Would it surprise you if I said mobile phones are currently top of many peoples wishlists for Christmas? Probably not considering the digital age we live in, but what might surprise you is the fact that 12 times more people would prefer to receive a holiday as a surprise present (me included!). Christmas is about spending time with loved ones and creating memories after all.

  • Given the choice between 8 material and experiential gift options, over half (51%) of respondents would prefer to receive a holiday as a surprise present
  • 69% of people can fondly remember their holiday from two years ago, compared to only 38% able to recall the pair of shoes they purchased two years ago
  • 68% of people would choose an all-inclusive, two-week trip to Italy rather than a brand new iPhone 6S (both cost around Β£600)
  • 53% of people felt excited about purchasing an experience, but only 28% felt excited about purchasing material items

As Christmas fast approaches and retail purchasing is in full swing, National Holidays find out how much people treasure experiences such as a concert, theatre trip or holiday with their loved ones, over material items given as a surprise gift.

51% of people surveyed said they would prefer to receive a holiday or trip away (both perceived to be luxury gift items) as a surprise present, out of a selection of items including: an adventure activity (3.7%), new clothes or shoes (3.9%), a new phone (4.1%), tickets to an event or concert (11.1%), a meal or night out (7.8%) and gadgets (7.9%), none (6.4%) or other (3.8%).

At a time when shoppers tend to switch their focus from buying everyday commodities to luxury purchases, a holiday emerged as a desirable Christmas gift. Regardless of age, gender or region, most people would prefer to spend time away then to receive material belongings over the festive period.

The average price of a 2 week all-inclusive trip to Italy is Β£600, similar to the price of an iPhone 6s. Surprisingly, technology hasn’t consumed us all just yet. 61% of people would still choose a two-week, all-inclusive holiday to Italy over a new iPhone 6S, suggesting that people would prefer to prioritise an experience or holiday over purchasing new technology, arguably because experiences are more memorable.

Respondents were asked whether they remembered the pair of shoes they purchased two years ago, and whether they remembered their holiday two years ago. 69% of people remembered their holiday, whilst only 38% remembered a pair of shoes they bought two years ago. This suggests that material items fill a very temporary need, whilst experiences continue to be a big part of our memories.

Personally I would much prefer a holiday away over a mobile phone or gadget gift. We have so much technology in this day and age that it doesn’t have the wow factory it once did. A holiday away is a new experience, spending time with people we love and care about and will give us memories to enjoy for a lifetime. An iPhone 6 will be used and enjoyed for a year or so then disregarded when it’s time to upgrade. There’s no contest in my eyes.

What are your thoughts on the above? Would you prefer a holiday over a top gadget at Christmas?

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  • Reply
    December 16, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I agree with you, as much as I like my gadgets I’d prefer a little trip away with my other half or as a whole family with our boys – as you say you memories are priceless πŸ™‚ x

    • Reply
      December 18, 2015 at 11:13 am

      They definitely are priceless! I love gadgets too but would definitely prefer a holiday than a gadget which goes out of fashion in 12 months ha ha.

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