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The Best Gift Experiences to Give to Travel Lovers (Whether They’re Travelling or Not)

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.  You could even join them on the experiences too so you can enjoy some quality time together, or just give them something to enjoy while they are travelling.  I’ve picked out some of my favourite travel gift experiences so you can get some inspiration this Christmas! 

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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 people appreciate experiences more than material objects – 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.

Hot Air Balloons - Gift Experiences for travellers
Hot Air Balloons – Gift Experiences for Travellers

Travel Gift Experiences Whether They’re Travelling 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.  Online experiences are also really popular now too, unsurprisingly!

Alternatively, assuming we will be able to travel more freely in 2022, you could buy a travel gift experience for that special someone to enjoy wherever they are travelling.  Take a look at websites like GetYourGuide or Tinggly for ideas on experiences all over the world.

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The Best Travel Experience Gifts

These experience gifts are all assuming we will be able to travel more real soon.  Here are some hopeful and amazing travel experience gifts to choose from.

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!

Aeroplane in the Sky - Booking a trip is a great gift experience!
Booking a trip is a great gift experience!

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, 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 a GetYourGuide gift card that they can use while they’re away will help them get to know the destination better, and add to an incredible holiday!  Tinggly gift boxes are also available in over 100 different countries, so you purchase a gift box for a certain value, and they then choose the experience they want from the hundreds of options available.


Food Gift Experiences Abroad or at Home

Cooking Classes

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. 

Cookly 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 cooking class in Rome or Thailand

Airbnb Experiences also has lots of different cooking classes to choose from, including plenty of online cooking classes which your gift recipient can enjoy no matter where they are in the world.  Online classes are also a great way to connect with each other as you can sign in to the class to join them too!  Be sure to make it clear to the host who will be attending the experience – Airbnb gift cards are available in the USA, so could be an option for Americans, but not elsewhere. 


Food Tours

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!

Paella Cooking Class in Barcelona - Gift Experiences to give for travel lovers
How about a Paella Cooking class in Barcelona?

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!

There are also various online gift experiences available on platforms like Airbnb, such as a cocktail making class, an Argentine wine class, Limoncello making, and even a sangria making class taught by drag queens!  There really is something to suit every taste, so take a look at all of the online drink experiences here.


Gift Experiences for Adventurers

Sky Diving

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!

A Paragliding Gift Experience is an adventurous gift!
A Paragliding Gift Experience is an adventurous gift!


Slightly less terrifying than skydiving, paragliding will still get your adventurer’s adrenaline flowing at a gentler pace!

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Scuba Diving

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.

Flying Lessons

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. 

Chocolate Making

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 Chocolate Making Gift Experience makes a Tasty Gift!
A Chocolate Making Gift Experience makes a Tasty Gift!

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?

Driving Experiences

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.

Rally Driving Gift Experience - Feel The Need for Speed!
Rally Driving Gift Experience – Feel The 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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What to Buy for Travel Lovers - Travel Gift Experiences They'll Love Fabulous Ideas for Gift Experiences for Travel Lovers

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Last updated: November 10, 2021

7 thoughts on “The Best Gift Experiences to Give to Travel Lovers (Whether They’re Travelling or Not)

  1. Claudia says:

    You can’t go wrong with the gift of travel, nice suggestion! And I love your tip about gifting a cooking class. Now that’s a gift that will keep on giving, and can be shared with grateful dining companions. Experiences are a great way to show love to family and friends, thanks for all the great tips. Pinned for future reference!

  2. Jenn and Ed Coleman says:

    I think a balloon trip would be well received and generally appreciated. I don’t know too many people who would like skydiving that haven’t already tried. it. Ballooning will give you a little somethingsomething but not put people off.

  3. Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad says:

    These are really cool ideas – I totally agree that experiences are better than things!! Half the time I don’t want anything anyway, so I’d rather do something awesome than get something I don’t need. And I’ve started actually doing that for family too, which have often been the best presents. 🙂

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