Science Says: Why You Should Give Experiences Instead of Stuff

Dec 4, 2015
Every year, there's someone on your holiday shopping list that stumps you.

And chances are, despite your best intentions, you eventually find something to give them, and it falls flat.

Socks. Fruitcake. A Frosty the Snowman sweater. The 365 Uses for Duct Tape peel-off calendar. The Beer/Cheese/Chocolate of the Month club membership. Stuff. You've probably been on the giving or receiving end of gifts like this in holidays past.

Well, there's scientific proof that you've been doing it all wrong.

A recent Cornell study concluded that people derive more satisfaction from experiential purchases (show tickets, travel, dining) than from purchasing material goods. Young or old, married or single, male or female, different races, regions and political affiliations -- experiences made them happier than things.

So when we created our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide, we focused on creating experiences that Travelzoo members would feel good about giving and receiving. Think luxury vacations like: Four Seasons spa days. Dinners and chef's tasting at hot restaurants. Romantic getaways. One of a kind activities and must-see attractions.

We asked our members, and 80% of them would rather receive an experience instead of a material thing this year for the holidays.

Give it a go. There are deals in the guide for experiences around the corner and across the nation. You're not just giving a gift, you're creating memories.

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