What to get the people who have everything…
It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year already, but here we are. Last year I wrote The Christmas Gift Edit, a list of do’s and don’t for him and her that was surprisingly popular among my network of friends. It was a strange feeling to be responsible for most gifts my family, friends, and friends of friends received.
So this year I decided to do something a little different and focus on gifts for millennials. Why? Well, I’ve been banging on about experiences over material goods like any good millennial, and that’s when it clicked. Why are we still gifting things when we can gift experiences?
It wasn’t too long ago that experience gifts were a novelty, limited to theatre tickets or a massage. Today, skies the limit! Literally, you can go indoor skydiving or take actual flying lessons – just for fun! Millennials are all about new experiences as well as being more conscious consumers. I’m actually starting to wonder how much longer ‘material goods gifts’ will even be a thing.
The Value of Experiences
As a recent recipient of a voucher for a cinema date night with champagne in a fancy hotel that only plays old movies, I learned something.
At first I scoffed at the gift. Oh great, I thought. Like I need a voucher for the cinema. But I wasn’t going to let it go to waste (classic, zero-waste millennial that I am). We went to see Casablanca, which turned out to be an incredibly romantic night out and something we would never have otherwise done. The movie was incredible. It’s now an evening that comes up frequently in conversation and in our memories.
Moral of the story, don’t underestimate the power of an experience gift. They can often be much more memorable and appreciated than the gift that lives forgotten in a drawer somewhere or, god forbid, has already been re-gifted to someone else.
Choosing An Experience Gift
The wide range of experiences on offer is a testament to the rise in experience gift popularity. I’ve selected three categories, Food, Travel, and Lifestyle, to give an overview of the types of experiences out there. Many companies do experience gifts. A few to check out include Virgin, Groupon, Buyagift and Not on the high street. You can also now buy experiences from Air Bnb!
If you can’t decide what to get, leave it up to them and gift an experience voucher where you decide the amount and they decide the experience. I’ve based these examples around London but I’m sure you can find companies offering similar experiences local to you. If there’s one thing about millennials it’s that we’re a global bunch!
Dinner for Two: Extra points if you know of a particular restaurant or celebrity chef they are interested in but haven’t yet tried. There are great deals on London’s most popular restaurants as well as Michelin dining. It’s a free meal, what’s not to love? A few suggestions include dinner at Benares, Afternoon Tea at Harrods, or dining at the Ritz.
Cooking Class: Learning to make something is great fun and you get to eat it too. There are many cooking classes to choose from, anything you can think of really. How to bake bread, cakes, pizza, how to fry the perfect steak, prepare sushi, cook a curry, make mozzarella cheese at home, you name it. A few interesting options: Dim sum making class with prosecco, sushi and sake masterclass at Inamo, cheese making at the school of cookery, or a full day pasta making workshop.
Something to Drink: There are tastings and courses for beverages too. Millennials are especially interested in supporting local independent producers. A tasting or brewery visit is a great way to discover new brands and learn about how they’re made. There are many options for wine, beer, gin, whisky, tea and even champagne tours in or just outside London. For tastings, consider a champagne tasting for 2, full day whisky school, or microbrewery tasting.
Air Miles: A simple, underrated gift idea. Air miles equals free flights or upgrades, whichever. No, it’s not the most exciting gift, but yes, it is one of the most useful gifts you could give. This article explains air mile gifting options for several different air carriers. For BA executive club members, you can gift up to 100,000 Avios to another club member.
Weekend Break: It’s much more practical to gift a weekend break than a whole holiday, although I don’t think any millennial would object to the latter! There are many types of weekend breaks. Spa breaks, city breaks, countryside glamping, as well as retreats for yoga, meditation or detoxing. For something extra special, Mr and Mrs Smith Get a Room Gift Card lets the recipient choose from a curated list of luxury hotels.
Days Out: A lot of us take the place we live in for granted and don’t explore our homes the same way we do a new destination. Millennials are turning the tide on this, interested in knowing more about the history, architecture, and culture of where they live. Virgin have many options for days out in London, from river cruises to landmark and city tours, with a similar offering from Buyagift. Both also do sports-related tours as well as attractions and theme parks.
A Course or Class: Learning never ends for millennials, and could even spark a new interest or talent you didn’t realise you had! There are too many to list them all, but some ideas include cooking, photography, foraging, terrarium making, knitting, pottery, dancing, beekeeping, and blacksmithing. Another fantastic company to check out is Carousel, which run some really interesting experiences in their Baker Street workshop (see blog post: A Carousel of Restaurants, Experiences and Exhibitions).
Fitness: If there’s one thing millennials really care about, it’s their health. I know how this sounds for the older smoker generations but health is bible for millennials. Most of us renew our commitments to the gym after Christmas and New Year, so it’s really the perfect time to gift a gym class voucher or membership. Class pass has a great selection of classes to pick and choose from around London. For hardcore fitness freaks, they would be thrilled to receive class credits at Psycle or Barry’s Bootcamp. Virgin have some lighter, more unusual sport options, such as archery, clay-pigeon shooting or fly fishing.
Adventure: This is one of my favourite categories. I love adventure activities where I can pretend to be Lara Croft and work on my ninja survival skills (see blog post: Adventures of Lara Croft: Argentina Survival)! Millennials are particularly concerned about the sustainability of our planet and doomsday scenarios, where basic survival skills will be key. Although I love activities like rafting, rock-climbing, bouldering, and zip-lining, I draw the line at bungee-jumping and skydiving. So it’s good to know the limits of who you’re buying for. Buyagift and Virgin have loads of adventure packages for you to check out. Virgin also have a page dedicated to driving experiences, including Formula 1 tickets and the chance to drive up to 6 supercars.
Let me know what you think of these gift ideas in the comments below 🙂
…This post is not sponsored but Virgin, I think you owe me one!