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The Data Is In: To Achieve Lasting Well-Being, Travel Is the Best Way to Spend Your Money

It’s hard to beat the once-in-a-lifetime experience of riding across a Greek island on a motorbike. We know that travel comes with a host of unparalleled benefits: You get to spend time with people you love, seeing new things and trying new things; you get to relax away from the pressures of work and everyday life, realizing dreams you may have had for years. As it turns out, studies show that travel is the best way to spend your money. Of all the things you can buy, the experience of traveling gives you, by far, the most bang for your buck. All these great elements of travel have been proven to make people happier. And even more than that, every part of the travel experience — before, during, and after — is more satisfying, more enjoyable, and has longer-lasting positive effects than buying material things. In 2003, Thomas Gilovich published his landmark study called, “To Do or to Have? That Is the Question” – a study that, more than a decade on, continues to influence social psychology and the debate about of what brings us true contentment. Gilovich looked at how economic choices affect well-being, and analyzed the differences between experiential and material purchases on human happiness. His unexpected discovery has changed the way we look at our buying habits: Across the board, doing things makes people substantially happier than having things. Travel gives you the opportunity to spend time with people you love, forging memories that will last a lifetime. The reason for this is that we get to live and then re-live the joys of our experiences....