Posted on : September 7, 2016
Views : 100
Category : Economics
Prof. Dan Airley investigates the link between summer vacations and economics. Are your family trips an exercise in pleasure or comfort? There’s a vivid difference between the two… and it may mean the difference between a fantastic vacation and one that’s just okay. Vacations are really interesting because for many families it’s one of their biggest discretionary expenses throughout the year. The real question is; are people getting the most happiness that they can out of their vacation dollars?
  • Mistake
The vacation timeline. You have the time before the vacation, you have the time during the vacation and you have the time after the vacation. Before the vacation is the time you think and anticipate. During the vacation you enjoy, and afterwards you savor. You look back; you think about it and so on. From those three periods, the actual vacation is the shortest.
  • Therefore, you shouldn’t think just about the vacation itself, you should also think about anticipation and memory. And I can tell you that personally we’ve gone to some vacations with my family that at the moment were not fantastic. The actual vacation itself may not be joyful, but reflecting on it (before and after) amazing. So you want to think about the whole experience and how vacations enrich your life, become input for memory and not just good for its own sake.
When we repeat the same vacation we’ve done before or try a new place matters. Repeating something has some advantages, it’s a sure thing and we know what to expect (no disappointments). But there are no unexpected excitements (the famous economist Scitovsky refers to pleasures and comforts. Some things are really amazing and others kind of okay. We don’t often do amazing things because we go for the okay. Going to the same beach as before is perfectly fine, low risk, and you do it again and again (you’re not taking any risk). However, you are not building the amazing repertoire of experience (before, during and after) that will feed you throughout the year and make you happy about that vacation.
  • Vacations need to be something that is beyond the specific and we should be very worried about going for the comfort rather than the real pleasure.
  • “Raise, Awake and take stand. Draw the path for others. Be a Leader” ― Vivek Modi