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Patty Niemann
A Year Ago

Ditch the gift cards: IfOnly survey highlights that experiences dominate holiday “must have” list


SAN FRANCISCO - December 18, 2017 - Today, IfOnly, the marketplace for unique experiences, released survey results showing that 95 million Americans would prefer to receive an experience from a loved one over nearly all forms of holiday presents, including gift certificates.


The survey* was conducted between November 16, 2017 and November 20, 2017 with 1,030 representative Americans.


The research demonstrates that not only do Americans consider experiences to be highly desirable gifts that are worth pursuing at great length, but receiving memorable experiences over material things is met with deeper gratitude from the recipient.  Highlights from the survey include:


- 67 percent of respondents preferred an experience over a traditional gift certificate this holiday.

- 81 percent of respondents believed experiences would be more memorable than any other kind of gift.

- Two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) admitted they would feel more thankful for receiving an experience than a physical present.

- Nearly half of Americans in relationships (47 percent) would be more likely to have sex with a significant other if they received an experience instead of a material gift.

- Almost half (46 percent) of Americans would give up an hour of sleep each night for the entire holiday season to receive an amazing experience instead of a gift certificate; one third (37 percent ) would give up sex for a week; and 29 percent would give up their cell phones for a week.

- 75 percent of Millennials would do anything in exchange for an incredible experience.

- A third of Americans (36 percent) would rather spend time with a wild animal than with their in-laws this holiday season. When asked to choose from one of the following experiences in the New Year, 21 percent chose to feed giraffes or penguins with a private zookeeper tour, and 15 percent chose to pet a panda at the zoo. Only 9 percent would want to spend an entire week with their in-laws!

- Some of the top experiences that Americans dream of receiving include:

     - Go on a helicopter tour (39 percent)

     - Go on a private tour of a museum (32 percent)

     - Pet a panda at the zoo (27 percent)


Over the last few years, we have seen a stronger interest in offering experiences as gifts and this research confirms the trend. Our experiences are not only highly popular among Millennials but anyone seeking unforgettable moments to cherish for the rest of their lives. To make holiday gift giving easier and more memorable, we recently added a variety of new exciting experiences to its offering.  It’s not too late to gift a once-in-a-lifetime experience to a loved one, no shipping necessary.


*Survey sample size: 1,030 nationally representative Americans Ages 18+, conducted by Kelton Global, on behalf of IfOnly.


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