Thank you to Explore Local Box for sponsoring today’s post!
When we think back to the best gifts we’ve ever received, it’s very rarely an item or “stuff” we desired. While we do remember those gifts, they often just get lost in the jumble of all the other stuff we own and aren’t very special anymore. The human brain is wired to crave novelty; the newest and shiniest object. Marketers are smart and they appeal to that desire. So while right now I might really really really want a new pair of boots or Bassam might really really want a new gadget, it’s most likely only going to bring us pleasure the very first few times we use it. On the flip side, that trip to Paris I’ve been craving or that sushi making class Bassam has been wanting to take has a much longer return on investment. An experience gift like that is going to bring us pleasure when we receive it, when we experience it, and for years to come as we reminisce over the memories and utilize the skills we’ve learned. That’s why we believe the most memorable gift ideas are experience gifts. We’ve rounded up our top 6 favorite experience gift ideas. Since the struggle with experience gifts can often be how to present them as you want to have something to put under the tree or actually give to someone, we’ve listed a few ideas on creative ways to wrap or present experience gifts.
1. Travel Based Subscription Box – Explore Local Box
You probably know by now that one of our all time favorite things is travel. That is the ultimate gift idea to us, but we know there can be a lot of barriers to gifting someone travel. It can often be too expensive, you may not know someone’s availability or if they even have availability, and whole host of other issues. That’s why we were so excited to discover Explore Local box, a travel based subscription box. You can gift someone a single month, several months, or a year- whatever fits your budget. Each box they receive will be centered around a particular USA city and will include items from that location. All the products are sourced from small businesses, so while discovering a new city, you’re also supporting small businesses. The boxes also include a fact sheet about the city.
We’ve tried the Portland, Oregon box and the Brooklyn, New York box. Each one was unique and very true to the city. It was really fun for us to spend an evening going through the box, checking out the items, reading through the fact sheet to learn more about the city, and looking up the items to learn more about the businesses they came from. While many of the items are food related, there are also some items that can be used around the house. We had just come back from Oregon when we tried the Portland box and we were planning to go to New York when we tried the Brooklyn box, which made each experience extra special. It could be really nice to pair these boxes with an upcoming trip, a trip you’ve recently been on, or gift a location your loved one has been wanting to visit.
If whoever you are gifting the box to has kids, you can select the “kids add-on”, which means a few extra special items will be included for kids.
How to wrap it:
- If you’re gifting the box itself, this part is easy because you just wrap the box
- If you’re gifting a particular month, it could be fun to buy a small item that represents that city, like an apple for New York City, and wrap that with a teaser of what’s to come, “You’re about to experience a city this apple represents from the comfort of your couch. More details coming soon to a mailbox near you!”
- If you’re gifting a subscription, an idea could be to wrap a map of the United States (you an easily find inexpensive prints or even print your own) with a card stating something like, “My gift to you is to travel around the United States from the comfort of your couch! Fun surprises coming soon to a mailbox near you!”
Check out Explore Local Box HERE
2. A class or workshop
One of my all time favorite gifts that I’ve received was a series of classes to a yoga studio with a yoga outfit. It was something I never knew I needed or wanted, but it made such a big difference in my life. Gifting someone a class or a workshop is gifting them knowledge and skills. What could be a more valuable gift? The options are endless here from photography classes to cooking classes. Try to choose a skill that they’ve been saying they’ve been wanted to pick up, something that will improve a current situation in their life, or something that you know they will love if you know them well enough.
How to wrap it:
Buy a small add-on that relates either relates to the class or can be used for the skill. For example, a set of cooking spoons if you are gifting a cooking class or a disposable camera if you are gifting photography classes. If your budget allows, you could get a major item that they can use like a mixer for the cooking class or a camera or camera bag for the photography class.
3. Gourmet Dining Experience
You know what big foodies we are, so a gourmet dining experience would be a very desirable gift for us. If you are not going with the person, you can present them with a gift card so they can use it anytime and with anyone. Just make sure you include enough for two people to each have an app, entree, dessert, and 2 drinks. Having that full course meal will make the experience even more exciting!
How to wrap it:
Print out the menu and maybe even some Yelp reviews. Place that in a small box, along with the gift card if you’re going that route, and wrap the box!
4. Helicopter ride over the city
We tried this a splurge activity during our trip to Alaska last year and we became OBSESSED! We did it again when we went to New York City and the experience was just as amazing. This is definitely a splurge gift idea, especially if you are gifting it for two, but if a splurge is on your list, this is an AMAZING idea. Just make sure whoever you are gifting it to isn’t afraid of heights!
How to wrap it:
It would be really cute to get a toy helicopter and wrap it with a note that says something like, “you’re about to see the city from new heights!” If this is a romantic gift, you could say something cheesy like, “your love lifts me to new heights.”
5. Weekend Getaway or an extended trip
You know we had to work travel into this list! Travel is our all time favorite experience gift. The memories last a lifetime and travel is one of our all time favorite things to do. If your budget is limited you can do a weekend getaway somewhere close by. If you are able to do a splurge gift, going somewhere international or somewhere for the week would be ahhhhmaaazzzinnngg.
How to wrap it:
My absolute dream would be for Bassam to pack a bag for me and tell me we are going away for the weekend, so that’s going to be my first suggestion, haha. Do that and put a big ol’ bow on it! You could also print out a pamphlet or something related to the destination, put it in a box, and wrap it up. If you have a little extra padding in your gift budget, you can buy something for the person to use on the trip, like a bikini for a tropical destination.
6. A service the person needs
Giving the gift of service is always a wonderful option! Think of something the person needs and would appreciate but wouldn’t pay for themselves. Could be a a cleaner to come to their house, a spa day or spa service, or a meal subscription. They will be so grateful for you for a long time to come!
How to wrap it:
If you get a housekeeping service to come to their home, I think it would be super cute to kick them out of the house and put a big bow on the front door when they arrive home after the cleaners are done. If you really want to wrap it in a traditional way, maybe write them a sweet card on why you feel like they deserve this service and why you got it for them. Put that note in a small box and wrap that.
What’s the best experience gift you’ve ever received?
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