Give The Gift of Experiences This Year

Give The Gift of Experiences This Year
At this time of year, friends and loved ones can often be found frantically searching for the “perfect gift” for holidays and special events. This can involve hours spent browsing online or trekking from store to store trying to find that special something. Rather than giving more stuff this year, though, consider presenting your loved ones with engaging experiences instead. Experiences such as travel and excursions are often more meaningful, creating vivid memories that will last much longer than the usual holiday sweater, knickknack or toy.

Cruise lines and travel companies have seen the growing interest in giving travel experiences and have responded to the strong market demand. Carnival Cruise Line launched their convenient gift card program in November, 2014. Since that time, consumers have bought more than 100,000 Carnival gift cards to give memorable cruise experiences to the special people in their lives.

Carnival’s gift cards can be preloaded in varying amounts and are perfect for any budget – whether you want to give $25 or up to $1000. These cards function like cash and can be used as payment toward an exciting Carnival cruise or for distinctive experiences onboard, such as specialty dining and spa treatments. They can even be used to purchase Carnival shore excursions. Carnival Cruise Line gift cards are available at over 9,000 retail outlets across the United States, including Safeway, Kroger, Lowes, Winn Dixie, Office Max and Publix. They can also be purchased online at

Other cruise lines are also noticing the trend toward giving experiences as gifts for the holidays and special occasions. Reservations team members at MSC Cruises have been actively assisting callers with their gift giving needs during the holiday season. The cruise line offers a variety of short and longer voyages in locations around the globe. It’s not just parents and grandparents who are giving these types of presents, though. One member of the MSC Cruises reservations team recently helped a daughter book a short January cruise for her parents. The gift will be a special Christmas Day surprise for her loved ones. Siblings could also get in on the fun by purchasing spa treatments, drink packages and more.

Some cruise gifts do double duty - also giving back to others as well. Fathom cruise experiences can be the perfect gift for those who want to make a make a difference and help communities in need. Fathom will begin cruising to the Dominican Republic in April and to Cuba in May of 2016. On Fathom’s social impact cruise vacations to the Dominican Republic, cruise guests can work alongside local organizations to make a lasting social impact in local communities. These kinds of life-changing experiences enable personal growth, make vivid memories and provide meaningful contributions to others. The cruise line is currently offering special deals on their Dominican Republic cruises through February, 2016.

Friends and family members can also gift pre- and post-cruise experiences for loved ones. Those sailing out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, for example, might enjoy a relaxing stay in the Florida Keys before or after their cruise. Set on 60 waterfront acres on intimate Duck Key, Hawks Cay Resort is a great spot to experience the laid back feeling of the Florida Keys. There are also a host of engaging activities and active adventures to choose from – not to mention revitalizing spa treatments at the resort's award-winning Calm Waters Spa. Hawks Cay has seen a trend towards giving vacation stays and resort experiences as gifts. The resort even has a variety of logo wear available for purchase online, so gift givers have something to attractively wrap up with a bow.

There's a wide variety of experience gifts available for family members who have planned a trip to Walt Disney World pre- or post-cruise. Disney offers many unique experiences for its guests in addition to its theme park attractions. Avid anglers might enjoy being given a guided bass fishing excursion on one of Walt Disney World’s stocked lakes or a few hours of cane pole fishing costing less than $20 at the Fishin’ Hole at Old Man Island at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. These exciting experiences were developed as part of Disney's relationship with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation's Take Me Fishing campaign. For boating enthusiasts, Sea Raycer mini-powerboats are available for rent at multiple Disney locations. And, of course, there are Disney’s ever-popular character breakfasts and delectable dining options available to give as gifts.

This year, skip the malls and go shopping for great travel experiences and adventures instead of the usual things. After all, life is made up of great memories and special moments shared with loved ones. There are a wide variety of experience choices available, from cruises and vacations to excursions and cooking classes. Meaningful gifts like these will be treasured, and you’re sure to find the perfect present for everyone on your list.

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2019 by Nancy Schretter. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nancy Schretter. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Nancy Schretter for details.