Planning the Perfect Vacation

Planning the Perfect Vacation


Trying to plan a family vacation?  Not sure where to start?  Summer can be a wonderful opportunity to plan some quality down time with family and take a break from the busy schedules of the school year.  This month’s article focuses on the psychology and economics of common travel dilemmas based on recent research by professors at Northwestern University.  Check out five typical travel cononundrums before planning your next vacation as well as local summer events happening in NH.

  1. Locale- Where Should You Go?

Research has shown that how you feel at the time you book your trip can influence the type of vacation you choose.  For example, if you are feeling excited and upbeat, you may choose a more active, action-oriented type of vacation such as hiking or camping.  If you are feeling sad or angry, you may choose a more relaxing vacation , such as hanging out at the beach. Here are a few ideas for summer vacations locally and around the country:

Things To Do In New Hampshire

US News Best Summer Family Vacations

  1. Is the Top 10 List Always the Best?

Researchers highlight that when faced with a choice between a Top 10 List of hotels or a Top 9 List, most people would gravitate to the Top 10 because its what we are used to seeing.  In general, consumers tend to prefer a select set of numbers that marketers use all the time—ten, twenty, twenty-five, fifty, a hundred. This affinity is so strong that a weaker claim—top ten—can beat out a stronger one—top nine. This phenomenon is called the “comfort tier” effect.  Make sure you check out all lists to compare hotels or places to visit, regardless of the number.  Here are a few Top 10 Lists (sorry, we couldn’t find a Top 9 List!) for summer family fun:

Free Summer Events This Summer For Families

Ten Great Family Bike Trails in NH


  1. Baggage Fees and Behavior

If you decide to fly somewhere this summer, you will undoubtedly be looking at the many different fees that different airlines may charge , whether it be for the airline, the type of seat you choose, or how many bags you are allowed.  Research shows that the airlines use these fees to help shape consumer behavior.  For example, they may charge an extra fee for baggage in order to motivate people just to bring a carry-on bag which lowers the cost for the airline.  Do your research!

Is It Cheaper to Drive Or Fly?

  1. Lessons from Gas Stations of Yore

Many of you will decide to drive to your summer family vacation destination.  We all have memories of driving for many hours to get to our favorite family spot because “back then” it took longer because the interstate wasn’t built yet.  Research shows that whether a particular gas station is still open or not shows the popularity of that route to your destination.  Also, gas prices tend to go up in the summer because of the demand and increased number of people on the road.

Ten Best Summer Road Trips in New England

  1. Too Hot to Help?

Research shows that customer service is shown to be worse during times when the summer weather is excessively hot as opposed to more seasonable.  During summer vacations, we often eat out at restaurants or frequent other service-oriented establishments.  Maybe we can keep this in mind and have some patience and understanding while waiting in that long line for our favorite ice cream this summer.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavors by State


Happy Travels!