Experience Gift Giving
Experience gifts are an increasing trend and have completely revolutionised the way we give each other gifts. Long gone are the bath salts, chocolates, t-shirts and socks; the experience gift offers the receiver possibly a once in a lifetime activity that they have never dared to actually go out and book for themselves.
Something Out of the Ordinary
An experience gift is something, maybe slightly crazy or inaccessible to the general public, that perhaps the person who is receiving the gift has always talked about doing - like bungee jumping - but always had an excuse ''I am too busy/I don't have the money/the jump site is too far to travel too/I can't justify such an extravagant adventure".
What better way than for you (and family and/or a few mates) to club together and purchase your friend or loved one an experience adventure or an experience day that they have always dreamed of? And what better way to celebrate their birthday, anniversary or other special occasion than by joining them in the festivities?
Something for Everyone
Not all experience gifts have to be an extreme sport or something suitable only for the adrenalin junkie. In fact, the concept of experience gifts has taken off so much all over the world, that you can literally purchase a voucher for just about any experience, from a full spa day of pampering including lunch and a barrage of the most luxurious treatments, to Zorbing down a green hillside, and from driving a Formula One racing car, to swimming with dolphins.
Something of Convenience
Experience gifts are great for those gift givers who always, without fail, leave something to the very last minute, or have forgotten completely. The beauty of technology can now save us face, and all we have to do is find an experience our friend would enjoy online, book it, pay for it and in a matter of minutes, you will find yourself with a voucher to present as your gift.
If you are really in a tight spot, you could even buy a voucher on your smart phone in the car on the way there, but you may have to stop and at least pick up a card and have the voucher emailed directly to the lucky recipient. That is cutting it a bit fine, but it's an amazing benefit for people who are serial date forgetters.
A voucher for an experience gift is a great way to spoil a couple, as they are not just for the individual, but are great options for couples and groups too. Couples are notoriously difficult to buy for, with one partner having vastly different tastes and interests than the other. Not everyone fancies a full day being massaged and relaxing at a day spa, and not everyone happens to be a skydiving candidate.
Something for Singles, Couples, and Groups too.
Buying an anniversary present for the couple who can afford to buy themselves anything and more, or who have everything, is a tricky one, but before you reach for the red wine and chocolates why not choose an experience gift instead? They will really love a chance to spend some time alone together away from the demands and pressures of family life, or the stress of the office. And they will remember your gift dearly as being one of the most thoughtful gifts ever received - because they are.
You can choose from anything like tea for two, a champagne picnic, dinner and dancing, a moonlight cruise, a tepee adventure, a hot air balloon ride, a fun themed photo shoot, a cordon bleu cooking experience with a top chef, tango lessons, theatre tickets and so much more.
Another perfect time to bestow a couple with such a gift is for their wedding. Most people who get married today have either been living together for a while beforehand, or will be jointly merging two households full of furniture, cutlery, linen and household items that are traditionally given as wedding gifts.
Not everyone likes giving money, so why not pick a voucher that the couple can enjoy once the fuss and flurry of the wedding is over? The fun photo shoot is a good idea. It's a special way to have something just for them that isn't posed or formal like it might have been at their wedding, and they will have the memories recorded forever.
Something for all Budgets
The best part about experience gift vouchers is that they have such a wide range of costs that you don't have to end up spending a fortune to give a spectacular present. A massage may be quite a different price to something like a tandem skydiving experience, but each one of those gifts will be deeply appreciated and you can still maintain the dignity of your budget while making your loved one feel important and thought of.
Something to Please the Men
Men are another tricky lot to get presents for - they are either as fussy as anything, or couldn't be bothered at all. And besides, most don't hesitate to buy something for themselves if they want it, so they end up pretty much having everything, which makes things like birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine's Day ever so slightly impossible.
But, the chances of him actually having booked a paintballing session with 10 mates or a Ferrari driving experience for themselves are slim - which makes these gifts the ideal present that will be completely unique, that your friend or partner will remember forever.
No matter who you are buying a gift for, whatever the occasion, how old they are or how many things they may have already experienced in their lives, you are sure to find an experience gift that they have not yet tried, or that they have wanted to do forever. Granny will love the tea for two in the Botanical gardens; she may even like the bungee jumping. Kids will love cooking classes, a chocolate making session, or even the chance to become a zoo keeper for the day.
So instead of traipsing the shopping centre this year, why not give a gift that will keep on giving long after it's over - the ultimate experience gift.