If you still don’t know what to get for that special someone this holiday season — you’re cutting it pretty close. But don’t fret. The best gift you can give doesn’t fit in a box wrapped in pretty paper. It’s the gift of travel – and the reasons are all in the science.
It’s been proven that experiences have a more long-lasting effect and bring more happiness than a material gift. And, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, experiences as presents are also more effective at improving relationships.
Trips are especially meaningful in the experiential gift category. The awe of a Hawaiian volcano or a hiking trip to the Appalachians, the excitement of a wine festival in Napa or a rock concert in Vegas, or the relaxation of a spa day in Southern California. These experiences are far more impactful than the latest version of whatever shiny gadget is being pushed this season by clever marketers. The newness of a material gift will likely wear off after it has been used a few times, while the experiential gift will create indelible memories that last a lifetime.
Still pondering this one? Consider this: Unless your present is a Twister mat or a tandem bike, people tend to use their gift “things” on their own. Alone. Traveling, more often than not, is a shared experience with others, be it friends, family members, or romantic partners, which can bring people closer together. Also, trips as gifts — when chosen thoughtfully — are tailored to the personality of the individual receiving it, their hobbies, or bucket list items, which make them more unique and personal.
So, here’s what you do next. Check out the variety of travel deals available for the upcoming months. Book a trip for that loved one — and don’t forget to include yourself. You will be a holiday gift-giving hero. You’re welcome.