As Americans struggle through months of at-home isolation and pandemic-driven worries, new research suggests that the simple act of making travel plans can boost their happiness and increase their energy levels and sense of well-being.

In new polling conducted by happiness researcher Michelle Gielan, 97 percent of respondents say that having a trip planned makes them happier, while 82 percent reported that it makes them “moderately” or “significantly” happier. Seventy-one percent reported feeling greater levels of energy when they had a trip planned in the next six months.*

Given the benefits of trip planning, America’s travel industry has a message for everyone who has dreamed of missed getaways: When you are ready to travel, we’ll be ready to welcome you back. Launching today and extending into 2021, a new, industry-wide initiative called “Let’s Go There” aims to spark a conversation about future getaways.

Visit The Woodlands is proud to join the U.S. Travel Association and destinations around the country in this new industry-wide initiative.

“Booking a trip—even just getting it on the calendar—might be the very thing we need to restore our emotional immune system after months of mounting uncertainty and stress,” said Gielan, founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research and an expert in the science of happiness. “In our study on the connection between travel and happiness, 82 percent of people say simply planning a trip makes them ‘moderately’ or ‘significantly’ happier.”

Gielan’s findings align with previous research finding an inherent sense of happiness and satisfaction generated by the mere act of planning a future travel experience—and that anticipating a trip might have an even stronger positive effect than reflecting on one that has already happened.

With flexible booking and cancellation policies in place and great deals for destinations across the United States, there has never been a better time for people to start looking ahead to all the travel they’ve been missing.

“The memories and experiences that travel enables cannot be replaced,” said Jill Estorino, President and Managing Director at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and a co-chair of the Let’s Go There Coalition. “This campaign is a first step in inspiring Americans to think about planning a vacation, and encouraging them to look forward to experiencing the wonder and joy—and even magic—that only travel can offer.”

Read the full release here.