In the midst of a rapidly evolving consumer culture, experience days have emerged as 2023’s most on-trend gift in the UK. The shift from the material to the experiential has never been more apparent. But why are we seeing such a significant change in gifting attitudes?
The realm of gifting has been turned on its head – away from the materialism of high street shopping, towards the unforgettable experiences that fill life with joy and purpose. The trend signals a shift in social values, with the new-age consumers increasingly prioritising experiences over possessions.
As we gradually emerge from the global pandemic with a hunger for exploration, society has gained a newfound appreciation for the world around us. We have learnt to value the time spent with loved ones, making memories, and fostering experiences that transcend the norm. No wonder, then, that experience days are 2023’s most on trend gift.
So, What Exactly Is An Experience Day?
Experience days, also known as experiential gifts, are activities that offer thrilling, relaxing, or informative experiences that people wouldn’t typically consider doing in their everyday lives.
These could range from skydiving and race car driving to spa days and glamping trips. The concept, pioneered (or, at least, given a name) by the company Red Letter Days in 1989, has evolved into a go-to gift experience company, with its iconic red box symbolising unforgettable experiences.
The appeal of experience days lies in their ability to create lasting memories. Unlike material gifts that can rust, break, or be stolen, experiences are unforgettable. They break the routine, don’t take up space, and most importantly, they generate happiness and eternal memories. As the Cornell psychology professor Dr. Thomas Gilovich puts it, “Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods.”
Why Gift An Experience?
One of the key factors driving this trend is the belief that experiences contribute more to personal happiness than material possessions. A study from the University of Toronto found that experiential gifts are more socially connecting than material gifts. Simply put, they bring people together. Whether it’s a gourmet cooking class for two or an exhilarating skydiving experience, these gifts offer a shared joy and a lasting memory.
In an era where we are conscious of sustainability and the impact of our consumption habits, experiential gifting also offers a more environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional physical presents. There’s little to no waste involved, and the gift is consumed in the form of memories – not landfill.
Modern Trends Of Gift Giving
In 2023, the gifting trends have taken a turn not only towards sustainability, but also to support for small businesses, and self-care gifts. However, the overarching theme remains – caring is cool! And what better way to show you care than by gifting an experience day? Whether it’s a lunch date, a trip to the local swimming pool, or a sightseeing day trip by train, these experiences offer a unique opportunity to bond with loved ones and create shared memories.
Moreover, experience days are not just limited to personal gifts. In the corporate world, experience gifts are emerging as a popular trend in 2023. Companies are moving away from traditional swag and towards gifts that encourage relaxation, travel, and memorable experiences. These gifts not only support employees and clients in creating new memories but also serve as effective relationship-building and team-building tools.
The Variety Of Experience Days
From hotel stays in the country to city breaks twinned with an attraction (a trip on the London Eye anyone?), the UK has seen a boom in the experience days industry, with a vast array of experiences on offer.
And it’s that sheer variety that’s so appealing. Whether it’s a wine tasting event in the vineyards of Sussex, flying a vintage aircraft over the vast expanses of the Lake District, or a luxurious spa day in the heart of Bath, there is an experience day for every taste and preference.
Moreover, with the continuing advent of virtual and augmented reality technology, the scope of available experience days has broadened even further. From virtual art classes to VR world tours, the possibilities are virtually limitless.
Supporting Local Businesses
Experience days also provide support to local UK businesses that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. By opting for experience gifts, consumers can contribute to the local economy and help rebuild the community.
The Bottom Line
In a world filled with the ‘generic’, experience days stand out as the perfect way to celebrate life’s special moments. They offer adventure and escapism as well as memories that will last a lifetime.
As we navigate through 2023, it’s clear that experience days are shaping up to be the UK’s most popular gifting trend. These meaningful, enjoyable and eco-friendly presents offer a unique blend of surprise, novelty, connection, and lasting joy. It’s safe to say that in years to come, the trend of giving memories over material objects will continue to grow, making every special occasion a truly unforgettable one.
So, the next time you’re looking for that perfect gift – consider an experience day. It’s not just a gift; it’s a memory waiting to be created.