Do you have a family holiday on the horizon? If not, you might want to consider planning one.

According to one of the world’s leading child psychologists, parents have been wasting lots of money on toys. Instead, the expert claim you should spend more cash on holidays.

Every year, parents spend (and for some reason) arguably waste hundreds if not thousands of dollars on toys. Forbes recently reported that in a year, parents are prepared to spend an average of $1,700 on holiday seasons.

And personal finance writer, Maya Kachroo-Levine, highlights that parents are predicted to spend up to $495 per child on that amount. While a Gallup poll reports that in the US, adults spend around $885 on gifts every holiday season.

These are Quite Startling Figures

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That’s why Oliver James, Britain’s best-selling psychological author, recommends parents should be spending all that gifts money on holidays instead.

He even argues that children either don’t want or value most of the gifts they receive.

James says:

“The whole business of providing material commodities for kids – in ever more expensive forms as they get older – is entirely 100 percent, about propping up the industry that profits from it.”

“On the other hand, family holidays are definitely valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterwards in their memory. So if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s pretty clear which option makes more sense.”

A psychology professor at Cornell University, Thomas Gilovich, has also conducted several eye-opening studies about that same subject.

He concludes that people derive happiness not from things they possess, but experiences.

Proof That Experiences Mean More Than Possessions, According to Science

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A study by Gilovich, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, found that what holds our social lives together is our experiences.

He concluded that experiences:

  • “Form a bigger part of a person’s identity
  • Enhance social relations more readily and effectively than material goods
  • Are evaluated more on their own terms and evoke fewer social comparisons than material purchases.”

Material Gifts are Temporary, Whereas Memories are Timeless.

This is the reason why Oliver James emphasizes spending more cash on family holidays instead of using it on gifts.

James explains:

“Children see the world differently, though consumption, for example, the way that French cafes have Organgina instead of Fanta is fascinating to kids, and details like that will stick with them for long after the holiday ends.”

“Give a two-year-old a present, and she’ll get absorbed in the box instead. It’s similar with children and travel. We should let them explore their own ways of finding wonder in their surroundings.”

So, start spending your money on booking holiday trips instead of buying those expensive gifts for your kids.

Though some gifts are good, your children might appreciate that family holiday more than the gifts.