For some people, material gifts are the way to show that you care.
For other people, experiences and quality time matter so much more. Or maybe they are a minimalist, or are trying to do zero waste, or just don’t need any more stuff. Either way, what do you buy them for Christmas or birthdays?!
Luckily, there are a ton of non-material gift ideas floating out there, especially for people who love travel!
And despite putting together a super thorough travel gift guide and a unique foodie gift guide, I’m definitely more of an “experiences, not things” person. Yes, I appreciate all gifts, but anything sentimental or that I can share with the person are so powerful! And those are the types of gifts I tend to get other people as well.
So here are some non-material gift ideas for the travelers in your life!
A (Mini) Trip Together
Don’t scroll away yet in unaffordability yet!
It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be abroad (but if you can afford that, I’m sure your friend will love it!).
A trip together could instead be a trip to:
- A local winery
- A national park
- A small amusement park
- A yoga retreat nearby
- A major museum
- A close city
If the thing has tickets or reservations you can book in advance, you could gift the tickets in a cute way! Or if your friend is spontaneous, just show up and whisk them away on their gift trip.
Classes To Improve Their Skills
Skills are priceless, and a gift of learning is a non-material gift they’ll always have. Some ideas could be:
- Language lessons to help your friend connect with people (or at least find the bathroom) when they travel
- Photography / Film classes to help them refine their skills before their next big trip, so they’ll always have the memories documented perfectly
- Food classes for dishes from their favorite country, so they’ll always be able to recreate it themselves
- A class on their favorite country’s history or culture, so they’ll have a better understanding next time they go
A gift that helps them improve their skills is perfect because knowledge is something that can never get taken away or lost!
Adventure Experiences To Keep Their Adrenaline Running
Adventurous experiences are a unique way to help your friend feel like they’re still doing bucket list experiences- even when they’re at home. There are a ton of experiences you could look into here! Like:
- A hot air balloon ride
- A bungee jumping, skydiving, or parachuting experience
- Jet ski, kite surfing, snorkeling, ski/snowboard, etc rentals
- A dinner cruise (well, not the same type of adventure, but still a way to explore!)
I love using Groupon to find these (plus, then they’re on sale!).
Memberships For Activities To Keep Them Busy
Like the adventure experience, a membership to an activity is a great way to keep them busy and exploring for longer. If they’re more cultural, it could be to a local museum or zoo, and if they’re more active, it could be a membership to a climbing gym or yoga studio.
DIY Coupon Books To Help Offer Your Time
Is your friend going on a trip soon?
Give them the gift of time, so they have one less thing to worry about! You could offer to help them with tasks back home like dog-sitting, watering their plants, or even providing a place to park while they’re gone. Putting these together with a cute DIY coupon book is one way you could gift them your time!
If they don’t have a lot of these kinds of responsibilities, another way to gift your time could be with a coupon book of bucket list activities that you can do together! Going on a hike together, doing a road trip, or visiting a new city or park are just a few of the ideas you could include.
Either way, you can make your own coupon books with personalized tasks online or on your own if you’re crafty.
DIY Photo Albums To Remember Their Favorite Memories
Technically these are materials, but they can have more sentimental value than, like, the fanciest backpacking backpack. Ways to share and remember their photos is a perfect gift for anyone who like experiences over things.
Bonus Non-Material Gift Idea: Gift Cards So They Can Choose Their Next Travel Experience
Gift cards can seem like a cop out which is why this is a bonus, but they are actually a perfect non-material gift for travelers. You’re letting them choose exactly how they want to spend their time. Think:
- Airlines gift cards- many major airlines including Delta, Southwest, and Alaska have these!
- Uber or Lyft gift cards to get around when they arrive
- Airbnb gift cards- which can be used for a unique place to stay or thing to do, you can find them on Amazon or at large grocery stores
Note: All these pictures are from Pexels.com!