Life is an experience. What better way to have your gift stand out from the pack than with an experience that changes someone’s life, even if only for a while? With a little more thought than usual, you can give a gift that becomes the experience of a lifetime. Experience gifts can be exciting, fun, challenging, dramatic, or provide mountains of relief. Engaging all the senses, they take the person who receives the gift on a journey of their own. What better way to let someone know they are valued than to get them an experience they’ll remember for years to come.

While some may cost money, other gifts can cost nothing except a little of your time. Keep in mind that with gift certificates, about 30% are never used. So when giving experiential gifts, buy the tickets yourself or find a way to lock in the date. Book the recipient into an appointment if you have to, as this will ensure your gift is experienced. By making  a commitment ahead of time on their behalf, the recipient is more likely to go ahead with the experience as it takes effort to change what’s already been organised. The key is that you want the gift you give this year to be experienced, and not remain a voucher sitting on a desk.

Here are some ideas for 5 experiential gifts that might cost you a little money, and 5 that won’t.

Book a weekend away

If the gift is for your spouse or partner, there is nothing like a romantic getaway. You’ll know their calendar pretty well, so you should be able to book it in. From a luxury resort to a beach holiday or farmstay, gift your partner a break from being at home with the chores.

Hot air ballooning

Flying above the world watching the sunrise, glass of champagne in hand is an absolutely breathtaking experience. For most, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Gastronomy class

If the person loves food and cooking, why not give them an experience with a restaurateur who can them the fine art of cooking. If they love chocolate you can gift Lindt chocolate making classes too.

Racing car driving

For the adrenaline nut, a Christmas gift with speed is all the go.

Buy tickets to the theatre, movies, concert or sporting event

If you need to fly to the event, buy those tickets too. Buying tickets in advance will save you money, and have everything taken care of for the recipient. This way, they can properly enjoy the gift without worrying about the cost of getting to the event. You don’t want to give a gift that will cost the recipient money too.

Make dinner for your wife for a month

Now what better way is there to share the Christmas love? This will really take her by surprise. You take care of everything, from shopping to cooking, and doing the dishes too.

Do the dishes or washing every night for a month, or more!

Some of the nicest and most beautiful gifts are the ones that really give someone a rest. Look around the house at what you can help your partner with that will make a difference to his or her life. Give this as your Christmas treat this year.

Be a baby sitter

For mothers and fathers, one of the best gifts is to give them time. Offer to be a baby sitter when it works for them. It might be a Saturday morning, or a night they can take off to go to a restaurant or the movies with their partner.

Have an adventure

Take a four kilometre walk along the beach, visit an art gallery, go mountain climbing, or have a picnic at home under the tree out front. Plan something a little different for your Christmas gift, and do this on the day. Pampering at home works too. Let your spouse sleep in and relax all day. You take care of everything today. From making breakfast in bed, to organising lunch and dinner. Offer your services for whatever he or she wants today. What better way to spend Christmas?

Donate your time

This Christmas, donate your time to help a charity. Everyone benefits and you will experience a gift that opens your heart.

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