A man, bored, looking at his phone to pass the time.

With the holidays coming up, gift-giving is on the mind. Instead of buying material things, consider creating experiences to last a lifetime.

We Quickly Adapt to New Possessions

There's no denying the excitement you feel when you open the box and find a new smartphone or laptop. The promise of a faster, easier, more enjoyable future takes over your body in a rush of anticipation. You spend the next minutes, hours, and days playing with your new gadget, pleased you have the latest model.

But then, after a week or two, you adapt. Your new phone becomes just another phone. Soon, another model will come out, and you'll no longer have the cutting-edge version. We follow the same pattern for all new possessions. Whether it's a new television, vacuum cleaner, or mattress, after a while, the new purchase becomes part of our routine.

Plus, material objects lose value and depreciate quickly. Gifting an experience, however, won't suffer from these problems.

Satisfaction with Experiences Increases Over Time

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, conducted experiments showing we actually become happier with experiences as time passes. Think back to a recent vacation with family or friends. How do the memories make you feel?

Unlike with possessions, where a new model makes your old one look boring and out of date, each experience holds a unique place in your heart. By spending money on experiences, you'll learn lessons about life, love, and culture that will last a lifetime. Plus, digital photographs will never fade. If you ever want to refresh your memory, it's easy to transport your mind back to the past like it was yesterday.

Buying Fewer Material Things Cuts Back on Clutter

If you're like most people, you probably have a closet full of things you never use. Items purchased with the best intentions sit there taunting you, reminding you that you probably shouldn't have bought them. By buying experiences, you prevent your home from becoming overrun with clutter. The memories of your trip to Spain don't take up any space at all.

Using Travel Insurance to Protect Your Gifts of Experiences

Shared experiences are the foundation of relationships. Whether it was the sports game you attended with your children, the romantic getaway to Greece with your significant other, or that time you went horseback riding through the mud, spending time with the ones you love is the best way to connect.

Unlike many physical goods, which can only be used by one person at a time, experiences allow multiple people to experience joy at once. The more, the merrier!

Whenever you're planning your next adventure, it's essential to make sure everyone stays safe. While walking white sandy beaches on an island somewhere, strolling down cobblestone roads of an ancient city, and flying to foreign countries far away can all be incredible bonding opportunities, they do carry risk if you become sick or injured while abroad. To protect yourself and the people you love from the high costs of emergency medical attention while on vacation, be sure to buy travel insurance before you go.

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