As the holidays approach, we start to make our lists (and check them twice) to prepare for the gift-giving season. While we all enjoy unwrapping perfectly packaged presents, perhaps things are not what we should spend our money on. In fact, studies show that you'll get more happiness spending or splurging on experiences, like travel!

Dr. Amit Kumar and Dr. Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University have found over years of research that experiences are more precious to us. Their research suggests that while experiences endure in our memories, our material possessions lose their value as we get used to them. So before you purchase new electronics, appliances, jewelry, and toys for friends and family, consider investing in a memorable trip.

Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving - Invest in Incredible Travel Experiences With

Image Credit: Pedro Venancio

A Gift for Outdoorsy People: Plan a Visit to Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Vacation Rentals: $25

(Starting at $25/ Night)

Kayak: $499

Thinking of treating the outdoors enthusiast in your life to a special present like a kayak? Before you spend $500 on a kayak or canoe, consider gifting him or her a fun trip to a gorgeous destination like Lake Tahoe, CA. With fantastic rentals starting at $25 a night, believe it or not, you can book a rental for over a week in Tahoe for the same price or less than a kayak! With some rentals offering fun features like kayaks, hot tubs, and more, a trip to Tahoe promises memories to last a lifetime. Keep in mind that this popular California destination offers cozy accommodation for budget travelers as well as stunning multi bedroom homes for the bigger spenders.

Plan the Perfect Visit to Tahoe with This Insider's Guide!

A Gift for Coffee Fans: Plan a Visit to Seattle

Seattle Vacation Rentals: $30

(Starting at $30/ Night)

Espresso Maker: $180

Instead of buying the coffee or espresso drinker in your life an expensive espresso machine, why not take them on a memorable trip to Seattle, one of the world's centers for coffee roasting. This beloved Washington city is not only one of the west coast's most popular cities but is also spotted with fantastic coffee shops and passionate coffee enthusiasts. In fact, it's believed that people in Seattle consume more coffee than in any other city in the U.S. Book your Seattle vacation rental and enjoy your coffee cozied up at home and at some of the nation's best shops.

A Gift for Kids - Plan a Visit to L.A.

L.A. Vacation Rentals: $27

(Starting at $27/ Night)

Electric Scooter: $349

Planning on treating your kids to an extra special gift this holiday season? If you're buying gifts for more than one kid, the dollars certainly add up quickly. Instead of spending on scooters, video games or other popular kids' gifts, consider taking them on a trip. With rentals starting at less than $30 per night in Los Angeles, a city adored for its beaches and world-famous theme parks, kids are sure to love a visit to this Southern California hot-spot.

Start Planning with This List of L.A.'s Best Attractions for Kids

A Gift for Entertainment Lovers - Plan a Visit to New York

New York Vacation Rentals: $15

(Starting at $15/ Night)

Speakers: $469.13

One of the greatest hubs in the world for performance drama, musical theater, and music entertainment, New York City is the destination for entertainment lovers. In keeping with the spirit of investing in experiences instead of things, treat someone special in your life to a trip to the Big Apple for a weekend to experience the city's renowned and diverse entertainment. With New York City's vacation rentals starting at $15 a night, a two night stay could cost less than a set of speakers. Wow! Although Broadway tickets can be pricey, there are plenty of more affordable entertainment options for those on a budget. Enjoy improvisational and sketch comedy for just $5 at The Upright Citizens Brigade, co-founded by the famously hilarious Amy Poehler.

Don't Miss New York's Best Free Attractions!

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This article was written by Lexi Perman.