It’s that time of year again. Heart-shaped chocolates line store windows, romantic comedies fill movie theaters, and guys are wandering shopping malls in search of that perfect gift. That’s right, it’s the week of Valentine’s Day and no matter how you feel about the holiday, the expectations are high to get it right.

If you’re like most people, you still may be narrowing down your Valentine’s Day plans. But as our annual Expedia Pleasure Index reveals, you may want to consider an experiential Valentine’s Day present: travel.

We recently partnered with Northstar Research to study the relationship between happiness, pleasure, and vacationing among Americans. The results–packaged in the second-annual Expedia Pleasure Index–were interesting, to say the least. Let’s dig in.

For starters, data indicated that people love traveling. The 2014 Expedia Pleasure Index revealed that not only does traveling make people happy, but it also makes them happier than their own relationships or most anything else in life. The study found that 80 percent of Americans say vacations make them happier than marriage, weddings, religion, cats, and birthdays.


The Expedia Pleasure Index also found that 94 percent of Americans would give up at least one of life’s “prized possessions,” including alcohol, video games, chocolate, and favorite clothing, for an entire week in return for a single extra vacation day. Just for one vacation day! A whopping 30 percent of the respondents said they’d even give up hanky-panky for a week in exchange for one precious extra day of leisure. (Interestingly, women were more eager than men to give up sex, at 35 percent to 25 percent.)

Next, the Expedia Pleasure Index also indicated a direct connection between travel and one’s personal level of satisfaction; that, in general, travel has a positive effect on people’s level of pleasure and happiness.

Case in point: Nine out of 10 surveyed Americans cited vacation as being where their happiest memories are formed. At the same time, the Expedia Pleasure Index found that once on vacation, people’s desires for pleasurable experiences such as sex is heightened. More than 93 percent of Americans reported being at least “somewhat likely” to be intimate on vacation, while 48 percent said they were “much more likely” to be intimate with their partner on vacation than they are at home. (You heard it here folks: Vacation boosts the libido!)

With this in mind, the 2014 Expedia Pleasure Index has affirmed what we already believed: Travel contributes to a happier, healthier, and more satisfied person. Traveling more is a resolution that we can all get behind. So to spur Americans to find their happiest memories on vacation this winter, we’ve created a mobile offer for travelers. Consumers who text XOXO to 75309 will receive a download link to Expedia’s mobile app and an exclusive coupon code. By entering MOBILEXOXO in the app, consumers can save $25 on their first mobile hotel booking. Now get out and book!

Download the full infographic and view more about the 2014 Expedia Pleasure Index here.