Nearly half of the 17,000 respondents in a global travel survey cited travel as a bigger happiness booster than their wedding day.
Both life events require major planning. Both can also take a bite out of budgets. But whereas weddings have often been described as a party thrown for the enjoyment of others, the primary benefactor of the vacation is the planner.
It's one of several findings from a Booking.com survey, which polled tens of thousands of travelers in 17 countries including the US, Canada, France, China, Japan, Australia, and Brazil, on travel and well-being.
In the global survey, almost half (49 percent) of respondents said vacations bring them more happiness than their wedding day and 45 percent said the same when it came to their engagement.
A full 50 percent said the prospect of going on holiday was a bigger joy-bringer than landing a new job.
Findings also showed that when it comes to travel, it's not just the destination, it's the journey that counts.
Three-quarters of respondents said they get a kick of excitement just from researching their holiday plans.
Between the time of booking and their actual date of departure, travelers said their happy place is looking at the map and researching places to visit, as well as shopping for their holiday wardrobe.
Nearly eight out of 10 people also said they'll scroll through photos of their destination and accommodations to get into the pre-vacation holiday spirit.
The results come as little surprise to the NY Times best-selling author Shawn Anchor, a Harvard grad who specializes in positive psychology.
"Study after study has indicated that there is a huge boost to happiness in the 'anticipatory phase' which occurs while planning and visualizing a trip,” he said in a statement.
“Based on a decade of research, the greatest competitive advantage in the modern world is a positive and engaged brain. In fact, I recently found that people who take all of their vacation days are not only happier, they are 34% more likely to receive a bonus over the next three years. Happy travel pays."
The results identify the happiest phase of the entire holiday experience: The majority (87 percent) of respondents said they're happiest holiday moment is the first day of their vacation. That was followed closely by the first time they see their accommodation (83 percent) and leaving the office (62 percent).