92% of Americans Would Rather Get a Vacation Instead of a Gift

That's way up from 62% in 2021, according to a new study.

Halloween hasn't even passed, but it's likely you're already thinking about what holiday gifts to buy for everyone in your life. And while socks and those skincare gift sets are certainly appreciated, I can assure you that this year, most people in your life don't want more stuff. That's not just my own hypothesis—it's based on cold, hard data.

A new study from GetYourGuide shows that 92% of respondents would prefer to receive an experience to share with a loved one. A further breakdown of the study shows that 61% of women prefer experiences to physical gifts, compared to 51% of men.

The desire for experiences over products has increased in recent years; a 2021 GetYourGuide study reported that only 62% of respondents wanted an experience over a gift. The survey was conducted among 1,000 Americans between the ages of 16-56 between September 5 and September 10, 2023.

"With the holiday season upon us, along with the familiar rush to shop for gifts, our data is showing more and more people are choosing to share an unforgettable experience and create meaningful memories with their loved ones, instead of giving a physical gift," Madison Pietrowski, director of brand US at GetYourGuide, said in a statement provided to Thrillist.

According to the GetYourGuide study, these are the top types of experiences people would like to be gifted this holiday season:

  • Travel or trip (51%)
  • Concert or show (40%)
  • Outdoor activity such as skiing or hiking (30%)
  • Museum visit (27%)

In a ranking of the best gifts recipients have gotten, 25% of respondents say it was an experience, followed by jewelry at 24%, and clothing at 17%.

So, instead of buying your loved one an additional scarf, consider giving them a train ticket instead.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Journalism from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She's worked in digital media for seven years, and before working at Thrillist, she wrote for Mic, The Cut, The Fader, Vice, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.