What I Really Want this Christmas? Experience rather than an expensive gift

What I Really Want this Christmas? Experience rather than an expensive gift
Yareah Magazine

With Christmas just around the corner, the frantic list writing of what to buy for loved ones begins. But even those who put thought and effort into choosing presents, sometimes get it wrong, with new research from luxury gift voucher experience website, What I Really Wanted ( finding that 93% have received a gift they didn’t want and 1 in 5 (22%) of those that received Christmas presents last year would have preferred a different gift.

It’s official money doesn’t buy happiness

Far from money buying happiness, the research also found that gifting an experience brought the longest lasting pleasure to their recipients rather than an expensive possession. 74% of those surveyed said they had received a gift experience and of these 98% said the experience made them feel happy. 71% would prefer a gift experience or a gift voucher to a material gift and 66% said they would buy a gift experience for someone. For those who chose gift experiences and vouchers, they stated they wanted to give their loved ones an opportunity to do something new (73%), create special memories (65%) and it is nice to give something you can share with someone (74%).

Nation of carers and sharers

Backing up the Eastelin Paradox that states that higher incomes aren’t correlated to increased happiness in the long term, the research suggests that we are becoming a nation interested in the well-being of others that only an experience rather than a material possessions can bring. 98% of those researched also stated that buying an experience was often a better option for those loved ones who had everything they needed in life.

The ultimate solution for those hard to buy for, What I Really Wanted research confirmed this with 73% of vouchers bought were for a named experience (compared to 27% monetary vouchers) with the most popular choices including afternoon tea, spa days and romantic weekend breaks.

Managing Director of What I Really Wanted, Linda Laurens, comments on the findings, “We were not surprised to see that people would prefer experiences such as a spa day or a weekend away rather than an actual possession in their stocking this Christmas, but the amount of unwanted gifts is remarkable. Maybe the move towards more people sharing quality time together reflects that as a nation what we really want is feel good experiences with someone we love.”

What I Really Wanted ( offers a unique range of luxury hotel and resort gift voucher experiences throughout the UK. With gifts available for every age and budget, experiences include overnight luxury hotel stays, spa days, golf breaks, fine dining experiences, afternoon teas and champagne afternoons.

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