Many people can’t wait for summer vacation, especially who was half the Americans who cancelled their summer plans because of the pandemic.

Do you ever feel like your vacation is almost over?

You’re not the only one.

Recent studies Gabriela Tonietto and Sam Maglio as well as Eric VanEpps showed that approximately half of those surveyed felt that the weekend would end just as quickly as they started.

This feeling can cause ripple effects. This feeling can have a ripple effect on how trips are planned. You might be less likely, for instance, to plan extra activities. You might also be more inclined to spend a lot on dinner to make the most of what little time you do have.

Is this a natural tendency? Can it be stopped?

All events are not created equal

People look forward to things because they want it to be as soon as possible and for as long as possible.

This attitude was first examined in the context Thanksgiving.

We chose Thanksgiving because nearly everyone in America celebrates it. However, not everyone enjoys it. Some people enjoy the annual family gathering. Some people dread the annual family get-together, whether it’s stress from cooking, cleaning or dealing with family drama.

So asked 510 people online whether they were looking forward or not to Thanksgiving 2019. We then asked them how far it was from their homes and how long they thought it would last. We asked them to move a 100 point slider (0 being very short, 100 being very long) to a place that best reflected their feelings.

We suspected that the closer we looked forward to Thanksgiving, the shorter it felt. Ironically, the time it takes to long for something seems shorter in the mind’s eyes.

The mind’s clock must be wound

Many people believe that time flies when you have fun. Research has shown that people often assume that the task was engaging and enjoyable.

We thought that people could be judging the length of events as a function of their assumptions about time and fun.

People tend to assume that vacations and fun events will pass quickly. The time leading up can seem slow if you are hankering after something. Participants felt that the event’s beginning was being pushed further away and its ending was getting closer. This resulted in them anticipating that what they were looking forward to would have almost no duration.

Malkoc writes that when anticipating big events such as vacations, it is important to remember how long it will last.

“You will get more from the experience and be better able to make the most of the time that you have.”

You’ll be fine if you just relax and enjoy your vacation.


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