to go to a foreign place. The main thing is a change of scenery in offline mode. But what about the spirit of discovery, the desire for new experiences and variety? Overrated? Vacation researcher Martin Lohmann is unsurprised that many people repeatedly go to the same vacation destination.
“Discovering new places doesn’t play a big role for them. They have already found their place of longing. For them, it’s important to relax in a proven environment, but away from home.” For example, Lohmann has been dealing with travel for decades for the “Reiseanalyse” (RA). More than 12,000 interviews are conducted annually and serve as the basis for representative results on travel behaviour in German-speaking countries.
One result of these interviews: “Many people vacation where they have been before.” In numbers, that’s 60 percent who head to the tried and true and 40 percent who venture down completely unknown paths.
“It’s not even about discovering so much new stuff anymore,” Lohmann said. That has changed considerably in recent decades; he says: “The desire to get to know other cultures and foreign people is declining. The main motives for vacationing and travelling revolve much more around one’s well-being. People want to be pampered and entertained, to relax.”
One reason for choosing well-known vacation destinations is that many people in Western Europe have already taken a lot of vacations. The older, the more. “At some point, discovering also comes to an end.”