Why Does It Seem Quicker To Get Home Than To Get Away on Vacation?


By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

It feels like it takes forever to get to your vacation destination, but the way home feels like the trip is done in the blink of an eye.  

While we all know that time’s passage is relative, scientists have figured out ‘the why’ the shorter return happens.

When you’re leaving for your trip, you pay attention to time passing, keeping track of the time and checking your watch, according to a recent study.

The Washington Post equated it to the old saying ‘a watched pot never boils.’

It is also the idea of familiarity, the paper reported.  On the way, you’re not sure where you’re going.  The route is unfamiliar.  On the way back, you know the route, it makes the trip feel faster since you know what’s coming.

study in 2011 however explained that it’s not the familiarity, but rather on the trip to a destination, you are excited, optimistic on the trip to the final stop, making it feel long.  The way home, it’s not as exciting and expect the trip to be shorter, so it feels that way.   

Either argument supports, as The Washington Post reported, that time is subjective that doesn’t necessarily agree with what the clock says.

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