Why spending money on travel over material objects is the best decision you’ll ever make

Is it better to buy a plane ticket to anywhere or a new pair of jeans? Our writer shares her opinion.

Jude Parkinson
14th June 2022
Image: Flickr (Marco Verch Professional Photographer)
Prioritising travel and new experiences in life over purchasing material objects will benefit your life in so many ways, and here’s why! 

A basic argument that would favour choosing to travel over material good would be that experiences are a large part of who we are, and material goods are not. Experiences and travelling help build character and open our lives to new possibilities, passions, and hobbies. Yet, materialistic goods such as clothes, technology or even random miscellaneous objects do not have the same effect, they do not give anything to the buyer other than its object form, it doesn’t serve as something to remember or that is life-altering like travel would perhaps be.

The second reason which I personally agree with is that possessions can be replaced/ stolen or lost throughout our lifetime and there are very few objects that a person will keep from the start or early years of their life that they will keep hold of throughout. However, the memories made from travelling won’t ever be lost or taken for granted as travelling is often a core memory for many people as it is seen as a privilege. The places that a person visits in their lifetime are much less likely to disappoint compared to a purchased material object which may not live up to its standards.

Travel allows you to step outside your comfort zone

A reason which I believe resonates with many people is that travelling is unique, and no one will ever have the same experience as another person visiting the same destination. Travelling is what you make of it and it is something that is fulfilling and rewarding.  When travelling you can really stretch your money and pick and choose what you want to from the experience. However, this is not transferable for material objects, they have a set price in which there is no leeway – many people settling for second best when it comes to material products as it may not be exactly what they want. But most of all there are few material objects in which they are one of a kind; they are often accessible to the majority of the pubic making them less unique, plus with trend often dominating the material world it’s rare that you’ll find something someone else doesn’t already own.

The thrill of buying things online or in a store is often exhilarating; however, it is relatively short lived. It can often temporarily fix unhappiness or a bad day, but  it is not a sustainable method to maintain happiness and can sometimes lead to isolation when a person’s happiness depends on their material goods. Yet many would agree that the excitement of traveling before, during and after has a prolonged effect of happiness providing memories and often lasting more than a day it resonates with a person for a longer period, giving an extended dose of serotonin.

Experiences help build character

Travel allows a person to often step outside of their comfort zone, try new foods, experience new cultures, and often live a different way of life. To many that’s why gap years or time out travelling is appealing and often addictive. There are so many ways to travel too, with friends, interrailing, summer camps abroad and lots more with so much variety the novelty of travelling doesn’t wear off unlike buying material objects which are often forgotten about just weeks later.

So next time you fancy an online splurge on material goods have a scroll through Pinterest or the Ryanair sky sale and see which seems better value, it will almost always be guaranteed to be the travelling option!

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