July 13, 2024

A Holiday Gift Guide to Beat Inflation

So maybe this holiday season is the time to forcibly upgrade the family Luddite. Or maybe it’s time to give in and buy a first phone for a child. (If so, consult our Wirecutter guide to the category, and do consider a dumbphone in lieu of a smart one.)

If someone in your circle loves to travel and is sick of being stuck at home, there is welcome news here, too. The C.P.I. includes an airline fares category, and prices have fallen 23.7 percent in the past two years.

Where might you might send (or take) someone? Consider the research firm STR’s data. I asked about a selection of popular destinations where average daily room rates are down a double-digit percentage in the past two years. It’s a decent-size list of appealing cities that includes New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.

The travel app Hopper offers promising airfare intelligence. Highlights include a 16 percent drop in prices to and from the New York and Newark airports in two years. Flights in and out of the three Washington-area airports are down 10 percent.

If you’re thinking about flights, though, it’s worth pointing out that there was a spike in prices in the spring, which has since receded. You may want to act fast, now that booster shots of confidence are available to all.

Some gifts have the potential to rise in value — and not just pristine Barbies that must stay in the box or trading cards whose worth falls with every wrinkle.

Over the long term, the stock market tends to rise. Money in an index fund is almost foolproof, as long as you leave it there for a few decades. Investing in individual companies is more risky, but even if the share you give falls, a younger recipient may learn valuable lessons anyway.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/26/your-money/inflation-holiday-gifts.html

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