For most Germans it is a set ritual: pack up the suitcases at least once a year, get away from it all and recharge ones batteries. But how happy are Germans really on holiday and what makes a holiday a happy one? Within the framework of their IUBH Tourism Radar 2018 and in cooperation with the opinion research institute YouGov, IUBH Univeristy of Applied Sciences explored this question. The representative survey* shows that Germans usually enjoy their summer holidays to the fullest – and that the holiday is a key moment of happiness in the course of the year.
Majority are happy on holidays
The most important finding of the survey: Travel makes you happy. Regardless of whether the respondents relax on the beach, hike in the mountains or explore cities – on a scale of 1 to 10, 85 percent of those surveyed said they were “happy” on holidays. 35 percent, more than a third, even reported an “extremely happy” feeling. The social aspect plays an important role here: tour groups are the happiest. 91 percent of all travellers in groups said they were “extremely happy” or “rather happy” during their holidays. Couples (90 percent) also tend to be very satisfied, as do respondents traveling with friends (87 percent). Singles are not quite as satisfied (77 percent) and families with children under six (81 percent). The happiness factor increases however with the age of children. If the children are between 6 and 14 years old, satisfaction is back to the average with 85 percent.
Germans are looking for rest and relaxation
Switch off the phone and forget the daily routine: Respondents are particularly interested in having a change (97 percent), leaving their daily routine behind (94 percent) and relaxing (91 percent). However, doing something for fitness (82 percent) and health (79 percent) are also important. “In everyday life the main task is to function” says Prof Dr Linda Schnorbus, professor for tourism management at IUBH. “On holiday we have the time and distance to recognise who we really are and what we really want.” An educational programme, for example learning a new language, is not a high priority for respondents (32 percent). In the ranking of key holiday happiness factors, having adventure came in last place with 14 percent.
On holiday, most of the respondents realise how beautiful life can be. No stress, no obligations, the sense of relaxations settles in pleasantly fast. For the majority of German tourists the holiday feeling comes “immediately” (21 percent), after one day or at the latest after two days (each 23 percent). “For this reason short time-outs are also important. While we can usually deal well with stress, we need regular breaks to recover and clear our heads,” says Schnorbus.