The science is in, and guess what travel agents: you guys are the link between the dreary and the dreamy, and the travel experiences you give your clients is making them feel much happier.

Of course, we’ve all known this for years. It’s why we work in the travel industry, and it’s why we spend most of our disposable income on Bali getaways, expeditions to Kenya, and European vacations.

But how exactly is science backing this claim up?

Well, according to a recent study at Cornell University, it’s experiences, not things, that promote lasting happiness. That’s the key word – lasting. Unlike material things, like a shiny new iPhone 6, or a new Mercedes, or a new Gucci handbag, experiences tend to be looked upon with happiness that doesn’t decrease over time. That’s because we adapt to physical objects – having them always around ultimately makes us appreciate them less.

In contrast, one-off experiences, like taking a river cruise on the Danube, trekking the Annapurna Trail or downing shots of palinka in Belgrade, tend to promote the same, or even greater levels of happiness over time. In other words: it’s great memories, not great things, that’s the true secret to happiness.


So what does this mean for travel agents?

Well, apart from now referring to yourselves as “doctors” – you are, after all, helping people feel better… – you can now feel even prouder about your chosen profession. You are helping people reach greater levels of happiness, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

It also means that you need to remember to look after your own needs, and work hard to win those famils and save up for your next holiday, as travelling yourself will just make you feel happier too.

Indeed, it turns out that catching the travel bug may be the only “disease” that actually helps you feel better.

What is your most memorable travel experience? And how does it make you feel now? Let us know in the comments below.