Gift experiences: Last-minute Christmas shopping made easy

20 Dec 2018

When it comes to cold-sweat-inducing ordeals that reduce even the most organised person to a gibbering wreck, last-minute Christmas shopping can be up there with tax returns, homework and job interview prep.

And if you’ve ended up here, we’re guessing your mindset right about now is this:

According to our new research of over 2,000 UK adults, by the week of Christmas almost a third of people (30%) either still need to do most of their present-buying or haven’t even started it which for many people will naturally lead to the inevitable last-minute dash along the high street. Fortunately, we’ve got a better way…

Avoid the last-minute frenzy

A frantic rush from shop to shop on 22nd December isn’t the most relaxing way to get in the festive spirit, and your odds of choosing a thoughtful selection of gifts for your loved ones are slim. Even if you have been prepared enough to make a list, shopping last-minute means you run the risk of items being out of stock, you might not be able to find what you want, or you might just get fed up with the office party-goers and other last-minute shoppers crowding the pavements – meaning your nearest and dearest end up with yet another selection of socks. 

And if you’d rather dodge the shops this year, time is running out for ordering online. The final recommended postage date for Royal Mail 2nd class was Tuesday 18th and for 1st class it’s Thursday 20th – and there’s always the added worry of items turning up wrong or not at all.

The rise of experience gifting

Fortunately, if you’re among the frantic 30%, we’ve got the answer – save yourself the stress and get your recipients presents they’ll actually like by buying them an experience.

It might be a bit different from the standard stocking filler, but we think that’s no bad thing – you can create a memory, reduce waste and it saves you having to trek around shops or worry about getting something delivered in time. It’s also becoming increasingly popular to give experiences as gifts – we’ve seen an 11% increase in the trend compared with last year. And, if you’re thinking an ‘experience’ sounds expensive, it doesn’t have to break the bank…

Experience for under £10: A family day out

For under £10, you can give a scenic steam train ride on the Epping Ongar railway – perfect for train enthusiasts, or if you’re just looking for a unique and fun day out to share as a family.

Experience for £20: Treat a beer-drinker

Share an experience with someone (or treat a couple) by getting a beer tasting for two at one of 35 BrewDog bars across the UK. The unique craft beer-tasting experience includes five 1/3 pints of craft beer per person, along with cheese pairings.

Experience for £50: Pampering spa day

Treat someone to total relaxation in a beautiful setting for under £50. This spa day comes with a 25-minute facial and a 25-minute massage, and a glass of prosecco, all at the gorgeous Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa in the Lake District. The hotel also has superb views over Lake Windermere.

Experience for over £100: A weekend away

If you’re thinking of something a little more extravagant, this is the perfect treat. You’ll get two nights' accommodation in the beautiful Devon countryside with full English breakfast for two. If you’re not finished splashing out, you can also get special deals on a 4-course tasting-menu dinner for two and a champagne afternoon tea for two.

For more inspiration, check out our specially selected range of last-minute gift experiences.

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