Consumer Advice when Buying Gift Experiences

Gift experiences have been growing in popularity these past few years, however with the majority of experience days being purchased as gifts for other people, this can lead to confusion and frustration when the recipient of the gift voucher wants to use it.

Common complications include arranging dates, the duration of the experience and most importantly the locations where the experience can take place.

Unfortunately the person who bought the gift experience often remains unaware of any complications for the recipient. However, it’s the recipient that may encounter difficulties in using their gift voucher as a result of the buyer overlooking certain details.
Experience Gift Buying
As a consumer, if you’re looking to buy a gift experience, there are a number of things you need to consider for your recipient. But thankfully each product has oodles of information. You just need to spend some time reading it all to make sure you’re buying the right thing.

1. Date

Check when the experiences can take place. For example, if you’re buying a voucher for the summer proms for someone’s birthday in August, chances are that they won’t be able to use it until the following summer.

2. Duration

£30 for a helicopter flight may sound amazing, but it if only lasts for 5 minutes, it becomes a non-event and a big disappointment. Especially if the recipient of your gift has to drive for an hour to get do it. So always check how long something takes.

3. Location

Most experiences only take place in a handful of venues. Some only take place in 1 venue. So if you booked an exciting animal experience for a relative living in Nottingham, but the zoo is in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, your recipient will need to drive for at least 2 and a half hours to get there.

4. Other restrictions

Age, driving licences and health conditions are just a few restrictions which may prevent the recipient of your gift from enjoying the experience you bought them.

Receiving Experience Gifts

Similarly, if you’re the recipient of a gift experience, spend some time on the company’s website to discover when your experience is being run, where it’s taking place and if there are any other restrictions which may prevent you from doing it.

In the case of some Ultimate Choice packages, you will have around 20 different experiences to choose from. So while you may be a little spoilt for choice, finding out more information about each one will better manage your expectations so that you get the best experience for the value of your voucher. These sorts of packages have become popular as 40th birthday gift ideas, because they provide the recipient with plenty of choice from something sedate and civilised to tree climbing, motorsports and other adrenaline rushes. But if, as a recipient, you find yourself in a fix, many of the experience day companies will happily let you swap your voucher for something else of equal value.

So if your auntie bought you an afternoon tea for two but you really have your heart set on a Segway rally, you can simply swap and pay the difference instead of enduring an experience you’d rather not have.


Buying experience gifts has all sorts of unusual problems associated with it, because the relationship between the person buying the gift and the person receiving the gift isn’t a direct one. So any mistakes made by the buyer tend to have a bigger negative impact on the experience of the recipient.

Not making an informed decision is at the heart of many customer complaints. But in this instance it is typically the buyer who has often failed to inform themselves, causing problems for the recipient further down the chain – whether the recipient chooses to inform themselves in turn or not.

It’s an unusual example, but in this instance it’s the customers that need to inform themselves with what it readily available in order to have a positive experience.