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  • Writer's pictureAnne McCormick

The Guide to Gifting Experiences

This year, instead of driving to the mall and searching high and low for the “perfect” gift you haven’t thought of yet with throngs of other people, why not gift an experience? The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize that the holiday season isn’t so much about unwrapping objects, but sending messages of love and sharing experiences. Gifting experiences might seem like the perfect solution for you, but as with most things, there are pros and cons.

Pros of Gifting Experiences

1. Experiences are easily customizable depending on the recipient and your relationship with them!

2. Experiences don’t come in a box, so there is no last-minute shopping required, just thoughtful planning

3. Experiences are PERFECT for those pesky loved ones who are impossible to buy for. Some people just know what they want and buy it for themselves, or they’re really picky, so an experience can be just what the doctor ordered

4. Experiences are often more meaningful than objects, serving to connect and deepen your relationship with that person

Cons of Gifting Experiences

1. There is no exciting moment of unwrapping a gift… which, let’s face it, is one of the more enjoyable parts of Christmas

2. You can get it wrong! For example, gifting a spa package to someone who doesn’t like to be touched isn’t such a good idea

3. A lot of gifted experiences never end up happening when they’re left open-ended

4. If you’re working within a budget, it’s difficult to dream up an experience that works

How to Gift an Experience

Wrap it up. I know, we’re all adults here… adults who still love to unwrap gifts! One of the major downfalls of gifting experiences is that they are hard to wrap. One nice way to wrap an experience is to purchase a small thing they can use during their experience and wrap it with their card. Another way to do it is to include details that invoke the spirit of your gift, like pressed flowers, tea bags, candies, cinnamon sticks, etc. Include a nice handwritten note telling them about the gift and why you want to share this experience with them.

Keep your recipient in mind. So many of us gift an experience we think is amazing, but might not suit the person we are gifting it to. Yes, this experience might include you, but keep in mind the person you are giving it to. The goal is for them to look forward to their special time with you, not see it as a chore. Put yourself in their body and mind. What would be a perfect day for them– a treat you know they would love but would probably never buy for themselves? Here is your big chance!

Pick a date and stick to it. Most gifts are given the moment someone opens them, but experiences are gifts that happen in the future. Take this seriously! As I mentioned above, so many experiences never come to fruition. To overcome this, choose an experience with a specific date already attached, or, if you know both your schedules are busy, make a point of following up a couple of days later and making a solid plan. Stick to it!

Design the experience within a budget. Some budgets are small– in this case, take your recipient out for a rigorous hike and dinner (all they have to do is be awake at their door when you show up with coffee and a full tank of gas). Or, take them for a manicure, a paint night, a concert with ticket prices that are within reason– or take them shopping for something unique like a make-your-own-perfume workshop. If your budget is bigger, gift a holiday to a dream destination, a girls’ weekend getaway, a meditation retreat, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Are you interested in giving the gift of travel to a sister, mother, or friend? Consider Discover Your Bali! I offer customizable holidays for groups. Come explore beautiful Bali with me and your loved ones. Connect. Relax. Experience.

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