Unique Ideas for Gifting RVing Experiences
Unique Ideas for Gifting RVing Experiences
Tips for gifting “outside the box” and inside an RV!
By: Noel Fleming & Chris Miller
The holiday season is filled with traditions. They differ from family to family and range from elaborate to simple. As a young girl, my siblings and cousins shared an after-dinner Thanksgiving ritual. Once the table had been cleared, the adults had settled into conversation, and the fireplace was lit, we would retrieve the stack of store catalogs awaiting our attention. Each searcher, with pen in hand, opened a brochure and began the quest. We circled one item from each page—our personal top merch—before passing the brochure to the next seeker. We hunkered together for a long time, a misshapen heap of newsprint and children, sharing choices, supporting decisions, and giggling. Oddly enough, the endeavor had very little impact on the actual gifts that showed up that season. In reality, the task was never about the wish list, but rather the joy of the shared time.
As adults, “the joy of the shared time” continues to ring true for Noel and me, and we see it evidenced repeatedly throughout the RVing community. Every day, travelers make decisions tethered to the desire to connect with people and collect experiences. These core values can impact the way we view gift giving and add a twist that rivals any catalog—or Amazon— wish list. While Amazon, FedEx, and UPS trucks crisscross our neighborhoods, we have our own type of delivery vehicle— RVs— equipped to deliver their own brand of gift: the gift of a shared experience.
The Gift: Sharing the RV Life
Matching the gift to the recipient remains the crux (and the fun) of the task whether gifting objects or experiences. What’s good for jazz loving Aunt Lydia would never fly for your snowboarding friend Fred. Consider the variety of gift experiences at your disposal when you throw an RV into the mix.
An overnight getaway at a local state park for your friend who is a mother of toddlers. A day trip of geocaching for a nephew that shows promise of being the next Sherlock Holmes. A road trip for your mom to visit a childhood friend.
Music venues, theatre productions, mountain biking trails, snow shoeing adventures, flea market pursuits, foodie festivals, museum hopping, yoga workshops, brewery trails…The possibilities are dizzying, as any veteran RVer knows. How fun would it be to gift a friend or family with a personalized adventure!?
Each factor to consider falls on its own continuum from simple to complex. Among the considerations are cost, time, distance, and amount of prep necessary. The act of giving an experience needn’t be daunting. It doesn’t require long road trips that span state lines. You may be surprised at the simple possibilities close at hand.
Certainly, gifting an RV experience is much easier when the recipient is your usual travel companion. They already know how to RV, and you know how to RV together. The comfort level is present and the unknowns are minimized. Though you may have countless travel experiences together, planning a secret adventure provides loads of fun. The destination could be the gift. The activities could be the gift. Friends who are joining you as a surprise at the location could be the gift.
The Wrap: Ideas for the Big Reveal
There’s something fun about a reveal. The opening of a gift has its own allure and anticipation. This can be accomplished even when wrapping up an experience. There are a myriad of options from general ones, such as writing a note or poem and wrapping that up, to wrapping up an object that represents the experience:
- A red-light headlamp for a dark sky experience
- Hiking maps for a local park
- The actual tickets for a show/event
- S’more ingredients for a campground getaway
- A six-pack with a map for the brewery trail
Once, when gifting a road trip to Noel, I wrapped up coffee mugs that had the scrabble letters G, P, S imprinted on them and included in the gift box a folded road map of the eastern portion of the U.S. Unfolding the map, she discovered that a large needle with orange yarn had been inserted into our home state of VA.
The beginning of a travel route had been stitched from VA to western PA where I had planned stops at an art museum and a baseball stadium. The remaining thread dangled from Pittsburgh, inviting Noel to stitch the remainder of the trip. What an adventure we had!
The final step to wrapping a traditional gift is attaching the name tag that identifies the lucky recipient. Experience gifts always come with a bit of guilty pleasure when filling out the tag, because truth be told I am giving the gift in part to myself. I will share in the fun, the stronger bonds, and the stories worth telling again and again.
For those of you who are efficient and have finished your holiday gift purchases long before Black Friday deals hit the internet and holiday music hit SXM, we pass on our admiration and a reminder that the joy of giving experiences echoes throughout the whole year…for any type of celebration… birthdays, anniversaries, retirements… Fridays.
Feel free to comment below and share any experience gifts you have planned! For even more ideas, check out this list of passes and memberships to keep in mind.
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