Travel Tips & News

Buy Experiences, Not Things This Holiday Season

Recently updated on February 7th, 2020 at 02:48 am

If the merry sounds of ‘Jingle Bells’ are starting to trigger your inner Grinch this December, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. From a recent Trafalgar study, we’ve found that over two thirds of US parents are ready to hop on the sleigh with you and cancel Christmas.

As we deck the halls with a little less holly and a lot more heaving lines of frenzied consumers, parents admit their stress levels more than double over the festive season. Some 50% of parents spend one to two months prepping for the holiday and at least a third of parents admit they have to take a day from work to prep for the season’s festivities.

You can also banish all thoughts of saving money on your Staycation. One in three parents plan to spend between $800 and $1,200 on each child’s gifts this holiday season, with 56% expecting to spend up to $5,000. That’s more than a week-long guided vacation in Europe for mom, dad and two kids!

Little wonder then that 78% of American parents polled in the recent Trafalgar survey, said they would choose to spend their money on a vacation instead of holiday gifts.

With 74% of travelers agreeing that having experiences is more important than having things, parents giving the gift of travel can be assured they’re giving their loved ones the best gifts of all: pure joy, true connections with our loved ones and real ease – pursuits that are admittedly difficult to achieve in a world of 24/7 notifications.

Here are three reasons why spending your money on a trip or experience will trump material things this holiday season:


They deliver real joy

Italy family tours

Trafalgar’s survey found that, to find real joy, we need the time and space to remember what’s important and be removed from the stressors of our daily routines.

Re-aligning with our values, what we hold most near and dear to us, being in situations where we can indulge our inner child and being surprised – that’s what makes us happy and healthy.

Some 93% of respondents in Trafalgar’s study said travel had given them distance from their daily lives, helping them find the time and space they needed to re-connect with themselves and their loved ones.

Trafalgar’s various trip styles allow travelers to design their dream vacation, with priority access to key attractions and access to expert Travel Directors on hand to help them connect with the people, places and experiences in the destinations they visit.

Take a trip to ancient Rome with your family and learn what life was like as a gladiator. Discover the great Venetian tradition of Carnival masks and then create your own. Indulge in Italian gelato at a local gelateria in Florence. Doesn’t that sound more fulfilling than watching Frozen for the fifteenth time at home?


They help us connect with people and places

giudutta weaving italy

In a world where travel experiences are often judged by the number of ‘Likes’ on a Facebook or Instagram post, it’s not surprising that 47% of people surveyed said they felt guilty if they failed to tick off all the sites on their vacation.

But good travel is not supposed to be an overwhelming checklist. The key to doing it right is to experience meaningful connections.

Trafalgar delivers these on a platter, from its exclusive Be My Guest dining experiences with locals in their homes, to stays spent in accommodations that are more than just a bed for the night; rather an important piece of local heritage.

Your family won’t remember when you upgraded the TV or bought them the niftiest new gadgets, but they’ll never forget the day they learned how to make pizza in Italy or indulged their Game of Thrones‘ fantasies at a medieval castle in Ireland.

You’ll also never forget the friends you meet along the way – some of whom will remain good friends for life. Those travel connections are the most valuable ‘thing’ you could ever buy.


They make us really switch off and relax


scandinavia travel tours

Will the new all-digital HD Karaoke system bring you together as a family? Of course! But will you remember nailing your rendition of Baby Shark a year from now

Travel is just the ticket to help you switch off and relax. But planning that trip can be stressful. According to ‘The Good Life’ study, 42% of travelers surveyed said they were unable to switch off and a further 43% said they were always connected to work.

Trafalgar’s carefully curated trips not only take the stress out of vacation planning, they also ensure your loved ones will be too busy cuddling puppies and lambs with the Feeney family in Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, to sneak off and check their phones.


So, this December, say goodbye to keeping up with the Joneses, crazy Christmas shopping lines and holiday movie reruns. Indulge in the more gratifying retail therapy and buy a gift that keeps on giving: a trip to reconnect you with your loved ones. 


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