Brits want experiences over material gifts this Christmas, research shows

Brits say they want experiences and lasting memories over material gifts this Christmas, according to research.

A poll of 2,000 adults found one in five is planning on giving more experiences than physical items this year.

And 42 per cent would much rather receive a gift which creates memories, over something which is likely to be forgotten after a time.

For two thirds (65 per cent), the anticipation of an event is almost as exciting as the event itself – and actually forms part of the overall experience.

And part of this anticipation might be the thought they are doing something their peers might be envious of.

Indeed, just over half (53 per cent) admit to suffering from ‘FOMO’ – the fear of missing out – when they hear about amazing experiences someone else has enjoyed.

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A spokesperson for Travelzoo, which commissioned the research, said: “Possessions come and go but memories can live with us forever – and the study suggests people are increasingly aware of this.

“According to this poll half the UK population are afraid of missing out, but by giving someone something you can take advantage of yourself you’re less likely to lose out and you give them a great memory to boot.”

The study also found that polled drift off 25 times each week – daydreaming about recreational experiences they’d like to have.

These include eating at particular restaurants, bobbing in the ocean and walking in stunning country surrounds.

Furthermore, eight in 10 consider it important to always have an experience booked into the diary to look forward to.

More than half (51 per cent) think new experiences are good for a person’s mental health, and 31 per cent find they help them stimulate creativity.

Another quarter thinks trying something new helps people get to know themselves better, according to the OnePoll figures.

And these benefits might explain why 57 per cent are ‘desperate’ to have plenty of exciting and new experiences next year.

One driving factor behind this might be hearing about other peoples’ experiences – indeed, 26 per cent admitted this inspires them to give new things a try.

Travelzoo’s spokesperson added: “Seeing what others are getting up to reminds us there is a whole world out there to experience.

“Of course, after a long period of being limited in what we can do, many people will be eager to make up for lost time and get their 2022 plans in place.”

Possessions come and go but memories can live with us forever – and the study suggests people are increasingly aware of this."

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