Experiential gifts for the person who has it all (and then some)

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Melanie Sutrathada is an In The Know lifestyle contributor. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more.

We all have that friend who has just about everything. Whether it’s the latest Taylor Swift album on vinyl or that one thing “life-changing” beauty thing on TikTok that it feels like everyone’s been talking about, the person you’re shopping for has seen it and already has it sitting around somewhere at home. Still, there’s always so much pressure to give them something memorable. We know that feeling when you’re mentally exhausted and can’t find just the right thing while scrolling haphazardly through Amazon or pacing through the mall. 

Instead of getting them something they may already have or a gift they’ll never use, opt for a meaningful gift that they’re sure to remember. While your recipient may not need anything, we’ve got you covered this year with experiential gifts that will show your loved ones how much you care.

Here are gifts that will win you the “Most Thoughtful Present” award:

Explore the country with the Amtrak USA Rail Pass, $499

Credit: Amtrak

Introducing the perfect gift for anyone with wanderlust who wants to tour the country. This Amtrak pass is good for 10 rides to over 500 destinations across the United States in 30 days.

Dive deep with the PADI Open Water Diver Certification, $202

Credit: PADI

If your mom, bestie or bae loves the ocean and adventure, this gift will be E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Once someone earns a PADI Open Water Certification, they’ll carry the world’s most recognized scuba certification. Don’t be surprised when they start talking about dives in the Red Sea or on the Great Barrier reef.

Get your sweat on with ClassPass, plans start at $49

Credit: ClassPass

A monthly ClassPass plan is an amazing gift for just about anyone. This gift allows the recipient the chance to explore thousands of gyms, fitness studios, salons and spas. There’s definitely something for everyone, whether they’re into boxing boot camp or European massages.

Choose your own adventure with the Tinggly Merry Christmas Gift Box, $129

Credit: Tinggly

Surprise your hard-to-buy-for person with a present that will have them smiling from ear to ear. This alpaca hike and farm tour is bound to be something they talk about for years to come and is just one of many experiences included in Tinggly’s Merry Christmas Collection. On the very off chance your person isn’t obsessed with alpacas, there are tons of other experiences to choose from.

Learns from the best with MasterClass, memberships start at $15/month

Credit: MasterClass

Give the gift of knowledge with unlimited access to 180+ classes from teachers who are at the top of their game. Think Naomi Campbell teaching modeling fundamentals, Gordon Ramsay taking your cooking to the next level and Kris Jenner sharing how she built the Kardashian-Jenner empire.

Enjoy a day at the spa with the Spa Finder Gift Card, $25 – $500

Credit: Spa Finder

Contrary to popular belief, we love a gift card, especially when they don’t expire and are for something we’ll actually use. Help your boss, mom or just about anyone else out this season by giving the gift of wellness in the form of a gift card that has endless spa and salon options. Zen gardens and fancy facials, here we come.

Get your caffeine fix with a Bean Box Coffee Subscription, plans start at $24/month

Credit: Bean Box

Here’s an option you’ll want to both gift and get. This coffee subscription curates some of the best coffees in the country and will undoubtedly bring your recipient better mornings. Each box arrives fresh so you can enjoy each cup of small-batch, locally roasted beans right at their peak.

Skydive the Grand Canyon, packages start at $329

Credit: Paragon Skydive

If your boyfriend/aunt/boss is a thrill-seeker, treat them to the present they’ll be talking about for years to come: A tandem skydive from 16,000 feet over the Grand Canyon National Park. Are we too scared to do this ourselves? Absolutely. But we can’t deny how insanely cool this gift would be.

Explore with the America the Beautiful Annual Pass, $80

Credit: USGS

This gift is a ticket to adventure for friends and family who love the outdoors. The annual pass covers entrance fees to more than 2,000 recreation sites nationwide. Your recipient might just decide to live their best #vanlife or invite you on an impromptu road trip to watch the sunrise in Joshua Tree or Yellowstone.

Get the perfect shot with Flytographer, packages start at $285

Credit: Flytographer

Have someone in your life who is about to celebrate a birthday, bachelorette party or family reunion? Gift a candid photo shoot so your special someone can look back at the memories for years to come. This gift will connect the recipient with local photographers in 350+ destinations.

Check something exciting off your bucket list with an REI Full Moon Hike, spots start at $55

Credit: REI

Here is one of our favorite experience-based gifts to give this holiday season (and honestly, just year-round). A full moon hike is a perfect excuse to try something new and go out of the recipient’s comfort zone. Plus, just imagine how magical it will be to see the moon at its fullest.

Feed their soul and stomach with a Sunbasket Meal Delivery Service, starts at $9.99 a serving

Credit: Sunbasket

Surprise your busy bestie with a healthy home meal delivery plan that they’ll love with every single bite. These meals are delivered fresh and ready to eat and are a major game-changer. Plus, the food is made with farm-fresh, organic ingredients and tastes incredible. Think Mexican street tacos with tomatillo chicken, salsa and lime yogurt, bucatini carbonara with pancetta, peas and romaine salad, and so much more.

Gift a ticket to anywhere with the Delta Gift Card, $50 – $2,000

Credit: Delta

Have they been talking about booking a flight for what seems like forever? This definitely makes our list of “no-fail” gifts. Help make the recipient’s travel dreams a reality with a gift that will help take them to Paris for a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, a swim in a cenote in Tulum, or to take in the Northern Lights in Iceland. So! Many! Options!

Experience the magic of theater with a BroadwayHD Subscription, $129.99/year

Credit: BroadwayHD

Why didn’t we know about this sooner? From Kinky Boots and An American in Paris to Cats and A Star is Born, you can enjoy your Broadway favorites anywhere with this subscription. This gift will get you major brownie points with anyone who’s a fan of “The Great White Way.” You’re welcome.

Be kind to your mind with Headspace, $69.99/year

Credit: Headspace

Your significant other/boss/anyone else + this thoughtful gift = happy tears. This subscription is proven to reduce stress by 14% in just 10 days and will help whoever is on the receiving end of it learn to meditate and live mindfully through science-backed tools.

Make sweet music with Fender Play Lessons, $9.99/month

Credit: Fender

Raise your hand if you own a guitar and “played” it exactly one time before leaving it out on a stand for the aesthetic and never touching it again. You’re not alone. Encourage your friends or family members to finally put that guitar they bought ages ago to use with this guided online learning program that features easy and fun lessons for beginner and intermediate players.

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