Material goods are nice, but there’s evidence that spending money on experiences makes us happier in the long run. For one thing, possessions don’t typically help us bond with people.
We’ll bond more with our spouse on a vacation to Italy than we will if we go out and eat pizza. That’s not to say pizza isn’t fun, but it’s not quite the same thing.
If you’re having trouble shopping for someone, stop looking at stuff and start thinking about experiences to give as gifts.
Here are four creative gifts to give to loved ones this year, all of which are focused on fun experiences.
Visit a Haunted Site
Do you believe in ghosts? If you’re going to visit a place that’s haunted, then you should at least be open to the idea that ghosts exist and roam among us. So if your friend is a skeptic, then you might want to skip this one.
Ghosts are fascinating because they show us what might exist on the other side. We don’t know for sure what happens after we die, but visiting a haunted mansion or haunted railroad can offer some valuable clues.
A word of warning: Don’t go with your friend if you’ll have trouble sleeping afterward. This is for thrill-seekers who like being scared.
Get Motorcycle Training
When we were growing up, most of us heard that motorcycles were dangerous. That may have kept us from riding them, but it didn’t necessarily keep us from wanting to ride them.
If your loved one has always wanted to hop on a motorcycle, then now’s a great time to buy them a motorcycle training experience. Such courses are taught by experts who know exactly what you need to do to stay safe.
It’s an adrenaline rush, but it’s in a controlled environment. If that sounds like something interesting, you can read more now.
A Broadway Show
There’s live theater, and then there’s Broadway theater. If you know someone who likes the first one, then you should consider buying them tickets to a production on The Great White Way.
Hamilton has been a hot ticket since it first opened in 2015, but if that’s not within your budget, don’t worry. There are plenty of good shows that won’t cost as much.
If your friend likes baking, get them tickets to Waitress. If they like fairy tales with a twist, check out a show like Wicked.
What if they’re more into classic literature than musicals? In that case, check out a play adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird.
An escape room tests your brain as much as anything else. This is one of the best experiences to try if your friend is really into brainteasers and puzzles.
Some escape rooms will ask you to imagine you’re in a dungeon or prison cell. Others might be set in another galaxy.
Escape rooms are designed to make you think. But you can’t think too long, as you’re working against a time limit.
It also forces you to work with other people, which is one reason why escape rooms are a popular team-building activity.
Experiences to Give as Gifts
Finding experiences to give as gifts is easy once you know what you’re looking for. Think of the recipient’s personality, and then go from there.
Looking for more unique gift ideas? Check out our blog post on that very topic.