Experiences, not things, make the best gifts

The value of gifting travel this Christmas

The biggest gift-giving season is almost upon us, and even though research has proved time and time again that experiences make the best gifts, people are rushing to the shops to buy things to wrap.

Even expensive new computer equipment or jewellery don’t compare. Here’s what the science says:

You can’t compare experiences

In 2010, Cornell University conducted a study that found with material things, people often suffer ‘buyer’s remorse’ because they compare what they have with others. Unlike a material good, it’s almost impossible to compare your experience with someone else’s.

Experiences make us happier

Another study in 2014 looked at the emotional responses of people after receiving an experience versus a material gift. No surprise – the experience gift always ends up making us happier in the end. That’s probably because material goods degrade over time, and the novelty wears off. Memories last a lifetime – and studies seem to show they get better over time.

You add the thrill of anticipation

The anticipation of waiting for an experience to happen can add joy to our lives – that’s what science says, and I’m sure you’ve felt that yourself, as you count down to a big trip.

Experiences build relationships

Material goods are more likely to be enjoyed on their own, but an experience you’ll often share with other people. There’s a lot of value in feeling socially connected – another reason why experiences will always win over things.

Giving experiences

When looking for experience gift ideas, the easy answers are things like massages, dinners out or fun night-classes – but don’t dismiss the gift of travel. You could organise a special trip away, or if you have a trip planned, adding an experience to the itinerary could make a incredible surprise come Christmas morning.

Four travel gift experiences for under $2000

  1.  A Taste of the Danube river cruise, Vienna to Budapest with Avalon Waterways
    This four-day cruise, starting from $1,146 pp twin share, is a journey through the glowing lights, sights and smells of a European Christmas on one of Avalon’s decorated Suite Ships®. Starting in Vienna you’ll cruise through Wachau Valley, visit Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey, Dürnstein, and the centuries-old Slovakian city of Bratislava, before disembarking at the glorious Hungarian capital of Budapest.
  2. Highlights of the Canyonlands, tour Las Vegas’s national parks with Cosmos
    This is seven days exploring the spellbinding landscapes surrounding Las Vegas, starting from $1,949 pp twin share. Beginning and finishing in Las Vegas, your week’s tour includes some of the most spectacular national parks, including the Grand Canyon. Amongst other breath-taking sites, you’ll take in 700-year-old artefacts, soaring sandstone cliffs and bright red, yellow, and pink pillars called “hoodoos.”
  3. Tour Sicily, around Palermo with Cosmos
    Spend eight days soaking up the sun, culture and food of the Mediterranean’s largest island from $1,799 pp twin share. Explore the island’s centuries-old churches, squares, marketplaces, and palazzos, sample the world-famous local food and wine, and take in ancient artworks, all surrounded by the shimmering blue of the Mediterranean Sea.
  4. Scottish Highlands Escapes, tour Edinburgh to Glasgow with Globus
    A six-day tour of the Scottish Highlands will take you through moors and castles, lush glens and rushing rivers – starting from $959 pp twin share. You’ll begin at Edinburgh and travel to Glasgow, stopping at key historical sites and beautiful wilds along the way. Sample whiskey, visit the birthplace of golf and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Nessie at Loch Ness!

Make this Christmas the best one yet by gifting an experience your loved one will never forget. Book today by calling 0800 000 883 or visit the Globus family of brands’ website.