1. Science proves that spending money on experiences will make you happier in the long run

You might think that spending your hard-earned cash on a physical object will bring you more happiness in the long run than a once-off experience, but science proves quite the opposite!  Whilst the latest MacBook or a cute designer dress may bring you momentary joy, Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor from Cornell University suggests that adaptation is the enemy of happiness. “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.” In contrast, the memories of the experiences we have had bring a much more lasting joy to our lives.

2. You have the rest of your life to buy material possessions

While you are young and free, save your money for travel experiences that you might not have the chance to do when you are older rather than frittering your dollars away on things. There will probably be a time later in your life when you have a plentiful supply of money but don’t quite have the time or lack of responsibilities to be jetting off around the world. Make the most of the opportunity you have while you can!


3. Travel opens your mind and teaches you in a way nothing else can

Not even the whole podcast library on iTunes or book store on Amazon can teach you what travel has the ability to. By interacting with people from various walks of life, experiencing different cultures and opening your eyes to a wider world, you’ll gain the kind of knowledge that you can’t source off Google.

4. Travel provides an opportunity to expand your friendships

In everyday life, the security and consistency of the friendship circles you have grown up with make it hard to find the motivation to go out and meet new people. It suddenly becomes so much easier to open yourself up and meet new, interesting people once you are out travelling the world. Expanding your friendships is invaluable, and let’s be honest, you aren’t going to make many new friends by buying designer heels.


5. Travel gives you more stories to tell your grandkids than a new iPhone will

Guess what? That iPhone 6S you spent hundreds of dollars on ain’t going to impress your future grandkids. They will laugh at such an ancient artefact. You know what might impress them? That time you saw the pyramids in Egypt. When you went sky diving over the Swiss Alps. The experience you had trekking through the Himalayas. Stop collecting meaningless things and start collecting some awesome stories!

6. Experiences are a larger part of who we are than our material goods

Getting back to the science of it all, Professor Gilovic highlights that “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”


7. Consuming leads to more consuming rather than contentedness with what you have

Accumulating possessions is a slippery slope. The more you buy, the more you want. On the other hand, when you travel the world with all your possessions in just a backpack or a suitcase, you’ll realise how little you actually need and you’ll become content with what you do have.

8. Possessions will constantly let you down and will not last

Material objects break, get lost, or become obsolete. There are a million ways that something we once loved can let us down and become a source of frustration. Sure, travelling doesn’t always go to plan, but even the mishaps and setbacks when you travel add to the experience and are the things you’ll laugh about later on. Your smashed iPhone on the other hand – not so much.


9. Travelling allows you a unique experience that no one else can get

The reality is, anyone can buy and experience what it is like to own a BMW. The car itself is not personal – it is the same mass-produced vehicle that thousands of other people own and drive. On the other hand, when you travel, you are experiencing something that cannot be replicated. It is a personal journey that you can’t put a price tag on!

10. You’ll NEVER regret spending your money on travel

Because travelling is the most liberating, mind-opening, unpredictable and worthwhile way you can spend your hard earned cash. Plus, you can’t put a price on adventure.


Nicola Easterby
Nicola Easterby is the avid photographer, writer and adventurer behind the travel blog Polkadot Passport. Having travelled to over 25 countries in her 21 years of life, she aims to inspire other young adventurous souls to go and see the world.