The big trend this year is toward gifting experiences over gifts. I understand why, we often struggle with the idea of buying our kids things – they don’t NEED things, and they also don’t APPRECIATE things when things are plentiful.
I am sure if you have been on social media any time in the last month, you have seen many posts about all sorts of scientific research on why experiences are more meaningful than stuff this Christmas. They talk about zoo memberships for your niece and concert tickets for your best friend and while those are great suggestions to give your mother in law or to get someone on your list.
I am going to take it a step further and tell you why you should spend money on a family vacation instead of toys for your kids.
There have been many research studies that prove this point. But you don’t need science, honestly think about it, do you remember what you received for Christmas every year? What about the vacations you took as a kid? I bet you remember those. I do! I remember the time my Mom took me to see my first musical, and I smile every time I think about the road trip to Canada my husband and I went on last year where we had to pull over about every hour so I could relieve my first-trimester nausea. Stuff fades, but experiences and memories only grow sweeter with time. Even the miserable experiences and unforeseen happenstances eventually turn into stories of laughter. They may have felt cringe-worthy at the time (morning sickness is not all that great), but it is a memory I will have to tell Annabelle forever.
I love giving gifts and always enjoy finding, wrapping, and giving the perfect gift to a family member or friend. Still, as a mom, I also dread the aftermath: the paper and toys all over the floor, the lingering messes, and having to clean it all up. As long as you take it easy on the souvenirs, the only place you have to store your vacation memories is in your heart, or maybe a photo album. We love to put our vacation photos in a Shutterfly book. We have one for each trip on a shelf in our living room, and I love that they are all the same size and shape!
There is no need to pretend… we all know the holidays can be just as stressful as they are magical. Giving the gift of a vacation not only reduces the stress of shopping and wrapping, but it also gives you something to look forward to. And what could be a better holiday stress reliever than a massage on a beach?
You may actually end up saving money.
In one of those articles I read that the average American spends something like $300-$400 per kid (I am sorry I couldn’t find it to give credit or the exact number!) Depending on your trip that may more than cover their portion.
Most people budget for a vacation anyway, so you can either combine budget line items for an epic trip or save! The other benefit is that most vacations require a small deposit, and the final payment is not made until closer to travel so you can spread out the holiday spending without the interest.
There is even more scientific research about how kids benefit from travel.
I wrote a post about the 7 Benefits to Travel with Children While They Are Still Young, so check that out if you want the full breakdown. In a nutshell, it encourages them to try new things and inspires curiosity, flexibility, love of learning, and use of their imagination.
Not to mention, it also creates a deep understanding of other people and cultures that can change the world.
Who can give a better gift than that? You just won Christmas!!
Another gift you would be giving them is those that come with family bonding. We all get caught up in calendars and carpools. Traveling encourages us all to put down our phones or electronic games (are gameboys still a thing?) and spend meaningful time together. Inspiring families to come closer together is why I got into the family travel business.
There is just something special about traveling together. No matter what you do at home, travel as a family creates a unique time and space for bonding that you can’t get anywhere else. Strip away the tangles and pressures of everyday life, and you suddenly find yourself able to appreciate one another more fully and live life more purposefully and connect more deeply. You now have shared experiences that your children will talk about for years to come.
If you are ready to start check shopping and wrapping off of your CVS receipt long holiday to-do list, spend 3 minutes to request a quote, and you will be well on your way to the best Christmas present ever!!
If you are ready to have the family vacation you’ve been dreaming of, without spending time researching, planning and making it happen, schedule a call today. I’m here to help busy working Moms plan, organize and book the perfect family vacation. With me, all you have to worry about is enjoying your well-earned time away with your family. If you are ready to stop trying to do everything on your own and see how I can help you schedule a complimentary trip planning session now.
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