Need a birthday gift for your wife or girlfriend who may be celebrating a milestone by turning 40, 50 or 60?
(Looking for a cool gift idea for your husband or boyfriend or best friend or person you just really think is awesome and they are turning another age? Everything in this post still applies!)
One idea that is increasing in popularity is a birthday trip, especially for milestone birthdays.
Sometimes called “celebration travel” or a “celebration vacation”, these getaways are the perfect way to make your significant other’s birthday unforgettable.
The best part?
A birthday trip offers a multitude of benefits, including:
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Experiences Result in Greater Satisfaction than Physical Gifts
If you’ve ever gifted tickets to a sporting event, a play, or even to the movies, you may have noticed the gift was especially appreciated.
Experiential gifts are growing in popularity as 23% of consumers in a recent study reported that they prefer to give them over physical items.
A growing body of research has shown that experiential gifts result in in greater satisfaction than physical ones.
Part of the reason for this is because when you gift an experience, there are multiple parts to the gift:
From the moment the gift is opened until the day of the actual experience, the excitement builds.
Preparation for the experience, such as deciding what to wear or figuring out if you’ll drive or take a Lyft or an Uber, can add to the fun.
This longer duration of time until the actual event is a key part of the reason experiential gifts are more satisfying,
The joy of the gift is relived as the person recounts the details.
Most people in their 50's, 60's and 70's Have the Things They Need
It turns out there’s a relationship between our age and our possessions.
In our 20’s and into our 30’s, we focus on acquiring things we need for our adult lives. From furniture to kitchen gadgets, we’re busy trying to outfit our homes and our families.
As we enter into our 40’s and 50’s, however, people are in a much different space as they have the things they need. We’re much more confident in our tastes and have the ability to buy something when we want it.
By the time we hit our 60’s and 70’s, we’re likely to be surrounding ourselves with those things that make us most happy and may even be downsizing.
In fact, a study published in Journals of Gerontology, reported that:
- 56% of people in their 50’s believe they have too many belongings
- 61% of people in their 60's believe they have too many belongings
- 62% of people in their 70's believe they have too many belongings
No wonder it’s more difficult to buy a gift for someone in their 40’s, 50s, 60s and beyond—they're far more likely to own it already!
Experiential gifts also have the distinct advantage of not cluttering up one’s home and will make the minimalist in your life smile from ear to ear.
An Experience Gift is Unlikely to Be a Duplicate Gift or Something They Already Have
One year, I gave my mom perfume for her birthday. I knew she loved the fragrance and she thought it was an indulgence.
As much as she may have loved my gift, it was one of three identical bottles of perfume she received that year! (Clearly, I should've checked what my sister and cousin were giving her!)
When you give an experience, it's highly unlikely the recipient already has it. Sure, they may enjoyed the experience another time, but your gift is a brand new chance for them to participate in it.
Our Most Special Times Are Spent with Family and Friends
Spend time with those you love.
One of these days you will say either,
‘I wish I had’ or ‘I’m glad I did.' -Zig Ziglar
A 20-something thinks they will live forever.
By middle-age, however, you have much more experience and realize how precious each day is.
As anyone who has ever tried to schedule dinner with friends has realized, a chance to spend quality time with the people who mean the most to us is a genuine treat.
A birthday trip allows the guest of honor to be surrounded by love and ensures many happy memories.
Make the Birthday Person Feel Like a Rock Star
By definition, birthday travel requires people make an effort to go somewhere else in honor of someone they love.
It may require planes, trains, automobiles, babysitters, pet sitters and days off from work. The birthday person not only gets to be the center of attention, they are the chief beneficiary of everyone else’s efforts.
What could make a person feel more special than knowing others are devoting their precious time to celebrating them?
Gifting Experiences Instead of Physical Items Can Improve Your Relationships
Gifting experiences has a very personal quality to it. Not sure?
While it's fairly safe to assume that most women in their 40's, 50's and 60's would enjoy receiving flowers, it requires a much deeper level of intimacy to give a woman an overnight trip to visit that Farmer's Market she's always wanted to see.
A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research has demonstrated that experiences can actually improve relationships because they “elicit a strong emotional response when consumed.”
Though you may say you love a sweater you received as a gift, it turns out the depth of the emotion you feel upon seeing your favorite band in concert is deeper.
Birthday Trips May Help Cross a Travel-Related Item Off Their Bucket List
Bucket lists are items that people want to accomplish before they kick the proverbial bucket and die.
Lists of things people want to do before they die are likely as old as lists themselves. The 2007 movie, Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, brought the concept into the mainstream.
According to an AARP study, 46% of people of Baby Boomers have a bucket list, with 83% of people having an item related to travel.
Ask your wife or girlfriend what’s on her bucket list and you may find that heading to Niagra Falls or visiting her favorite winery in Napa is the ideal place to celebrate.
In the event she doesn’t have a bucket list, you can find inspiration from others.
On her award-winning travel blog, Bucket List Journey, Annette White shares what may well be the most comprehensive bucket list ever.
At 1,149 items (and counting!), you’re bound to find a place or an activity that will delight your birthday girl or boy!
Traveling Provides Greater Perspective On Our Daily Lives and Communities
The Irish novelist George Moore said,
'A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.'
Whether we’re going 10,000 miles away or even just 50 miles away, things are inevitably different there. Our brains are naturally wired to notice the differences and naturally compare and contrast.
Maybe it’s as dramatic as visiting a foreign country and learning that it’s perfectly acceptable to eat with your hands or realizing that some toilets don’t come with seat covers.
It might be as simple as visiting a restaurant in a nearby town and finding out that there’s a better way to make pancakes.
A birthday trip gets you all the benefits of traveling and allows the birthday person to shine in a new locale.
You might even discover a bakery that makes the best birthday cake ever.
A Birthday Trip Makes for an Interesting Story, Now and in the Future
Ask most people how they spent their 48th birthday or 49th birthday and you’ll probably get a blank stare.
Inquire how they celebrated their 50th birthday and they’ll likely have the answer at their fingertips.
By planning a trip for their birthday, you ensure the individual will have an experience they’ll never forget.
A 40th, 50th or 60th Birthday Trip is An Outstanding Way to Celebrate
Planning a birthday trip for your loved one is a wonderful sign of affection and love. Plus, there's no need to worry about finding the right size or model number. All you need to do is get started!