How to choose a Gift Experience for Christmas

More and more people are opting to buy their loved ones a gift experience, instead of the typical material present these days, but how difficult is it to pick the right one? Choose the wrong gift and you’ve not only wasted a lot of money, but your recipient will feel like you do not really know them at all. Pick the right one however, and you’ll be creating fantastic memories that will live on, long after the experience has ended.

So where do you start? Well, the first trick is to really only buy an experience gift for someone very close to you. For people that are outside your personal circle of family and friends, stick to vouchers or gift cards.

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Secondly, forget about what you would like to receive. So if you are the sort of person that would love a super-pampering day at a luxurious spa, but your best friend is never out of wellies and spends all her time walking her dogs and thinks a great day out is to go lambing, a spa day will be just a waste of time for her.

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Now that you’ve stopped thinking about what you’d want to do, concentrate on the recipients likes. Are they speed junkie? Do they love taking risks? Are they always talking about extreme sports on TV? Think about what their hobbies are and tailor their experience day towards that, but make sure it is a little more special than something they would normally get the chance to do. So those speed junkies could try a 300 ft bungee jump, an extreme high rope course, or how about fly boarding, where jet skis are strapped to your feet?

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There are plenty of gift experiences for outdoorsy types too, including everything from paintballing, to falconry, zoo keeping for a day, afternoon tea with tigers, wilderness survival, rock and ice climbing and even a zombie warfare day!

Christmas is a great time to indulge your foodie friends, with experiences ranging from lunch at the Ritz, a 6 hour cooking lesson compiled from Michel Roux Jr, dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, a chocolate making lesson and wine tasting available.

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Of course, there are hundreds of luxury spa experiences that you can book, but don’t do what my boyfriend did and only buy one spa day experience for your girlfriend, get two so that she can take her best friend and make it a fun day out. If you are choosing a spa day, get one that has a few treatments included in the day; it makes it a lot easier when you turn up.

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And ladies, don’t forget it’s not all about treating us women at Christmas, your man will love a sporting gift experience. Show him that you’ve been listening when he bangs on about his football team, by getting him a football stadium tour for the club he supports, or, if he is a rugby or cricket fan; treat him to a Twickenham or Lords tour instead.

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Christmas is a time to indulge in our cultural passions too, and an experience gift is a perfect way to treat ourselves to some great days out. So if a family member has always wanted to visited a certain stately home, or had a hankering for a particular art gallery or museum, this is your chance to spoil them.

Good websites for gift experiences include Virgin Experience Days, Buy A Gift, Red Letter Days, and Experience Days.

All images copyright Virgin Experience Days