We know that travel comes with a multitude of great benefits: you get to spend time with the people you love; try new things; make new friends, relax away from the pressures of work and everyday life; laugh, be happy and create memories that last forever. All these great features of travel have been proven to make people happier which in turn makes travel one of the best ways to spend your money. Of all the things you can buy, the experience of traveling gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
And even more than that, every part of the travel experience — before, during, and after — is more satisfying, more enjoyable, and has longer-lasting positive effects than buying material things.
In 2003, Thomas Gilovich published his landmark study called “To Do or To Have? That Is the Question.” – a study that continues to influence social psychology and the study of what brings us true contentment. Gilovich looked at how economic choices affect well-being and analyzed the differences between experience purchases and material purchases on human happiness. His unexpected discovery has changed the way we look at our buying habits. Across the board, doing things made people happier than having things.
The reason for this is that we not only get to initially live out the experiences but we continue to re-live the joy of these experiences over and over. Buying an expensive TV or even a new car gives a momentary spike in good feelings that lasts for a period of time. But when you take an incredible trip it is in your mind forever and every time you think of that trip or you see something that reminds you of that trip your brain registers those joyful times and releases mood-enhancing chemicals that make you feel like you’re re-living the happiness of the experience itself. It stays with you, and you can access it whenever you want.
Another study that Gilovich co-authored has found that even the anticipation of experiences outdoes the lead-up to material purchases. People waiting in line to get tickets to an event are happier and more excited than those who are waiting in line to buy something material. When you’re planning a trip the progress, the steps towards realizing your dream, is actually the anticipation and part of the adventure itself.
As travelers, we know the many positive benefits of getting away and now we can feel even better knowing that those benefits continue to improve our lives, even long after the trip is over.
Are you ready to start taking the steps towards greater happiness, to not worry and to be happy? You can get in touch with me today by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you!