Gift Guide: Experience Gift Ideas

Today is the 12th and final day of Blogmas! If you’ve been reading for the past 12 days, thank you — it was a blast putting these holiday posts together. 

I’ve put plenty of gift guides together this season, however, what do you gift the person who has everything? We all have that person in our lives. And for my friends and family, that person is me. (P.S., sorry for that!) Which is why I’m sharing some fun experience gift ideas today.

If you know someone who doesn’t care for material things, who has too many material things, or if you want to snag a meaningful last-minute gift, the gift of an experience might be a great option. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite experience gift ideas that are great for any budget. P.S., Santa, if you’re reading this, I’m a size window seat in plane tickets. Just sayin’.

The Best Experience Gift Ideas

  • An Airbnb Experience near you. Over the past couple of years, Tom and I have grown to love Airbnb experiences. We use these quite often when we travel abroad. However, they’re great to use domestically as well. They offer a lot of different types of experiences that vary from city to city: from cooking classes to paddleboarding adventures to city tours, the possibilities are endless!
    I’d read the reviews before booking to make sure you’re getting an experience that’s the perfect fit for you and your gift recipient. If you’re local to D.C. or Virginia, some experiences that caught my eye include a baby goat cuddle session in Charlottesville, a Persian cooking class in the District, and a kayak ride to the National Arboretum
  • The Annual Pass to the National Parks. For the outdoor enthusiast in your life, an annual pass to the National Parks would be a great fit. It’s only $80, and it covers the entrance fees to over 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country.
  • Get pampered with a spa treatment. Real talk: who doesn’t love the spa? A gift certificate for a manicure would be the perfect stocking stuffer, or you could go all out and purchase a day package at a local resort. If you’re local to DC/NYC, I also recently tried and enjoyed the Silver Mirror Facial Bar. They offer results-driven facials and have an incredibly knowledgable staff. 
  • Tickets to a show, game, or play. I took ballet for 15 years, so whenever someone gifts me tickets to see the ballet, I flip out. The whole experience is incredible: getting dressed up and heading into the city for a night of culture? Sold. Whether it’s a concert, a broadway show, or a night at the ballet, tickets to a show or a play near you is a gift that both you and your lucky recipient will love.
    For the sports lover in your life, tickets to a game for their favorite sports team would also be a solid bet. Make sure to snag tickets far enough in advance so they can work their schedules around the game!
  • A wine tasting experience. Have a wine-lover in your life? A wine tasting experience would be a great pick! There are plenty of ways to do this. The most budget-friendly way? See if a local wine shop near you offers wine-tasting or wine-pairing classes. If you want to venture out to a winery, you can book a private tasting and tour. And if you’re going to visit Virginia Wine Country? Here are my top winery picks for the state. 
  • A financial trainer. I know. This gift does not sound super sexy at all, but honestly? I could have used this after I graduated from college, and when I went full-time with blogging.
    I recently signed up for The Financial Gym because I realized that for one, I’m turning 30 in a few months, and two, I needed help with budgeting and paying off some debts. Plus, since I’m self-employed, I wanted to learn what 401k and investment options were a good fit for me. It’s a laid back, non-judgemental way for anyone to receive financial guidance, but it’s especially great for Millennials/Gen Z. They have several plans: one is geared towards recent college grads, a plan for managing personal finances, and one for self-employed folks as well to manage both personal and business finances.
    This isn’t an ad in the slightest: my mom jokingly suggested that she’d gift me a financial advisor years ago, and I initially laughed and rejected that idea. Turns out, my mom was right (but aren’t moms always right?), and that would have been a fantastic gift to receive!
  • A Night Out for Parents. I’d say about half of my friends are now parents, and I hardly get to see them as much. A great gift idea for new parents? Hand them some movie tickets or a gift certificate for their favorite restaurants, along with a “babysitting coupon,” so they can enjoy a night out on the town sans kids. Offering to watch their kids for a few hours would mean the world to them!

What’s the best experience gift idea you’ve ever heard of? Share in a comment below!

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