5 Things You Didn't Know About Taking a Vacation

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — At first glance, it's not exactly a shocker when Americans say they link vacations with happiness.

Of course they do, and in big numbers. Expedia , the Bellevue, Wash., online travel firm says that 86% of U.S. love their vacations because they make them happy.

Evidently, the more one vacations, the sunnier their disposition. Expedia says that those "happy" trip-takers are more likely to take three or more vacations annually.

But it goes further. Here are five surprising superlatives about travel:

It's better than the happiest day of your life. U.S. adults who take a regular vacation say their trips make them happier than their marriages, weddings, birthdays and religions. Vacations even surpass the happiness associated with owning a cat among U.S consumers, Expedia says. "I love my husband, and I love my cat, but like most Americans, I love them both more when I'm on the beach — with my husband of course, not the cat," says Sarah Gavin, a travel expert at Expedia.com.

Travel means better sex. According to the Expedia Travel Index (and let's never forget that Expedia wants you to travel — that's why it's in business), sex is better away from home. More than 88% of U.S. Travel consumers say they have more physical intimacy and better sex while on vacation, and that loving feeling doesn't go away soon; Expedia says the romantic lives of constant vacationers are improved for up to four years after a trip ... but only as long as you keep taking those vacations.

Travel is better with a loved one. Americans who travel alone are much less likely to report feeling happy about a vacation compared with vacationers who go as a couple. Married couples, in particular, report high levels of happiness and contentment after taking a vacation.