Not all vacations are created equal, so it seems crazy to believe there's a way for everyone to have a happy holiday no matter where they go and for how long, right? Wrong. According to a TED talk given by American-Israel Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, the formula for the perfect vacay isn't determined by how long the holiday is or really where we go, the happiest holiday just has to sync the two parts our selves he calls, "an experiencing self and a remembering self."

Er, what? Kahneman explains the "two selves" like this:  "There is an experiencing self, who lives in the present and knows the present is capable of re-living the past, but basically it has only the present... And then there is the remembering self, and the remembering self is the one that keeps score, and maintains the story of our life." He adds, "From the point of view of the experiencing self, if you have a vacation, and the second week is just as good as the first, then the two-week vacation is twice as good as the one-week vacation. That's not the way it works at all for the remembering self. For the remembering self, a two-week vacation is barely better than a one-week vacation because there are no new memories added. You have not changed the story."

Following Kahneman's thinking (we trust him, he has a Nobel Prize) it sounds like making new happy holiday memories is the key to having a premium vacay every time we put our out-of-office on. It also appears that if we're going to just one place for our holiday, then taking only one week is plenty of time for us to have a memory-making good time and we can keep our bank balance happy by skipping the second week of holiday time and saving the extra holiday credits for later.

The happiest holidays all have this one thing in common