The 10 most joyous destinations in the world

Research shows there is a strong connection between traveling and happiness. So how can you experience the maximum amount of joy when traveling this summer?

Bank of America has partnered with happiness expert, Shawn Achor and Condé Nast Traveler to uncover the unique “happiness factors” that make travel joyous. Together, they have uncovered the 10 most joyous destinations in the world for 2017.  Shawn Achor joins us from one of those top destination with more.

"As a happiness researcher, I've spent the past decade trying to understand the factors that lead to greater levels of happiness and in doing so I've traveled to 51 countries across the globe trying to understand what it really is that cause people to feel greater levels of happiness so we've isolated about six factors that really have an impact on people's happiness. That's things like having a diverse culture. Having high well beings, social connection, a sense of awe and wonder...a sense of  adventure. Those are things not only provide happiness in our daily lives but those provide happiness when we're traveling as well.

So I partnered up with Bank of America and Condé Nast to create something we now call the 'joy i ndex' which allows us based upon this research to aggregate the information we're seeing come out of the United Nations to now understand what it is that causes people to feel happiness when travel and we came up with the top 10 most joyous destinations in the entire world... and I have to say some of them were surprising.

I'm here Houston in the middle of a tropical storm here today but Houston made our top 10 list. Part of the reason for that was Houston is one of the diverse cities in the United States and because of that it has a thriving art scene, phenomenal culture, also the surprise element most people wouldn't necessarily put Houston on their bucket list but it turns out if you travel the right way you can find access to joy in some these places that you might have had access to or even though about as a travel destination without the joy index in the first place.

It's been great doing this research, we learned some really important things. It wasn't what you were doing on the trip that mattered, it mattered who you were doing it with so are you meeting people in that destination? Are you meeting up with a local guide or having dinner with a family that lives there? So you really get to have those memorable experiences. We're doing things like, every time I travel and I travel a lot, I use a travel rewards credit card so I'm actually making travel in the future even easier.

If you want to learn more just go to cntraveler.com/joyindex, to learn our methodology and our top 10 most joyous destinations in the world that can help make  you and your family even happier next time you travel."