Ho Ho Ho, it’s December already! If you haven’t already filled your Christmas present quota with Black Friday deals, why don’t you take a different approach to Christmas gifts this year? Giving experiences instead of things is a wonderful way to show you care, and there are lots of fantastic gift experiences you can give to your loved ones, and even join them on the experiences too so you can enjoy some quality time together. I’ve picked out some of my favourite gift experiences for that special someone in your life so you can get some inspiration this Christmas!
Why Experiences are Better than Things
I mean who really needs another pair of novelty socks for Christmas? We spend millions of dollars every year on buying gifts and presents for friends and family, yet how much of that ends up lost at the bottom of the cupboard or on a shelf gathering dust. Research shows that – we get excited waiting for the experience, and once its over we tend to remember the positive parts of it, even if we didn’t particularly enjoy it at the time. Giving experience gifts also shows you really thought about what to buy for the person – and shows that you know them well enough to be able to choose something they will really enjoy, not just a generic gift like bath salts or a tie.
Gift Experiences for Travellers – or Not!
Most of these gift experiences are available no matter where you are in the world, so you can buy experiences for someone in their hometown, so they can experience something different on their doorstep. Sites like Red Letter Days in the UK have lots of gift experience ideas to choose from. Alternatively, if you are buying a gift experience for someone who travels a lot, you could buy an experience for them wherever they are travelling. Take a look at websites like GetYourGuide for ideas on experiences all over the world.
Book A Trip for Them
What better to give a travel lover than the gift of travel?? Airline vouchers, hotel vouchers or currency to spend in a destination of their choice can work really well but that doesn’t necessarily count as an ‘experience’. If you are planning to travel together, you can book the whole thing yourself, from transport tickets to hotels and tours while you’re there. It is a lot of work, but you know that special someone is going to be over the moon with it!
Surprise Travel Agencies
If you have some cash to spend but don’t want the hassle of booking a whole trip yourself, there are several ‘surprise’ travel agencies who will book a surprise trip for you and take care of everything. You just supply them with a budget and answer some questions about the kind of things you (or the person you’re buying it for) like to do, and the agency will come up with a fabulous trip itinerary just for them! Take a look at Pack Up & Go and Jubel if you’re in the US, or Srprs.me, and Wow Trip in Europe for an idea of what to expect.
Tours and Activities
Instead of booking a whole trip, how about a tour or an activity instead? In your hometown, you can try looking something different your lucky gift receiver wouldn’t normally consider, from a cultural walking tour to go-karting or a cooking class. If the person is travelling, buying GetYourGuide that they can use while they’re away will help them get to know the destination better, and add to an incredible holiday!
Cookery Gift Experiences Abroad or at Home
For the foodie in your life, a cooking class is a wonderful gift. They can learn a new skill and eat delicious food – what’s not to like! Last year my brother bought me a cooking class voucher to use at Cracking Good Food in Manchester which I loved! And the best bit? He came along to the class with me, so we got to spend some quality brother-sister time together too. is the leading booking platform for cooking classes all over the world, so whether you are looking for cooking class in your hometown, or for an upcoming holiday, there are plenty of options to choose from, like an incredible or !
I love taking food tours too! A food tour is a culinary exploration where they will learn about the culture and food of the place you choose. Again, even taking a food tour in your hometown or a place you know well can show you places to eat that you never knew existed. I took an English food tour in London which was great, and I was very impressed by the food choices, it was delicious!
Alcoholic Gift Experiences
Assuming the person you’re buying a gift experience for drinks alcohol, there are lots of fun boozy gifts you can buy like wine or whisky tastings, cocktail making classes or even a gin making class! One of my favourite culinary experiences was a gin making class I took in Barcelona with Corpen distillery; we had a couple of gin drinks and chose a gin recipe to make our own bottle of gin, it was fabulous!
Adventure Experiences for the Adventurer in your Life
Not for the faint-hearted, buying someone a sky-diving gift experience is likely to be a gift they never forget! Jumping out of a plane is something that terrifies me yet tempts me at the same time – just be sure the person you’re buying it for is brave enough to do it!
Slightly less terrifying than skydiving, paragliding will still get your adventurer’s adrenaline flowing at a gentler pace!
Dive schools all around the world offer scuba diving tester sessions if your adventurer has never tried diving before, or you can arrange for classes towards one of their PADI diving qualifications, or pleasure dives so they can enjoy the underwater life.
Well, why not? Something unique for sure, and not something they’re liking to forget in a hurry! Flying lessons surely have to be on the best gifts for adventurers!
Travel Gift Experiences for Her
I hate to discriminate on gender but these gift experiences tend to be preferred by women, but you’ll know if the man in your life will love them too.
If your lady has a sweet tooth, she will love a chocolate making class. Hotel Chocolat offers chocolate making classes in several locations in the UK, or just google chocolate making classes in your destination to find the perfect option for your chocoholic.
A Spa Session
I adore getting pampered, and it’s something that I rarely spend money on myself as it feels too extravagant, so if someone buys me a massage or a spa session I am over the moon. It is an opportunity to relax, get away from it all and to just enjoy the experience – great for a lady on her own, or a group gift too.
Gift Experiences for Him
Again, there is no reason why a special lady in your life won’t love these, but generally, they’re preferred by men.
Golf Gift Experiences
If the man in your life loves golf, why not pay for a couple of sessions with a local golf pro so he can work on his swing? Or get a voucher to pay for the green fees at a top golf club on your next holiday?
I would love to go for a spin in a Porsche or something I’d never usually get the chance to drive! Driving experiences on a track or rally experiences make great gifts for petrol heads with a need for speed.
Gifts Experiences for Couples
In theory, any of the gift experiences above you can do together but some things are best done together.
A Hot Air Balloon Ride
Romantic and exciting, who wouldn’t love a hot air balloon gift experience?? It’s not the cheapest choice, but certainly a memorable experience for any couple – if they’re not afraid of heights!
Buying A Meal Out
Sometimes spending time with the people you love is the best gift of all. So, treating someone to a special meal out can be a great gift, even if seems like the easy option, actually spending quality time together can be priceless! I love afternoon teas as they feel more special than a normal meal, or how about booking a table at the best-rated restaurant in town?
These are just a few ideas for travel experience gifts you can buy as Christmas gifts this year, but for more ideas try searching on websites like Get Your Guide or Red Letter Days for more inspiration!
Have you bought a gift experience for someone? Did they like it? I’d love to hear your stories, please leave your comments below.
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