Why Experiences Make Better Gifts Than Things (And How to Give Them)



We have just emerged from a very busy birthday-filled fortnight in our house. Mike’s birthday falls at the end of January and Ben’s, Harry’s and Tim’s follow within the next two weeks or so. In another couple of weeks our first (and currently only) grandchild Oscar celebrates his first birthday, except he was born on February 29th last year so technically, we don’t need to mark his birthday for another couple of years.

I kid.


Last year I wrote about my desire for my children to have less in life. It isn’t wishing a lifetime of poverty upon them, but hoping they will cherish the value of experiences over material possessions instead. Superficiality knows no limits. There will always be a newer, shinier, more up-to-date version of anything you have, whether you need it or not.

The thing with having a large family is that there is limited space in our house. We don’t live in a mansion and, even if we did, I would abhor the clutter that too much stuff creates. There is only so much you can use and how much of what we have do we actually need or utilise come to that? The truth is, there is very little value in what we have.

Memories, though, are priceless.

The value of time spent with those you love, doing things you enjoy or sharing new experiences with are undeniably priceless. It’s not stuff I think of when I look back upon times with affection I find myself repeatedly going back to thinking of time spent, not gifts exchanged, that form the memories I cherish.

There is actually a science behind spending your money on experiences rather than things and this is something we have discovered rings very true. Our children do not remember gifts they received for birthdays or Christmas even as little as a year ago, but they do remember a road trip around Italy they took in 2013, or a visit to someplace interesting when they were four, or something someone did that made them laugh ‘when they were small’.

So Mike and I decided that instead of tangible gifts that add to the clutter and take up space we don’t really have, we would gift our children with a memory instead. You might remember that Cait received a trip to Iceland for her 16th birthday. For Christmas, all the middle children received a trip. Harry, Eddie and Sid will be going dolphin-watching off the coast of Wales later this year, Paddy and Ollie had a trip to Paris which they took last week and Cait and I will be spending a few days in Germany in August where she will be celebrating her 18th birthday on a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, somewhere she has been longing to see for a very long time. The memories will outlive any item or product of the moment, any time.


tinggly camel


Whereas I was familiar with gift experience sites, it was not without a touch of excitement that I discovered Tinggly which will make our gift giving much simpler. Unlike the usual gift experience sites, Tinggly allows you to purchase an activity or experience gift for someone to do anywhere in the world. If someone you know harbours an ambition to go on a desert safari adventure in Dubai, you can gift it to them. Know that someone is off to Italy soon, how about seeing them off with a gift of a gondola ride? As we like to travel, the variety of locations and types of experiences offered means we can incorporate the gifts and experiences we give or receive according to where we are at any time so this works out perfectly for us.

Tinggly experience gifts are divided into four different collections: Essential, Premium, Ultimate and Bucket List and as you expect are accordingly priced. Here is what each collection offers:


The Essential Collection – £59

tinggly plitvice croatia


Your recipient will receive a gift box with a personalised message and the choice of over 180 experiences in more than 100 countries.

Click here to see the experiences offered within the Essential Collection.


The Premium Collection – £89


tinggly scuba


Your recipient will receive a gift box with a personalised message and the choice of over 390 experiences in more than 100 countries.

Click here to see the experiences offered within the Premium Collection.


The Ultimate Collection – £199


elephants tinggly


Your recipient will receive a gift box with a personalised message and the choice of over 340 ultimate experiences in more than 100 countries. Not only that but many of the activities and experiences can be taken by two or more people so well worth a look as a wedding, anniversary or combined gift,dress from the Lilybridal

Click here to see the experiences offered within the Ultimate Collection.


The Bucket List Collection – Price dependent on experience


husky russia tinggly


As you would expect, this is the cream of the crop and so prices range from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. There are definitely some great options there if you feel like spoiling someone… or yourself!

Check out the 22 experiences within the Bucket List Collection.


If you aren’t sure what your recipient likes or what they dream of doing, you don’t have to worry. All you do is purchase a gift box for the collection you want and they can choose from the great variety of experiences within each. There’s no rush for them either as they have up to two years to choose and book their experience which is lucky as there are hundreds of experiences to choose from in over 100 countries around the world. There are also a choice of delivery options for your gift from instantly emailing it to them, to mailing via DHL World Wide within two business days or you can even print it out and hand it to them yourself.

Then you can watch them get all Tinggly with excitement and anticipation whilst you sit back knowing you’ve got them a gift that will last a lifetime.


All links within this article are affiliate links to Tinggly for which we will earn a small amount in referrals. Keep up with the latest gift experiences and offers from Tinggly on their social media channels at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TingglyExperiences/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinggly/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TingglyTeam




3 thoughts on “Why Experiences Make Better Gifts Than Things (And How to Give Them)

  1. It’s such a blessing to be able to travel and explore the world. How lovely that you are enriching your children’s’ lives with experiences rather than junk that they don’t need. Hopefully, as they get older, they will continue to see how much more travel money buys in comparison to items.

  2. Great post and I completely agree, it’s all about creating memories for everyone and there is no better way of doing that through an experience.

    There are lots of great ways to do this and we try to do some kind of activity each month such as going to the aquarium or just getting outside and encourage everyone to do the same.

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