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Andreas Kluth

The Pandemic Has Made Vacation Even More Stressful Than It Used to Be

Going on holiday has always required too much planning to allow spontaneity and relaxation. Now Covid has made that so much worse.

Caught up on your paperwork?

Caught up on your paperwork?

Photographer: Raymond Roig/AFP via Getty Images

As long ago as 2010, an innocent time when borders were open and pandemics were the subject of TED talks rather than daily headlines, Dutch researchers discovered that most people who go on holiday trips are no happier when they return. Americans, notorious for their workaholism, were said to be particularly stressed-out vacationers. 

Some of that has to do with working extra hard before the break in order to be able to take it, then extra hard afterward to catch up, and worrying in between about what’s happening in your inbox.