Pillemer says that the majority of the 1,200 older Americans he surveyed also advised younger Americans to “choose excitement over money” and to use any graduation gifts they might receive not to stash away in the bank, or to pay off loans, but to use that cash to travel.
“When asked what they regret in life, many of the oldest Americans said: ‘I wish I’d traveled more,'"he adds. “They recommend that people embrace travel, and especially when they are young. So if you are wondering what to do with those graduation gifts, elder wisdom says to look into some travel - and low budget is fine - before you begin that first job.”
That, of course, assumes there will be a job waiting for college grads back from a trek across Europe, or from touring the Costa Rican rain forest.
But few would argue that, when it comes to taking advice, it’s best to take it from wise sages who’ve already traveled the same road young college grads are embarking on now.