Should I buy a Hot Tub or take a family vacation?

The 2017 World Happiness Report is out and it delivered some surprises:

father and son spend quality family time and compare a hot tub to a getaway

What Makes Us Happy?

Academics worldwide have concluded time and time again that connection to others is the key to happiness.

The top winning countries share a common trait: they tend to value community and socialization over possessions and status. Denmark resident Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, explains: “What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good.”

Study co-author and economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University (and scores of other sociologists and scientists) notes that first-world residents suffer increasingly from “the loss of community, the decline of social trust, and the rising anxiety levels associated with the vagaries of the modern globalized economy.”

Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger directed the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the longest and most comprehensive studies of adult humans ever. This study drew data from two widely-known Harvard studies, the Grant Study and the Gleuck Study, and followed two groups of white American men (285 Harvard sophomores and 456 inner-city Boston boys) for 75 years.

The biggest finding was that men in both groups who claimed they felt close to family, friends, and community were happier than those who didn’t have the same number and quality of social relationships.

father and son test soak in a hot tub compared to a family vacation pricin
Positive emotions help us to connect with others and build our ability to cope when life gets challenging.

Backing up these findings is the comprehensive review of dozens of studies from the Social and Personality Psychology Compass. That review concluded loneliness can erode mental functioning, sleep, and well-being, and that low quality in those factors increases the risk of illness and death.

Humans are social animals, and going against that wiring dramatically impacts individual health and society overall. It’s no wonder the smart millennial generation is rejecting material possessions in exchange for experiences with friends and loved ones!

Happiness, Hot Tubs And The Hinge Of Relationships

Those of us who didn’t make it to the 2017 World Happiness Report’s top 10 can import a little of that Nordic happiness when they invest in a hot tub. Our clients have convinced us that their spas go a long way toward strengthening relationships and overall happiness.  Every day, Hot Spring Spa owners share reviews about how their hot tub has strengthened their relationships:

“The thing I love most about it is spending time in it with our 3 teenagers. It’s truly quality time. There are no electronics or distractions, so we have a great conversation.”

“We wanted a hot tub for our vacation home and chose a Hot Spring Rhythm®because it accommodates 7 people. It has been perfect for our large number of house guests: the adults enjoy relaxing in the 4 deep seats (each has a different jet pattern) and the kids and their parents love having a large pool in the backyard (the waterfall is a hit).”

“We enjoy relaxing in our Hot Spring hot tub almost every evening on our deck. The stars in the mountains are amazing! It is a perfect “together” time for us. The grandkids enjoy it, too.”

mother and daughters enjoy hot tub activities to build relationships and memories for a lifetime

Outdoor family activities build relationships and memories to last a lifetime.

These three reviews just happened to come from American owners. Our hot tubs can help facilitate relationship connections. Our goal is to help our customers connect in a meaningful way with the most important people in their lives.

It’s easy to focus too much on work. The spa is the perfect antidote to the overscheduled lifestyle.

The Shortest Route To Happiness May Surprise You

Long term hot tub ownership supports long-term relationships

Many families strive for a taste of happiness and relationship reinforcement by tucking a vacation into the summer months. All year, they dream of typical vacation perks:

Fantasizing about a vacation for the months leading up to it can bring temporary relief from the daily grind. But a vacation has its limitations.

This chart makes plain the differences between the return on investment for a hot tub versus a vacation.

Hot Tub
Enjoyment Frequency Many Hot Spring® customers use their spas daily. A high-quality hot tub can last 15 to 20 years or longer with proper maintenance. One to two-week duration once yearly. Memories can last a lifetime, although the experience itself is short.
Wellness Daily or at least weekly opportunity for relaxation, meditation, connection and socialization with family, friends, and neighbors. Awesome for the one- to two-week period, but over quickly.
Socialization/Community Consistent opportunity to invite family, friends, and neighbors for a fun way to talk in a relaxing, natural setting. Family and friends can join up on vacation. Great, but short-lived, fun. Out-of-pocket costs for all participants. Logistics can be a hassle for the organizer.
Connection to Loved Ones It’s tough to bring a smartphone, tablet or television into the tub. The burble of the bubbles fills in silences, giving soakers opportunities to discuss matters at their leisure. Good opportunity to connect in stimulating new settings if friends and family members take out the headphones, put down the phones and stop to enjoy the experience.
Dedicated Relaxation Abundant opportunities to enjoy the hot tub completely alone for a self-determined time period. Opportunities to relax but also pressure to take advantage of everything the location has to offer: landmarks, museums, hikes, shows, athletic adventures, restaurants and more.
Meditation / Reflection time There is nothing like warm water and jets to access the subconscious and reflect on emotional and physical wellness. Practiced daily meditation is proven to make you happier over your lifetime. Vacation brings a clear-eyed perspective back home. It also provides the necessary distance to re-evaluate goals and determine what matters. The problem is that resolutions discovered while away can be lost in frenetic home life.
Time in Nature Regular time in your hot tub outside in nature attunes you to the trees, clouds, birds, insects and other critters in your own backyard. This awareness helps you feel part of a greater world, a notion that eases stress and improves happiness. Visiting dramatic places like Yosemite or Big Sur can be life-changing.


For long-term, consistent relationship fuel that leads to happiness, the hot tub wins, hands down.

Great relationships need a consistent investment of energy and time. And it’s the long-term relationships (marriage, life-long friends, neighbors) that most help people feel they’re safely settled in a stable community. The consistency of a hot tub does a better job of establishing and maintaining the stable relationships that contribute to happiness.

Experience all the benefits of buying a hot tub!


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The Hot Tub Store has been Northern California’s family owned team of local hot tub experts for more than 45 years. Our showrooms in Santa Rosa , Vacaville, West Sacramento, Rocklin and Folsom offer the highest quality Hot Tubs, Swim Spas, and Accessories from the industry’s top brands like Hot Spring Spas, Fantasy Spas, and Endless Pools. Whether you are looking for a new hot tub, or need to service your current spa, you can relax and let The Hot Tub Store take care of you.

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