The holiday season is upon us, and every year around this time stores break out the Christmas decor, brands launch their winter campaigns, and bloggers publish their quintessential “Holiday Gift Guide” posts. It’s not even Thanksgiving, and I’ve already read several “Gift Guide for Travelers” blog posts. While these guides can be helpful, I’ve found the majority of avid travelers prefer experiences to things.
This holiday season, consider investing in life experiences rather than splurging on trendy items for your favorite travel addict. Travelers are great at distancing themselves from material things. Rather, they prefer to spend money on experiences and making memories. In fact, numerous recent studies (like this one) have determined that experiences are far more likely to lead to happiness than material goods. Happiness from material purchases diminishes over time, but experiences become an ingrained part of our identity.
I’m not suggesting you buy airline vouchers or all-expense-paid vacations as a Christmas gift (although, not going to lie, that would be cool). Just consider giving experiences and memories. Here are a few ideas:
Tickets to Concerts, Festivals, Events:
Last Christmas, my boyfriend got me tickets to see my favorite artist in concert. The show wasn’t until May, so the gift included the added bonus of looking forward to the concert for 5 months after receiving it. Festivals, sports games, and concerts are all memorable experiences and make great gifts.
Classes / Education:
Do they want to learn a language or photography? What about horseback riding or piano lessons? You can make a night of it by taking a painting, cooking or wine pairing class.
If they enjoy skiing/snowboarding you can buy them lift tickets, or a mountain weekend getaway. You can go whale watching or beach horseback riding / trail riding (another gift my boyfriend surprised me with).
Last Christmas I gave my parents a “night out” including a gift card to a nice restaurant, movie tickets, etc. You can also get a hotel voucher for a stay-cation or weekend getaway.
Everyone loves a spa day.
For the adrenaline junkie: sky diving, hang gliding or a race car driving experience.
Looking for other experience ideas? Check out this website for a list of additional experiences you can purchase in your area.
Love these! Wish these experiences didn’t cost more than the material items though, but I definitely prefer activities and experiences over all of the “stuff” that tends to pile up (unless it’s really useful travel gear that lasts me for decades!). Thanks for sharing these great ideas!
What a great list! I am a big believer in experiences.
Great list. Printing now. Maybe giving it to my friends and family because I’m the adventure junkie of the family… (hehe) It is true that gifting experiences rather than things is much more meaningful! 🙂
I so agree! As I get older, I’m able to access a lot more of what I need and want on a daily basis. So when it comes to receiving gifts, I love something out-of-the-box, like a trip or experience, rather than an object. Last year my husband planned a trip to NYC, including a Broadway show, and it was one of the best gifts he’s ever given me! Love these ideas as well!
Totally agree with the idea of giving experiences rather than something tangible! My husband and I have sent the last few years also giving “a day” on one of our upcoming trips, like on our recent trip to Europe, my husband got me a day of an amazing cooking class and I took him to a really fun museum.
what a great roundup that is focused more on fun adventures, rather than material things… this is often forgotten during the holidays!
Such wonderful ideas! I love the idea of experiences over material things.:)
These are great ideas. I’ll be sharing them with some family members who always struggle with what to get me lol!
People love the get “stuff” because they can actually hold it and measure, but memories are so munch more important! These are great suggestions, and I would love to see this become the trend.
SO true! The only material gift I’d want is a camera… to document those life experiences!
The best gift for traveler is cartoon on travel theme I guess. I like traveling and my friend gave me a nice caricature and I was so excited! If you need here’s the website he ordered the cartoon online: https://www.photolamus.com/