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7 Tips for Creating Happier Travel Memories

By Lyndsey Matthews

07.30.19

From the September/October 2019 issue

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Printing photos instead of just storing them digitally is one way to preserve your happiest travel memories.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska

Printing photos instead of just storing them digitally is one way to preserve your happiest travel memories.

Whether it’s trying new things or appreciating our surroundings, we can all do more to connect with the places we visit. Happiness Research Institute CEO Meik Wiking shares how we can make the most of our time on the road.

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Meik Wiking is an author and the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, a think tank based in Copenhagen. His newest book, The Art of Making Memories: How to Create and Remember Happy Moments (HarperCollins), is due out October 1. Here, he shares his tips for cultivating joy while on your next trip and after you’ve returned home.

1. Go to a new place every year


4. Go ahead, buy that souvenir
Objects that remind us of a time and place relieve our brains from having to remember everything. “It’s good to ‘outsource’ some of our memories—the photos, the soundtrack,” Wiking says. “Souvenirs are an easy fix. And I don’t mean a tacky Eiffel Tower; it can be a really nice vase you bought in Paris.”

5. End your trip on a high note
Psychologist Daniel Kahneman developed the Peak-End Theory, which posits that we remember experiences by their most intense moment and how they ended. “So you might want to finish on a high,” Wiking says. “For some, it might be [eating your last meal] at a luxury Michelin restaurant; for others, it might be skydiving.”

6. Reduce the risk of digital amnesia by printing your pictures
“Photos can trigger your memory five, 10, 20 years down the line. Pick the top photos—the happiest memories, the best experiences you had—and bring them into print.”

7. Don’t be afraid of things going wrong when you travel
“Struggles are always annoying when we are in them, but they also make better stories, because we fought to get through them. That doesn’t help when you are in the situation, but five years down the line, that’s the story you tell.”

Preorder The Art of Making Memories: How to Create and Remember Happy Moments

>>Next: Norway Is One of the World’s Happiest Countries. Is Friluftsliv the Secret?

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