Why giving an experience is the best gift

These days it’s all about the experience. When you’re stuck for a gift to buy that choosy loved one or difficult-to-please bestie, save yourself the headache and buy them an experience instead of an object. It’s not just about making life easier for yourself, it turns out that giving the gift of an experience can actually make the recipient happier and more satisfied. Not convinced? Here are some reasons why giving experiences is the best thing to do:

  1. People get more excited about future events

When you have an event or activity lined up in the near future, the anticipation and looking forward to it is half the fun. Similar to the excitement felt before a holiday, the anticipation of engaging in a fun experience boosts happiness levels even before the event has taken place. When a scientific study asked people what made them more excited, waiting for an experience or waiting for a material gift, excitement levels for the experience far outweighed those felt for the possession. With this is mind, why not consider a really fun experience like Tank Driving with Armourgeddon?

  1. More Value

Other studies have been done to measure how people felt after receiving a material gift and how they felt after being given an experience. What came to light was that people think they will be happier with a possession and this will be better value for money. However, the results demonstrate the opposite and we end up happier with the experience. It’s all down to how we think about value for money and the association with material goods.

  1. Social Connections

Experiences are often engaged in with more than one person or in a group, so the opportunity for making social connections is far greater. Not only are you creating great new memories, but you’re also sharing that time with others and that adds significantly to our satisfaction levels. Humans give great value to activities that creates bonds with others and scientists call it ‘social connectedness’.

  1. We tire quickly of possessions

One of the main reasons why people choose to give physical objects as gifts, is that we believe they will last longer. Surely a watch or scarf will last longer than an  experience that will be over in a day? We assume that lasting longer equals increased happiness. This is not the case though.

People are forever running on the hedonistic treadmill, constantly seeking new pleasures as we quickly tire of the new fun things in our environment. Something we adore for a few weeks will soon lose its joy even if it lasts physically for a decade.

An experience, however, provides us with memories that last a lifetime. The memory remains special even though the experience might have been fleeting. Carefully chosen and personalised experiences can boost self-esteem, awaken a new interest, make new friendships and even change someone’s life in ways that a watch or scarf will never do.