And despite our budget travel status, experiences are something we will spend on.
So, we have thought about some of our best experiences, we have had and have been gifted and decided to share them with you so you can gift something wonderful and memorable to the travelling families in your life!
We have collated a list of the best experiences; cultural, active and animal based. We have also looked at subscription-based services so you don’t have to.
The best Experience and Subscription Gifts for Families that travel
Travel Gift Card
The ultimate flexible gift for a travel family. There are a few different ways to go about getting a travel gift card. You can purchase one from a specific airline or hotel, or you can get one through a third-party website like Expedia. These gift cards can be used to book flights, hotels, and other travel expenses on the respective website.
Whichever route you decide to go, make sure to do your research so that you get the best deal possible and know exactly what type of certificate you’re buying.
Experience Gift Cards
An alternative, which again offers a huge amount of freedom is to buy an experience gift card. Using a platform such as Viator or GetYourGuide gives a huge amount of variation and choice of experiences all around the world. From cooking classes in Sri Lanka to sightseeing city tours in Singapore and off-the-beaten-track experiences in Costa Rica, it’s the perfect way to give a gift of memories. And best of all, they are often much less expensive than traditional family travel gifts. Both Viator or GetYourGuide are one stop shops for a full range of travel experiences and also offer flexibility with bookings too for those unexpected changes.
Other great gift ideas
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We have personal experience with this one. Indi was gifted an indoor skydive and, in her words, ‘it is soooooo fun!’. We visited the iFly in Manchester and after suiting up, a briefing and safety instructions, they headed into the wind tunnel/column. Gift a session to suit up and fly inside a large column of air at iFly. It’s a lot of fun and the perfect shared family experience for the holidays. You can book directly at iflyworld.com for a location near you.
Hot Air Ballon Ride
One of those once in a lifetime trips! A Hot Air Balloon ride is an amazing opportunity to see sites from a different perspective. It’s usually an early wake up (which the kids will definitely complain about) but once you get up there, all that will be forgotten. Our highlight has to be our trip over the Valley Of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt but Cappadocia is another incredible place to take a balloon ride
Learn to Scuba Dive
One of the most amazing experiences we have had in all our travels has to be learning to Scuba Dive. For Indi’s 10th birthday, we both completed our Open Water Dive Certificate. Since then, we have dived around the world seeing the most amazing animals, from turtles to Manta Rays, this was a life changing experience and will definitely be more memorable than most gifts. You can buy a voucher directly from Padi here.
Interactive City Scavenger Hunt
Everyone loves a scavenger hunt! These are great ways to explore a city, finding undiscovered treasures and getting off the beaten path. There is a huge amount of variety available but this kind of interactive experiences creates memories. Themes range from history and food/drink to ghost tours. Fun fact for you, Jak’s first job was as a ghost on a York Ghost Trail! Just to clarify, he was 14! We love Treasure Hunt Builder, for the option to create your own or choose one of their ready-made itineraries. These are very kid friendly too. You can find lots of treasure hunts on Viator or GetYourGuide too but I prefer reaching out to the smaller companies for these.
Concert, Sports, Events or Theatre Tickets
A little tricky for some travelling families which take freedom to the extreme but these are the kind of experiences that make great gifts. You can buy gift vouchers from places like Ticketmaster or Expedia.
Outdoor Adventure Passes
Passes for an outdoor adventure are also a great idea for kids who travel. Whether it’s for a zip-lining attraction, white-water rafting, bicycle tours, or even just a walking tour in a new city. Check out the family’s travel plans to find the best locations or purchase a voucher through one of the gift card providers mentioned above.
Attraction or Amusement Park Tickets
For families travelling on a budget, these are the kind of activities we generally miss out on. Theme parks, museums, water parks, aquarium can be amazing but the cost can add up for a family of four.
One of our absolute favourite experiences was the Harry Potter World tour in London. For 6 hours, we were all entranced by this place. This is a great experience to buy for the travellers in your family.
Best Subscriptions for Families That Are Perfect for Travel
Another excellent gift choice for families who travel is a subscription. Provide the kids (and parents!) with hours of entertainment on a road trip or for long flights or layovers.
Kindle Unlimited Membership
We have talked about our love for the Kindle, in fact the kids probably love their Kindles even more so this is a great gift to buy for any readers in the family, a Kindle Unlimited Membership. The best bit about this unlimited reading is that it can be on any device with the Kindle app. Usually $11.99 a month
Amazon Music Unlimited
A subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited is definitely a gift that most in the family will appreciate. Whether or not they are travelling, music is part of most kids’ lives. Amazon usually have a free trial period too. Usually, $10.99 a month.
You get unlimited access to thousands of select audiobooks and podcasts plus with some subscriptions, you get 1 free download a month. A massive hit with our kids! Usually, Audible has sign up deals for new customers but then it is priced at $7.95 per month.
This awesome app has curated over 450 of the best kids podcasts into one place. We love our audiobooks and this app makes them so easy and safe for the kids to access. KidsPod offers both free and paid subscription options: the free version includes unlimited listening to every show on the app and follows the founders’ commitment to keeping kids podcasts open and available to all. The paid version ($4.99 per month/$34.99 per year) unlocks additional listening features like individual user profiles, a favorites library, offline listening, playlist creation, and one of their more innovative features – an in-app coloring book.
Magazine subscriptions are great for families on the move. Choose the online subscription option so they can be accessed from anywhere.
There are many different travel magazines available to suit the interests of the family you’re buying for. For example, National Geographic Traveler or Lonely Planet would be great choices if they love adventure travel. For luxury travel, then Conde Nast Traveler or Travel + Leisure might be a better choice. There are also great kids’ magazines too such as Nat Geo kids.
We know full well that buying gifts for families that travel can be tricky. Birthdays and Christmas on the road can be tricky but we have figured out that experiences work. Experiences are memorable and can be life changing. We hope you find this list useful for finding a gift idea, did we miss anything?
Of course, we know that there are some things that travelling families need so check out our guide for what to buy that families actually want.
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