How to Ask for Experiences Instead of Gifts ( Creating Lasting Memories and The Art of Requesting Experiences Over Gifts)

Instead of a toy that would take up room, we would rather you think of an experience to give us. Memories endure a lifetime, and we will treasure them just as much (if not more!) as the gift you wish to give us. We are excited to celebrate with you! It’s that time of year when we all go insane trying to figure out where to get the greatest bargains and what gifts to acquire. Discounts and last-minute sales make passing up a deal after a bargain was difficult. We’ve learned much in the previous several years through traveling more and living with less. I understand there is always a time and place for a tangible gift, but building memories and experiences is far more important than amassing stuff!

Ask for Experiences Instead of Gifts
Ask for Experiences Instead of Gifts

If you want to simplify your life or minimize clutter in your home, try asking for experiences rather than gifts for important events such as birthdays or Christmas. Experiences, rather than buying more material stuff, may generate memories that endure a lifetime and deliver delight in a new manner. This request may be made in various ways, and some individuals find that their loved ones are relieved to have an alternative to traditional gift-giving. Here are some suggestions for asking for experiences rather than gifts:

  • “This year, I’d like to spend more time with you than with anybody else. Would you like a pleasant adventure or a memorable excursion together instead of physical gifts?”
  • “I’m attempting to reduce my material goods and live more simply. Are you prepared to offer me an experience rather than a physical gift this year?
  • “I have all I need, yet I am constantly seeking new experiences and adventures. Instead of gifting me anything for my birthday or Christmas, I’d love to do something exciting with you.”
  • “Instead of toys or other tangible gifts for Christmas this year, we want to make more important family memories. Would you be willing to provide us an experience, such as tickets to a performance or a family outing?”
  • “If you’re thinking what to present me for my birthday, I have a suggestion: let’s spend some time together doing something fun and memorable. I’d prefer an experience to a physical present.”
Suggestions for specific experiences or activities
Suggestions for specific experiences or activities

When seeking experiences rather than presents, it’s critical to be precise and explicit about what you want. Consider recommending particular experiences or activities, such as a weekend retreat, a cooking class, or a concert. Gift request language for birthdays and other important events can also be included to help your loved ones understand your preferences. Some individuals choose alternatives to no gifts by requesting that their loved ones make a charity donation in their honor or give them something consumable, such as a special treat or a home-cooked meal. Eventually, the idea is to move the emphasis away from material items and toward experiences that provide joy and contentment. Quotes about providing experiences rather than things may also be useful for motivating your loved ones to think imaginatively and explore new forms of gift-giving.

Be explicit and particular about what you seek: It’s critical to be clear and specific about what you’re looking for when asking for experiences. Are you looking for a weekend trip, a culinary lesson, or concert tickets? Make it a point to express your choices to your friends and family.

Suggestions for specific experiences or activities include:

Suggest particular activities or experiences you’re interested in to help your loved ones locate the right experience to present to you. Make a wish list or share links to specific events or programs that interest you.

Add explicit gift request phrasing for birthdays or other special occasions when asking for experiences: 

When asking for experiences, including clear gift request wording for birthdays or other special events might be beneficial. This could be as simple as a statement on your invitation or a note in your online registration.

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Please provide alternatives to no gifts:

Some individuals may be hesitant to provide an experience as a present, while others may prefer to give a physical item. In these circumstances, offering alternatives to no presents might be beneficial. You may, for example, offer a gift card to a certain experience provider or request a contribution to a specific experience.

If you’re seeking encouragement or inspiration to ask for experiences instead of presents, consider sharing these provided experiences instead of gift quotations. They can assist in reminding your loved ones of the importance of experiences above material stuff, and they may be inspired to offer a more meaningful presence in return.

Selecting experiences over toys for children can offer several advantages, including:

Fostering imagination and creativity:

Activities such as art courses or outdoor experiences may help youngsters utilize their imaginations and think creatively.

Encouraging learning and skill development:

Activities such as science museums, cooking workshops, and language lessons may give a great opportunity for youngsters to learn and develop new abilities.

Promoting family bonding:

Shared activities, such as family vacations or movie evenings, can enhance family relationships.

Specific experiences or activities for children
Specific experiences or activities for children

The choices are unlimited when offering specific experiences or activities for children. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • A vacation to a theme park or water park with the family
  • A baking workshop or a culinary lesson
  • A trip to the zoo, aquarium, or science museum in your area
  • A camping or hiking excursion
  • A workshop or art class
  • A music or language lesson
  • A trip to the movies or the theater

If you want to ask for experiences instead of toys for Christmas or birthdays, there are a few options:

  1. Rather than asking for toys, suggest specific activities your child would appreciate, such as a trip to a theme park or a day at the zoo.
  2. Make a wish list: Make a list of experiences your child is interested in and share it with friends and relatives.
  3. Employ gift request language: Add a statement on your invitation or online registry requesting experiences rather than toys.

For several reasons, some people may choose experiences over traditional birthday gifts. They may already have enough real stuff and would like to have memories to remember for a lifetime. They may also prioritize spending quality time with loved ones over obtaining material things.

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Here are some suggestions for asking for experiences rather than gifts for your birthday:

Organize a potluck or dinner party: 

Bring your friends and family to a potluck or dinner party to celebrate your birthday. This way, you can spend quality time together without feeling obligated to provide gifts.

Make a plan for an adventure: 

Arrange an expedition or adventure with your loved ones, such as a day walk or a trip to a neighboring city. This might be a great approach to making lifelong memories with your children.

Inquire about previous experiences: 

Instead of typical presents, try requesting specific activities you would love, such as a massage or a cooking lesson.

Here are a few options for alternate gift-giving ways that don’t experience:

  1. Consider making a charitable gift in someone’s name, either to a cause close to their heart or a charity you know they would like.
  2. Consider giving something consumable, such as a bottle of wine or a box of gourmet chocolates, instead of a physical presence that may not be utilized or appreciated.
  3. If you enjoy crafts or baking, try producing homemade presents for your loved ones. This might be a fun and personal way to express your gratitude.
  4. Experiences: Providing experiences rather than physical presents may be a terrific way to build long-lasting memories.
  5. Consider giving the gift of a subscription service, such as a streaming or food delivery service. This might be a fun and helpful gift that your loved one can enjoy all year.

How can I be certain that my loved ones will genuinely give me experiences rather than gifts?

Be upfront with your loved ones about the experiences you’re looking for and why you prefer them over physical presents. If you’re worried they won’t follow through, suggest particular experiences or give them gift request phrasing that clarifies what you’re looking for. You may also remind them that experiences are more significant and memorable than tangible presents and that by gifting you an experience, they are creating a particular memory you will remember for years. Lastly, show thanks for whatever experiences you receive since doing so will encourage your loved ones to continue gifting experiences in the future.

What if I don’t know what experience I desire or am worried I won’t enjoy the one given me?

It’s natural to be hesitant about giving or receiving experiences. One way is to present your loved ones with several alternatives and let them select which one to give. Another alternative is to request a gift voucher from a certain experience provider or merchant, allowing you to pick your own experience at a later date. Moreover, if you are hesitant about an experience, realize that the experience is only one of the gifts. The care and work that went into the present should also be recognized.

What if I can’t afford to provide an experience as a gift?

It’s vital to remember that significant encounters don’t have to be expensive or complex. Simple experiences, such as a homemade picnic or a home movie night, can be as delightful as more expensive ones. If you’re on a limited budget, try offering low-cost or free activities like a park trip or a board game night.

How do I cope with relatives that insist on sending tangible gifts?

It might be tough to modify the routines of family members accustomed to receiving tangible presents. One strategy is to describe your experiences gently and recommend specific experiences you might love. You may also highlight the advantages of experiences over material items, such as creating memories and establishing friendships. If all else fails, recommend that family members offer a physical present and a modest experience, such as a gift card to a nearby restaurant or activity.

How do I deal with circumstances where I have to exchange presents with individuals I don’t know well?

It’s completely okay to gently request an experience gift or a consumable item in a gift exchange setting with someone you don’t know well. You might explain that you want to simplify your stuff or prefer experiences above tangible goods. Suggesting a few ideas or a specific experience might help the other person understand the request.


Asking for experiences rather than goods may be a terrific way to make lasting memories while reducing clutter in our homes. We may make it easier for our loved ones to give us the gift of an incredible experience by being explicit about the experiences we’re seeking and offering clear gift request phrasing. This method may help you create exceptional moments you’ll enjoy for years, whether recommending experiences instead of toys for Christmas or asking for experiences instead of gifts for your birthday. Thus, the next time you have a special occasion, consider asking for experiences rather than gifts and urge your loved ones to do the same.

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