Dec 4

10 Experiences to Give

Last year I did a post on 10 experiences to give instead of stuff. There are studies that say people get more joy out of an experience than something they own. The experiences don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes it can be as simple as reserving a $25 camp site. (ps: Coincidentally we are headed to Seattle next week and we found $75 train tickets.) A coastal train trip would be a cool adventure to give! I’ll report back afterwards on how it went. I hope it looks snowy and beautiful, like this.

See all 10 experiences to give right here. Have you ever given or received an experience? I would like to eat at The French Laundry and Camp at Kirby Cove and take Sailing Lessons.


  • rachael says:

    i loved taking the train! such a great experience. there are so many things i want to DO i can’t even keep track. i’d love to go camping but i have to wait until summer :(

  • These are great! I would take an experience over a “thing” any day!

  • giving an experience is always a great gift. this is a great list!

  • Jessi says:

    This is a really beautiful idea for Christmas presents! So personal!

  • Stephanie says:

    Please share more details of these $75 tix to Seattle! Since moving to SF, I haven’t really explored much of the west coast outside of California and am dying to visit Seattle and Portland!

  • Annie says:

    I so agree with you and the commenters above– an experience really does beat out just a pair of pants in my mind. I just always end up feeling like a person could always easily buy that pair of pants for themselves any old day, but an experience… it’s a little more special.

  • Rachael says:

    I love giving our kids experiences for their birthdays like a day to the Seattle Children’s Museum for our son’s third birthday. It’s so much fun to build memories rather than have things.

  • brianne says:

    Ooh, you are coming to our town, how wonderful! YOu will love it this time of year :)

  • Kendra says:

    I just love giving experiences! This year I’m giving my parents a tour of our city from a helicopter. I wish more people would give experiences – I’m tired of getting things I’ll never use.

  • Winnie says:

    Hi! I’m new in Seattle having just arrived here 2 weeks ago. I have been following your blog and loved the DIY projects and gift ideas you shared. Will you be in Seattle for the holidays? :)

  • isabelle says:

    The French Laundry? What a gift that would be! I’m pretty sure most common folk have to save up to go there. But from what I hear anyway, most of the people eating there these days are not common folk.

  • Karen A says:

    Thats my plan! I got my boyfriend a cool experience (fingers crossed!) for christmas!!

  • Emily says:

    I love the idea of receiving an experience rather than an item. The two best gifts I have ever received were from my parents. They payed for my flight when I did I year abroad which allowed me to travel for an extra 2 months before coming home and in my first year of university they payed for all of my books and a semester of tuition. I will never forget either of these gifts.


  • I love experience gifts! My favorite gift I ever received were tickets to the Broadway production of Angels in America — expensive, because we went to both plays, but so much fun.

    This year I gave my brother a scuba class for his birthday, and I’m giving my parents and brother and son and husband tickets to a local production of Peter Pan for Christmas.

    Love reading these comments, too — now I want to go to Milan!

  • Eleonora says:

    Oh yes, I love giving experiences instead of stuff.
    I particularly love giving tickets to concerts :) That happened several times.
    Last time was a few weeks ago when I gave a dear friend of mine a ticket for a Muse concert. It was amazing!

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