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For many, the festive season heralds a time of excessive spending and shopalism. But what if we replaced things that can be wrapped with shared experiences that can be enjoyed with family and friends? Let’s give gifts to last a lifetime.

Samantha Pillay, director of sales operations for First Loyalty Plus, says an investment in shared experiences through memory-making adventures that will last a lifetime holds more value.

“Every day we make choices about what to spend our money on, and research has shown, time and time again, that investing in experiences is almost always a better idea than investing in things.”

Here’s why it’s better to invest in experiences rather than gifts:

  1. More enduring happiness. Research suggests that experiences make people feel happier for much longer than material possessions. Over time, people become less satisfied with the things they’ve bought and instead feel more fulfilled through experiences.
  2. Do you remember what your aunt gave you for Christmas last year? Probably not. But you are likely to remember a family camping trip or road trip.
  3. Less clutter. Experiences take up very little space. With the global drive towards embracing minimalism, it makes sense to collect memories instead of objects.
  4. Enhanced connections. Sharing fun experiences is a pleasurable way of connecting with friends and family.
  5. Less pressure. Booking a holiday or some form of fun experience is far less stressful than trying to decide what to buy someone for Christmas and fighting the crowds to get your shopping done. Experiences don’t need to break the bank either. First Loyalty Plus members score incredible discounts on crazy-cool experiences such as hot air ballooning, up to 50% off on holidays, as well as 20% off spa treatments, and loads of other amazing deals.

“Consider too that real fun and joy are derived from sharing an experience with those you love rather than doing it alone. Make it a priority to focus on being present, rather than on splurging on easily forgettable presents.

Read here for more ideas of gifts that bring joy