Offer Experiences, Not Things

Money cannot buy happiness, but money, if wisely spent, can buy things that contribute to making us happy. The most important, of course, are food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare. But after these basic needs are met, how best to allocate money, which is (for most of us) a limited resource, in the pursuit of happiness.
Most people believe that money should be spent on tangible objects because they will have permanent value. It seems logical and self-evident that a physical object like a large-screen television, which will see daily use for years, will bring pleasure for a longer time than a one-off experience like a concert or vacation. However, according to recent research, that assumption is completely wrong.

“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”

Recent research from San Francisco State University found that people who spent money on experiences rather than material items were happier and felt that the money was better spent. The thrill of purchasing things fades quickly, but the joy and memories of experiences, from epic adventures to brief encounters, can last a lifetime.

Mintel's 2015 American Lifestyle report projected that over the next five years from released date, total spending for personal expenses will grow by nearly 22%, with the so called “non essential” categories, including vacations and dining out, expected to see the greatest gains.

In other words, consumers are willing to open their wallets, but what they choose to buy reflects a fundamental shift. Shoppers are increasingly willing to pass on a cashmere sweater or leather handbag in favor of experiences such as a gourmet dinner or a concert.

While the new generation of consumers is more willing to choose a beach vacation over a new couch, they still want the very best deal for their money. This is where LoyalGuest comes in. Our network of hundreds of hotels and merchants around the world, all willing to grant discounts and special privileges, ensures that members get the most from their travel experiences.

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