How To

10 ways to give experiences instead of stuff

We talk a lot about shopping on this blog. Thrifting and how to score the best deals is the general theme around here. So as many of us begin to to feel bombarded with holiday lists and gift guides, I thought we’d take a step back and explore ways we can gift experiences instead of things. I reached out to my Instagram followers and asked them to answer a poll and over 98% voted that they value experiences as gifts.  I then asked them to share some of their best ideas so we can compile a list to inspire others. Here’s what we all came up with:

Food Tours

This was an extremely popular one! You can either book a formal tour through a company or create your own if your city doesn’t offer one.

Mini Vacations or Staycations

If you know someone who loves to travel,  consider gifting an airline gift card.   A few readers shared memorable experiences where families that live across the country met up at designated location,  some suggested an all girls trip or a little getaway with their partner or spouse.  Staycations with a local itinerary are always a welcomed break too.  If you’re feeling adventurous, check out Pack Up & Go, a surprise travel agency.

Spas & Massages

A personal favorite of mine. Nothing better than looking forward to a free massage or spa day.

Yoga Classes or Any Type of Fitness Class

Fitness classes can be expensive so this is great gift for someone who loves to stay active.

Date Nights

Purchase a bunch of gift cards for fun experiences like plays, dinner, movies, concerts, music venues, etc. and treat yourself throughout the year for a date.

Cooking Classes

Can be included in your date night options or a solo treat.

Brewing Classes

This was another reader favorite.

Memberships: museums, zoos, theaters, nature centers, kayaking, season tickets, amusement parks

Fun for you and a partner, and great for families and kids.

Activities for Kids: pottery, painting, jump yards, rock climbing

Truth: buying my niece Frozen themed toys was starting to get a bit old so this past year I took my niece and nephew out for a dinner, movie, and ice cream date –  all their choice. It was the most fun we had in a while, especially when Auntie lets you eat all the Sour Patch Kids.

TV memberships: Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu

You know they share your password so just go ahead and buy them the darn membership already.

I’m sure there are so many more so add, feel free to share your ideas in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook. 

Header photo is from our trip to the Azores. Click here to read that travel guide