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Insights Giving Strategies Financial Planning

Looking for That Special Christmas Gift? How About a Family Vacation?

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Next Christmas season, instead of gathering outdated items for a garage sale and tossing trinkets that already broke, you could be reminiscing about giving your family something far more memorable: a dream vacation. 

Here are two reasons why gifting a trip could improve your family's Return on Life this year and for many more years to come. 

1. Experiences last. 

Study after study has found that the satisfaction we received from experiences is more lasting and meaningful than the quick hit of happiness we get from more stuff. In part, that could be because even the best-loved gifts are often for personal use. Experiences, on the other hand, create and strengthen connections with other people just by sending us out into the world. A family trip can enhance that satisfaction because you'll be doing something special with the people who mean the most. 

Taking your family to a favorite spot or a dream theme park destination will certainly create lasting memories. But there's another group of research that shows new and diverse experiences can enhance our happiness even more. At a resort or theme park, family members might drift off and do their own thing. But try something none of you have ever done before, like learning how to zip line or trail ride, and you'll all be learning, growing, and experiencing together. 

2. Planning can be a gift as well. 

Even if you and your spouse decide on a vacation gift ahead of time, arranging all the details can be a rewarding family experience. Let every family member have some input on activities, meals, lodging, sights, and activities. Consider booking a longer slow travel trip that includes a couple of smaller day trips that everyone will enjoy. Or, if you want to sprinkle a few smaller gifts around the tree, buy presents that the family will use on the trip, like a waterproof digital camera, active wear, or a subscription to an app that teaches a foreign language. 

Finally, don’t forget that while a trip might give everyone a memorable experience, it also might cost more than all the stuff you usually buy. Before you book your flights, make an appointment to review your annual travel budget and discuss how gifting a family trip fits into your 2024 financial plan.

Praying you all have a memorable and blessed Christmas!

Between industry news and personal experience.