I have a (sweeping and wildly generalized) pet theory that every relationship has one planner and one person who flies by the seat of their pants. With almost every couple we know, one person always takes charge of planning the trip—booking flights, scouting hotels, reading about the destination—while the other person is happy to just show up and see what happens. Do you think that’s true?

Before we met, Alex would take trips that were virtually unplanned; he’d arrive in a new place and wander around exploring. Meanwhile, I’m SUCH a planner. Planning gets me really excited for the trip, so I plan embarrassingly far in advance. (Last year, our Christmas trip was booked by June!) I like debating places to stay and discovering restaurants loved by locals. Usually I’ll create a Cheat Sheet with all the info together in one place. Alex used to tease me about it, but now I think he sees the method to my madness. Tell me I’m not the only one?

Interestingly, researchers from the Netherlands discovered that the largest boost in happiness from a vacation doesn’t come during or after the vacation, but instead from the simple act of planning a vacation. According to the 2010 study, “vacation anticipation” generally boosts happiness for eight weeks, reported the New York Times, whereas after the vacation “there is hardly an effect.” Furthermore, a U.S.-based study in 1997 found that “vacationers were happier in the period leading up to their time off than during the vacation itself.”

I’m curious: Are you a planner? Or your partner? Or neither?

P.S. The weird thing we do on vacations.

(Photos of us back in 2008 in England. The last few were from my cousin’s wedding, when were too tipsy to take a decent photo)