Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show – unknown
If you are like me and are terrible at getting gifts on time, want to avoid the shops and/or want to be unique then this is the blog post for you.
Two Christmases ago I was lazy and miscalculated my Amazon delivery timings so every member of my family got an IOU An Experience (secret is out). So despite not having anything physical I was giving them something that would live on in their minds forever. So, I wanna share a few with ya now so that like me, back then, they can be cooing about how you get the best and quirkiest gifts!
1. For Culture/History Seekers: Vox City Walks
These uniquely flexible guided walking tours are a great way to discover all about a city that you are visiting from the local sights, hidden gems to all about the history of the city. I was lucky enough to go on a Vox City Guided Tour of London this summer with a local expert, Phil. He was an amiable and engaging storyteller and told us really interesting historic facts. I loved learning more about my city of birth and found it all fascinating being a lover of history and culture. Like did you know Waterloo Bridge is nicknamed the ‘Ladies’ Bridge?’ You’ll have to go on the tour to find out why.
The London pass has three guided tours – West End & Royalty, London Landmarks and London Highlights that you can Hop On and Hop Off to at your own leisure much like a sightseeing bus – that is what makes it unlike any other walking tour company before! There are joining points on these guided routes for you to ‘hop’ right back into after you might have ‘hopped’ off for lunch or more the case in London, rain! Passes can be bought for 24, 48 or 72 hours and are available in six different languages. In addition, you can download the Vox City app that contains seven more self-guided tours around London that you can pop a listen to as you explore the city.
This seems like an unusual thing to gift one but I was never one for the usual and if you know your friend or relative is travelling somewhere abroad Vox City Walks are available in 29 additional cities across the continents of North & South America, Europe and Asia. Even if not flying abroad you can still have a weekend staycation guided tour in Oxford & Liverpool. Be different this year!
Alternatives: Historical Castle Tours around the UK, Tour of Shakespeare’s Globe & Street Photography vouchers
2. For Gamers/Fun Seekers: Electric Shuffle
I love interactive experiences in London and more so when it involves winning something; my competitive side comes out in full force! So when Caz of TravelEatSlay invited me for a game of Electric Shuffle at London Bridge, I said yes with gusto but with no clue what exactly it entailed. It’s electric shuffleboard, where players compete against one another in teams, sliding weighted pucks on a wooden block (akin to a mini-bowling alley) into a scoring area at the opposite end. We had 90 minutes booked consisting of three different games and we were separated into two teams. It’s a game of skill and chance but it’s certainly full of fun and laughter and was one of my fun nights out this year. To gift this you can buy an Electric Shuffle Gift Voucher. To play it costs £10 per person so it’s a perfect budget gift.
Alternatives: Monopoly Lifesized, Electric Gamebox & Crazy Golf
3. For the Arts/Dance Lover: Strictly Come Dancing Tour Tickets
Have I shared my love of dance with you before? Lol – being the hardcore Strictly Come Dancing Fan (note the capital F) this is a fabulous memorable gift to get one who loves the arts or watching dance. After Strictly, the show (Dancing with the Stars equivalent for my American readers) ends, a select few of the professional dancers and their celebrity partners go on tour across nine locations in the UK to compete. For those of us not yet lucky enough to see it filmed in the studio, this is the next best thing. I have been twice and LOVED every moment of it. I just come alive when I get to dance or watch dance. For me, it’s such a special art form that can tell so many stories and evoke so many emotions. Dancers are really just living pieces of art. Tickets can be bought through Ticketmaster or direct from the venues hosting the show. This gift is one if you are wanting to push the boat out and spend a little bit more.
Alternatives: Tickets to the ballet or opera.
4. For Adventurous Adrenaline Junkies: Indoor Skydiving
I got this, two Christmases ago from my brother and sister in law; unfortunately, I have not been able to use my voucher yet (you know the whole pandemic we’ve been going through). This is a great gift for someone like me who will never jump out of an aeroplane – freefalling in the sky is not my jam. However, I would still love to experience how it would feel to skydive and feel like I’m floating. My session is currently booked for my birthday month with iFLY and I’m sure I will be buzzing.
Alternatives: Axe Throwing, GoApe & Abseiling
5. For Foodies: Foraging Course
I’ve yet to go on this myself but how cool is this, getting your nutrients from the outdoors and then being able to cook with what you’ve found! It really takes ya back to the basics of how life would have been before the days of supermarkets and corner shops supplying our food supplies.
I remember hiking in Ashridge National Trust and smelling the wild garlic we found in the woods and how amazing it would be to pick some and cook with it. I know some people collect nettles to make nettle tea. It is really important to know that what you are foraging from nature is safe and won’t cause harm, and that’s why it’s recommended to go with a professional forager so as to learn how to correctly identify edible foods.
For an outdoor lass like myself, I am eyeing up the ‘Forage & Cook’ Experience with Totally Wild UK who have locations all over the UK and issue vouchers valid for 12 months. I can get my walking boots for a foraging walk, learn about it and then cook with the wild produce and ingredients I’ve collected. If anyone would like to gift me this, feel free (o: Nature, hiking and food – what is there not to love about this combo!
Alternatives: Macaroon Cooking Class, Pasta making Classes & Cocktail making class.
And there you have it, FIVE dynamic and diverse experiences you can gift your friends and family of different tastes. Do let me know if you try any of these out or got it gifted to you and what you thought about it.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Treasuring experiences always,
The Five to Nine Traveller