Holidays are a key source of pleasure and other positive emotions involving intense, immersive experiences.
It's true, family vacations have a long-lasting impact on your child's happiness. When you think back to your own childhood, what do you think of? In my case, we rarely took lavish holidays having been rared by a single mum who worked three jobs at a time just to keep our heads above water. However, the ones we did experience built memories that will last me a lifetime and with each and every social occasion that involves a drink or three, it's all we talk about, we joke, we laugh and the memories all come rushing back.
For me, I think of the long summer evenings playing outside my aunts home in lovely Leitrim. They lived on four acres of land with stables, surrounded by trees with man made swings, an orchard with the most delicious green apples and it was without a shadow of a doubt my favourite place to go once school was out for the summer. I remember the various day tips to Mosney by Dart with extended family and friends and I will never forget that one weekend we travelled by ferry to Holyhead even if it pissed rain throughout the whole trip.
And it's funny because just over a year ago myself and my partner took 'the big boat' to Fishguard with my four little ones and even though we visited Legoland, Diggerland and even Peppa Pig World - they still talk about the ferry like it was yesterday. They adored it and keep asking when we can do it again at the tender age of three, four and five.
And now I know why, research by the Family Holiday Association (FHA) found a breakaway as a family has life-long benefits with 49% of people saying their happiest memory is that of a holiday with their family.
The study also found an overwhelming 55% of those surveyed agreed that holidays as a child have given them happy memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Talking about the important link between holidays and positive long-term memories, Professor of Marketing and Tourism Scott McCabe said,
"Holidays are a key source of pleasure and other positive emotions involving intense, immersive experiences."
"Quality time is an important facet of holidays and because the experiences we gain are different everyday life events they tend to stand out stronger in our memories." "Holidays and travel experiences can contribute to our identities and enable us to construct an enduring sense of self around these stand-out experiences."
McCabe concluded by saying, "The many positive experiences associated with family holidays help us to construct a sense of a happy family life that we look back on nostalgically through life".
So there you have it, camping down the country, a staycation with your siblings or a trip away will be more than just sunshine by the sea, it boosts your happiness while providing a lifetime of memories.