Give an Adventure: 10 Experience-Based Gift Ideas for Travellers

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Instead of buying more ‘stuff’ this year, how about giving someone a travel gift experience they won’t forget instead?

Whether you’re sick of buying friends and family presents which they might not even want or are considering making more eco-friendly purchase decisions, I can assure you that ditching physical presents in favour of experiences is the way to go! They need not cost a bomb either.

I’m a big advocate of minimalism, buying less and instead consuming more experiences. And there’s nothing more rewarding than giving someone memories that may last a lifetime, or even better, sharing those memories with the people you care about the most.

To give you some inspiration about some travel-related experiences you could give someone this year, here are 10  gift ideas for anyone who loves travel or simply doing something fun!

Suitable for him, her, couples, kids and the whole family – I hope you find some suitable alternative experience gift ideas within this list.

This post may contain affiliate links meaning should you purchase a product via this link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my privacy and disclosure policy for more.

A Tinggly experience box

looking out the window from a helicopter cab
Image by Epicurrence via Unsplash

For those with an adventurous spirit, no gift is better than a memorable day activity experienced from anywhere in the world. 

Whether it’s a VIP helicopter experience over glaciers in New Zealand, a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley, swimming with sharks in the Maldives or a gourmet food tour around Florence, Tinggly offers some of the world’s most exciting experiences from over 100 countries.

All you need to do is buy the box online and it will be posted or emailed in the form of vouchers to the receiver. They then have a generous two years to pick the activity they would like from a vast array of experiences, for the value you selected.

What I love about this company the most is that with every eco-friendly box you purchase, they invest some of the profit into sustainable charity projects. For buying just one gift experience, Tinggly removed 5kg of plastic and offsets 200% of CO2 emissions produced during the chosen experience. A company with a conscience!

Even if international travel isn’t on the cards any time soon, there are loads of cool local experiences you can do too.

There’s even a free travel box packed with inspiration, or adventures start from $20.

An Airbnb getaway

unusual accomodation in Victoria Australia for a weekend
Image via Airbnb

An ideal travel gift experience for couples, friends, families or a solo adventurer is an Airbnb getaway.

Listing some of the world’s most unusual and best private properties, an Airbnb stay is a fun way to have a night away without going to your boring bog-standard hotel.

Whether it is close to home or a little further away, booking AirBnB accommodation can make a special occasion all the more memorable. 

An Airbnb Experience

ariel shot of girl and lady cooking in kitchen
Image by RODNAE Productions via Pexels

Not only do Airbnb do accommodation, they also offer locally led tours all over the world and virtual experiences in the form of online masterclasses

The virtual experiences are especially ideal if you want to gift someone living in another country and also do it with them!

There are so many cool online experiences. I love the sound of Indigenous cooking classes, an intro to meditating with a Buddhist Monk and the funny ‘true or false’ history game which would be great for a group. 

For in-person experiences I’d choose glamping under the Northern Lights, a safari with a Maasai guide or horse riding with a local cowboy in the Andes!

Airbnb have made it even easier to send someone their experiences by introducing gift cards (currently only available in the US).

Airline vouchers

view over airplane wing in the clouds
Image by Ross Parmly via Unsplash

For travel lovers, what better gift is there than simply the gift of travel?

OK, so you can’t exactly buy all your friends and family a flight or a holiday. But if you want to treat your loved one to something extra special, how about booking them flights or giving them some airline vouchers? It’s an especially memorable gift for a ‘big birthday’ celebration such as a 50th or 21st.

FlightGift are a super cool company who offer one gift card redeemable against flights from hundreds of different airlines. It’s the perfect gift for someone always on the go!

You don’t have to buy the full value of a flight, even a $20 or $50 gift card would make a very nice discount on any future flight.

That being said, you can often find flights within Europe for under $50 (like my £30/€32 return flight to Bucharest for the weekend). So it may well cover the cost of a whole journey!

To get an estimate of how much flights to various destinations cost, have a search on SkyScanner by selecting flights to ‘everywhere’ and a month (or even the ‘cheapest month’ option).

A membership pass

large art gallery with people at the back
Image by Riccardo Bresciani via Pexels

The best gift I have ever received in my life was a lifetime membership for the National Trust from my grandma. I’ve had years of pure joy from exploring historic houses and areas of outstanding beauty all around the UK for free. And there are many more years of this to come!

Although the National Trust Lifetime memberships are expensive (they have gone up since I got given mine), yearly passes are available.

If you are in the US, annual National Parks passes are a brilliant gift idea. At only $80, you are not only able to access some of the most stunning parks all over the country for free, you are contributing towards the preservation of these beauty spots.

For those people who are more city slickers, how about buying them a membership pass to a local gallery, gym, fitness class, theme park, museum or theatre? A membership is one of the best travel gift experiences out there!

Local tour or attraction tickets

ATV group day tour
Image via Canva

Whether it’s a walking, brewery, distillery, history or a gourmet food tour, it’s super easy to be a tourist in your own city and view it from a new perspective!

There are loads of cool day trip tours available on Klook and often discounted from the RRP if you went direct to the tour company.

If you’re in the US, check out CityPASS for huge discounts on big attractions all across the country.

It’s a great excuse for the receiver to do the ‘must do’ things near them that they haven’t got around to yet!

A hobby course

camp fire in the snow
Image by Kezadri Abdelhakvia Unsplash

Whatever hobby the person has who you’re buying for, I can almost guarantee there will be a course for it.

For outdoor enthusiasts, an education or skills-based course may well be the ideal gift. There are many outward bound companies all across the world who can offer a range of fun but educational day classes.

If you’re in the UK, check out survival and bushcraft courses with Woodland Ways. For Australian’s look at the Adventure Merchants or for US citizens, Survival School.

For creative arts such as painting, photography, videography, Photoshop or writing, check out the vast catalogue of online courses run by CreativeLive.

Don’t forget there is always Rosetta Stone for that person who has always dreamed of learning another language!

A photoshoot

hand holding camera with couple having a photoshoot
Image via Canva

Ideal for some cute new photos for the ‘Gram, to send loved ones or just to make some fun memories – a photoshoot with a professional photographer makes a fantastic gift.

Flytographer pairs you with local photographers for vacation shoots all over the world in places such as London, Paris and New York. Sessions can be 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Gift cards with no expiry date are available. You can get $50 off by clicking here.

A mystery flight

plane coming to land in Switzerland
Image by Pascal Meier via Unsplash

For some, this may be the idea of hell, but for serendipity-seeking adventure junkies, a mystery flight is quite possibly THE best adrenaline-inducing gift you can give! 

The idea behind a mystery flight is quite simple. You choose the budget, fill out a quick survey, pay and then your destination is a surprise until you get to the airport!

For US-based citizens you can buy gift vouchers for loved ones with Pack Up + Go, for UK citizens and Aussies, Virgin Australia.

10. A charitable donation

army planting trees in field
Image by Dmitry Dreyer via Unsplash

If you’re really stuck about what to get someone, you can’t go wrong with a charitable donation on their behalf. It’s especially an ideal travel gift experience for the person who has it all, or does not want for anything.

One of my favourite things to do is purchase trees to be planted somewhere in the world for someone.

I’ve previously bought my mum 5 trees to be replanted in Brazil after deforestation devastation from One Tree Planted. It’s kind of a cool to think that even though she’ll never go there, she’s made a positive environmental impact somewhere else in the world. 

You can also sponsor vulnerable children across the world with fantastic charities such as Unicef or Save the Children.

I hope these travel gift experiences have given you some inspiration about what you can give to your loved one, be it for a birthday, Christmas or any other special occasion. 

If you have bought any of these experiences before or have any more ideas you’d add to this list, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below!

Going travelling Soon? Don’t forget these essentials!

Book your accommodation through or

To cover yourself for any unplanned situations, I use and would recommend World Nomads travel insurance.

To search and compare the best group tours and activities worldwide (with up to 50% off), use TourRadar.

For some travel inspiration for your next trip, how about Lonely Planet’s top 500 places to see… ranked?

Don’t forget to check the government visa entry requirements for the passport you are travelling with.


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*This post may contain affiliate links meaning should you purchase a product via this link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. These are still products I use or believe in regardless. See my privacy and disclosure policy for more.*

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17 thoughts on “Give an Adventure: 10 Experience-Based Gift Ideas for Travellers”

  1. Yes! I absolutely love this! Giving experiences as gifts is something I absolutely love – Airbnb + airline vouchers are such an amazing idea!

    • I know, I always choose experiences over gifts where ever possible! I think I’d cry with joy if someone gave me airline vouchers!

  2. Oh, I absolutely ADORE all of these ideas! I may be completely biased about the photography idea too, being a photographer haha. I love all these ideas and think they are great gift options for those hard to buy for people, um, myself who rather have an experience!

  3. Love this! I prefer experiences as gifts rather than a product. It’s memorable and unique way to show your appreciation to someone. Great guide!

  4. These are fantastic ideas!! I have to admit, all of my favourite gifts recently have been experiences rather than things. The best was a mushroom foraging tour. 🙂

    A hobby course is SUCH a fun sounding gift (although, I guess that could be super pricy…)

  5. I am all about the experience gifts. Every year my boyfriend and I share experience gifts for upcoming trips, things to do in our hometown and online experiences. I love all your ideas and although we don’t have any trips planned, because…well 2020, this is great to keep in mind for the future and instead concentrate on things here. I never thought about the Airbnb experience gift though. That’s a good one

  6. Experience based gifts are the best! Every year I make a donation to a charity of choice on our anniversary. Feels really great! Thanks for putting this post together!

  7. I love these suggestions so much. We started giving experiences several years ago and our family loves it! I have never heard of Tinggly box. I’m going to have to check them out 🙂

  8. These are amazing! I think I will send this to others just to gift me, they look so much fun, especially this mystery flight! Would love to be surprised like that 😀

  9. I would like to say that this list of gifts is really useful for me, it gives me a clear idea of what I should give to my favorite person. I think a power bank can be a great option for my friend. I’m sure your post will help most people to select the right gift for their belongings.

  10. Really nice post. I learnt a lot from you. I appreciate your efforts and all that you did on this webpage. Best of luck for future.


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