By Cassie Shortsleeve. Photos: Getty.
One of the biggest unknowns in planning the perfect trip is whether or not you’ll actually enjoy the activities you’ve picked out. But soon this could be a no-brainer. The Singapore Tourism Board—in conjunction with Australian researchers—just crafted a travel guide based off of people’s emotions, gathered using brain technology, reports Lonely Planet.
For the ambitious (albeit small-scale) study, scientists issued one family a personality questionnaire and asked what kinds of activities they enjoyed. Then, using EEG technology, they hooked the group up and tracked their brain waves while they experienced 20 different activities across Singapore.
After studying the activity of neurons in their brains and asking the people how they felt when all was said and done, the researchers found that different experiences led to different emotions and built a guide based on those emotions. In the future, the Singapore Tourism Board might be able to tailor individual trips around this information. In a video about the project, the researchers say, "Using brain science to design your perfect holiday is the next step into the future of brain science and brain technology."
And sure, the day travel specialists use brainwaves to craft perfect getaways for travelers all over the globe isn’t tomorrow; but the study showcases how brain science can steer us toward a more enjoyable trip. Its results also shed light on a few factors to consider when planning out your next jaunt. Some of the biggest takeaways below:
- People enjoyed experiences that were unique to a place the most. In Singapore that meant the city-state’s Gardens by the Bay, a 250-acre nature park. This was perhaps because you can’t get such experiences anywhere else in the world, said Joel Pearson, an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of New South Wales in a video about the project.
- Free experiences led to similar levels of happiness as more costly ones. Might we suggest a stroll along the Singapore River or exploring Robertson Quay and Chinatown—two of the city’s buzziest neighborhoods—by foot?
- Eating traditional foods lit up people’s brains. And brain data revealed this was true for kids and adults, alike. Good news considering food-obsessed Singapore now also has its own Michelin Guide. Perhaps, after all, the stomach—not the brain—is the key to a happy vacation.
This story originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveler.
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