Giving experiences as gifts has become increasingly popular among people. Not only is it a thoughtful way to show someone you care, but it's also an eco-friendly and minimalist gift to give. In this article, we'll discuss the experience gift phenomenon and the 5 main reasons why you should give an experience as a gift.

Jump to content:

What is an experience gift?

giving experiences as gifts example: mother and daughter enjoying a hotel stay together
An experience gift is a present designed to give people an activity to experience rather than physical items. This trend has gained popularity as people seek more meaningful and memorable presents.

Instead of giving material possessions, experience gifts involve providing loved ones with opportunities to create lasting memories, such as spa days, concert tickets, cooking classes, or adventurous outdoor activities. By giving experiences as gifts, individuals can offer unique and personalized moments that are often cherished more than material possessions.

Why giving experiences as gifts is better than giving things

A man and a woman enjoy flying together in a wind tunnel. Free fall simulator
A man and a woman enjoy indoor skydiving together

1. Lasting memories

When you choose to give experiences as gifts, you're essentially offering the recipient the gift of a unique and unforgettable moment in time. Unlike material possessions that may lose their appeal or wear out over time, experiences have the remarkable capacity to etch themselves into the recipient's memory.

These memories are often cherished forever because they are imbued with emotional and personal significance. Whether it's a romantic hot air balloon ride, an adventurous weekend getaway, or a cooking class where they learn to prepare their favorite dishes, these experiences create a lasting impact beyond an object's physicality.

They become stories to be shared, anecdotes to be recounted, and moments that continue to bring joy, happiness, and a sense of connection, making them far more valuable in terms of sentimental worth than any material possession ever could be.

2. Reduction of clutter

Experience gifts offer a clutter-free and eco-friendly gift alternative to traditional gifts for several compelling reasons. Unlike physical items, such as clothing, gadgets, or knick-knacks, experiences don't accumulate as clutter in the recipient's home. This is particularly important in a world where many people are seeking minimalist lifestyles and looking for ways to declutter and simplify their living spaces.

Furthermore, experience gifts align with eco-conscious living. Physical products often involve manufacturing, packaging, and transportation, contributing to environmental pollution and resource consumption. In contrast, experience gifts tend to have a significantly lower environmental footprint. They involve fewer materials, generate less waste, and typically require fewer resources, making them a more sustainable choice.

In essence, giving experiences as gifts not only avoids adding to the recipient's physical clutter but also helps reduce the broader environmental footprint associated with traditional gift-giving. This makes experience gifts a thoughtful and responsible choice for those who value a clutter-free living space and a greener planet.

3. Personalization

woman enjoying personalized hotel experience
When you give experiences as gifts, you can create a deeply personal and meaningful connection with the recipient. This approach showcases your thoughtfulness and consideration because it requires you to understand their interests and preferences truly.

Whether it's a cooking class for the aspiring chef, concert tickets for the music lover, or a spa day for the person needing relaxation, you're demonstrating that you've taken the time to select a gift that aligns with their passions and desires. This level of personalization goes beyond the one-size-fits-all approach of material gifts and shows that you value the recipient's uniqueness.

As a result, the gift becomes a heartfelt gesture, strengthening your relationship and making the experience even more cherished and memorable for them. In essence, giving experiences reflects the effort and care you've invested in the present, making it a profoundly meaningful gift.

4. Quality time

Experience gifts hold the unique power to encourage spending quality time together, ultimately strengthening relationships and fostering deeper connections with loved ones. When individuals receive an experience gift, it often involves shared activities or adventures, such as going to a concert, taking a cooking class, or embarking on a weekend getaway.

These shared experiences create opportunities for bonding, communication, and the creation of lasting memories. The act of participating in an activity or event together not only brings joy but also allows for genuine, meaningful interactions. It facilitates conversation, laughter, and the sharing of emotions in a way that material gifts cannot.

Furthermore, these shared moments can help individuals understand each other better, discover common interests, and build a stronger, more profound connection, enhancing the quality of their relationships. In this way, giving experiences as gifts goes beyond the tangible, leaving a lasting impact on the emotional bonds between people.

5. Health and well-being

Many experience gifts are carefully designed to prioritize the recipient's health, well-being, or personal growth. For instance, they might include options like spa days, yoga retreats, fitness classes, or workshops on skills such as cooking or painting. The unique benefit of these types of gifts lies in their potential to promote a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

Unlike traditional gifts, which often revolve around material possessions, experience gifts encourage individuals to invest in themselves, both physically and mentally. They provide opportunities for self-care, stress reduction, and personal development, improving overall quality of life. Whether it's the relaxation and rejuvenation of a spa day or the sense of accomplishment gained from mastering a new skill, these experiences have a transformative impact.

By giving experiences centered on well-being and personal growth, you not only offer a thoughtful and unique gift but also support the recipient's journey toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. This lasting gift keeps on giving.

How to gift an experience?

Giving experiences as gifts can be a complicated process, especially when you don’t know the recipient that well. Generally, there are two ways to gift an experience:

1. Arrange it yourself

You can buy an experience beforehand, such as a hotel reservation, and surprise your loved ones with the news. This is a heartfelt gesture that would bring a smile to anyone’s face. However, a possible pitfall of this method is the risk of booking an experience that’s not aligned with the recipient’s schedule. Or worse, something that they don’t enjoy doing.

That’s why it’s crucial to do in-depth research on the recipient’s schedule and interest before booking an experience yourself as a gift.

2. Get a one-for-all gift card

giving experiences as gifts: hotelgift
If you don’t have the time or are just bad with subtle research, why not buy a one-for-all experience gift card? Options such as Hotelgift give you peace of mind by having one gift card that can be redeemed for thousands of experiences, anywhere, and anytime.

If you’re only looking for activities to give, try Activitygift. It’s another one-for-all, flexible gift card that lets the recipient redeem for 50,000+ activities worldwide. If you’re pressed for time, try their eGift cards and PDF printouts, which arrive within 5 minutes of purchase.

The best thing about these gift cards is that you can still personalize them to make them extra special for the recipient. Simply add a photo and a message, and choose any value you want to give between $25 and $10,000. It’s a gift meant to last forever.

Learn more about experience gift cards from Hotelgift, Activitygift, and other options.

What are some good experience gifts?

Good experience gifts encompass a wide range of options that cater to diverse interests and preferences. Some popular choices include spa days for relaxation and rejuvenation, tickets to concerts or live events for entertainment, cooking classes for culinary enthusiasts, adventurous activities like hot air ballooning or hiking for thrill-seekers, and even personalized workshops in areas like art, photography, or dance for those seeking personal growth and skill development.

For more inspiration, check out some of our gift guides for your loved ones:

How to wrap an experience gift?

wrapping experience gifts
Wrapping an experience gift is easy. Here are some tips to make it extra special:

  1. Find a good wrapping paper, particularly something that would mislead the recipient
  2. In the same fashion, try to make the form of the gift a bit misleading for a good surprise
  3. If possible, fold your gift card into an origami to increase the anticipation

For a more detailed guide on wrapping an experience gift, check out our blog on this topic.

Giving experiences as gifts: Final thoughts

The practice of giving experiences as gifts offers a profound shift in the way we express our affection and appreciation for our loved ones. By prioritizing memorable moments over material possessions, we not only create lasting memories but also contribute to reducing clutter, fostering deeper personal connections, and promoting a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle.

Whether it's the joy of shared adventures, the serenity of a spa day, or the skill-enhancing workshops, giving experiences as gifts transcend the tangible, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of both the giver and the recipient. In a world often dominated by consumerism, this thoughtful approach to gift-giving reminds us that the most priceless treasures are the experiences we create and share with the people we hold dear.

So, consider the transformative power of "giving experiences as gifts" and embark on a journey of heartfelt and impactful gift-giving that transcends the material realm.