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Spending Money on Travel Memories Has More Positive Impact on Happiness Than Material Possessions


BILLINGS, MT, Feb. 23, 2009 – You’re torn. A new Armani Collezioni three-button suit from Neiman Marcus retails for $1,695, but you could spend the same amount on a 5-day guided hiking adventure to the Grand Canyon.

Money’s tight, but how you spend what you’ve got can impact how satisfied you become over time.  Recent studies show that the satisfaction that comes from stamping experiences into memory outweighs and lasts longer than making purchases.

“It’s a no brainer. Memorable experiences are exactly what Austin-Lehman Adventures (ALA) is all about,” says Dan Austin, ALA’s co-founder and Director. “Our own experiences tell us that travel and the fond memories you bank in your mind is one investment that always appreciates over time.”

So in the spirit of a study by Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, “Experiences make us happier than possessions” which aired recently on, Austin lays out some real-life, and current purchase vs. experiences comparisons.

Will it be…
•       Armani at $1,695 or ALA’s Havasupai: a Grand Canyon Oasis Adventure ( at $1,698 that showcases iconic waterfalls and the Native American village of Supai, the most remote village in the country where the U.S. mail still arrives by packhorse?
•       A pre-owned Men’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual "Airking" Watch from at $2,395 or ALA’s week-long Costa Rica Volcanoes and Jungle Multisport Adventure ( at $2,398 that includes navigating class IV rapids, hiking, biking and boating deep into the heart of Costa Rica's untouched wilderness?
•       A Sharp LC - 65" LCD Widescreen TV from at $3,499 or ALA’s 8 day & 7 night  France - La Loire: Castles to Coteaux Cycling Adventure  ( at $3,498 that retraces the footsteps of  Catherine de Medici, Leonardo da Vinci and Joan of Arc while cycling through villages and vineyards along the Loire, Indre and Cher rivers?

Austin adds, “The joy of buying a new car or home entertainment center will fade over time. The satisfaction and benefits of a great vacation keep you coming back for more. That’s why our rate of return business is one of the highest in the industry!”

In the worldwide arena of adventure travel companies, National Geographic Adventure magazine recently singled out Austin-Lehman Adventures (ALA), for its highest accolade as one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”

Austin says he tips his hat to the ALA team that consistently delivers the ALA service promise to its discerning clientele. ALA takes pride in its extensive staff and guide training programs and boasts one of the most generous (1:6) guide to guest ratios in the business.

Austin-Lehman Adventures manages all of the arrangements for its selected destinations that include iconic regions of North, Central and South America as well as southern Africa and in spring 2009, cycling holidays in Europe. Small groups are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures). Rates include first-class accommodations, most meals and beverages, expert guides, park entry fees, multisport activities such as hiking, biking, rafting, horseback riding and more, ground transportation, luggage service and unlimited memories.

For a copy of the 2009 catalog as well as information on ALA’s 66 unique itineraries for active adult and family travel, please call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail To review current trips, schedules and itineraries you can log onto its website:

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