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Experience Gifts! A Round-Up of the BEST ideas.

There’s been a rising trend in gift giving in recent years and nooooo it’s not the newest iPhone.

People are slowly making the switch over to gifting experiences rather than presents for Christmas and it’s for good reason! Researchers at Cornell University have spent the last decade studying why receiving an experience provides more of a lasting happiness rather than gifting material possessions and it comes down to this- people tend to get less and less happy with material purchases over time.


One of my favorite gifts I have ever received was a surprise trip to Boston and NYC for my 30th birthday gifted by my husband. I was woken up at 4 am, told to pack my bags, and we were off! The surprise factor, the anticipation, and the trip itself made for an experience I will never forget.

We are trying to implement this into our own family as well. We have started a tradition of doing a cooking class for each birthday instead of exchanging presents. We also gifted our daughter tickets to a movie and an ice cream date instead of whole load of toys she doesn’t need for her 4th birthday.

We’ve rounded up some ways to replace the “stuff” on Christmas lists this year with amazing experiences- reach on below!

Gifts for the Family:

  • A family trip (socially distanced AirBnb anyone?! See our round up here of the BEST getaways)
  • A hike or a trip to their favorite park
  • Membership passes to local museum, kids’ center, or aquarium
  • Tickets to an event (sporting events, live production, concert, comedians, art shows)
  • Volunteer together as a family

Gifts for Kids:

  • A visit to a trampoline park or mini golf
  • A meal at their favorite restaurant
  • A full day of their choice of activities
  • Local pottery class
  • Lessons (piano, guitar, language, tennis, horseback riding)
  • A class they can take (photography, baking, science)
  • Coupons for small treats like ice cream dates
  • Ice skating, roller skating, or bowling
  • A full day of their choice of activities
  • Movie tickets
  • Escape room

Gifts for Parents:

  • Monthly subscription (cooking boxes, beer of the month, book of the month)
  • Airplane ticket to visit yourself or family
  • Couples dance lessons
  • Photographer for family portraits
  • A trip to the spa
  • Pre planned date night

Gifts for Grandparents/Extended Family

  • Day out with the kids
  • A trip to visit family
  • Amazon prime membership
  • Memory book
  • Oral interview or history book of them recounting memories to you

Gifts for Friends:

  • Gift cards with set up coffee or lunch dates
  • Yoga passes
  • Music, art, baking classes
  • Day or weekend trip together
  • Fresh flower subscription
  • A wine tasting
  • Makeup less or closet consultation
  • Massage or spa gift certificate

The Bottom Line

YES there can be such joy in giving meaningful gifts. BUT satisfaction from buying things like new televisions will quickly fall, while the happiness you find in spending quality time will only continue to grow.

Family time and memories made with your loved ones will always mean more than physical gifts!

Have you tried making the switch over to gifting experiences instead of presents? How did it go with your family? Let us know in the comments below!



Mother’s Day Gift Ideas (Quarantine Edition)

I think we can all agree when all of this COVID madness started in early March…none of us thought by Mother’s Day we’d still be sheltered in our homes with no exact end in sight.

We’ve had to grieve the loss of our epic family Norway trip being canceled, the delay of our very best friend’s wedding, and even the heart-wrenching reality of not being able to meet our brand new baby nephew yet….

And we know each and every one of you have experienced some sort of loss or missing out during this wild time in history as well…and it’s just HARD.

BUT here we are…with Mother’s Day only a few weeks away, and most of us in the position most likely of not being able to be physically with our moms this year (cue ALL the sad emojis).

So we’ve rounded up some unique (all shippable!) gift ideas for this Mother’s Day that we think really hit the spot with this ocean of separation between us all right now. Gifts for mom that matter, gifts that bring connection, gifts that make the distance seem not so distant at all.

Here we go, here’s to all the mama’s we love so dear!

  1. Spa Day Kit // Virtual Mask & Mama Night – What lady doesn’t love a little pampering? Send your mama a Spa Kit and have a zoom date with some masking and vino…quality time with a side of self-care, can’t be beat.self-care-gift-box-2_2000x
  2. You & Me, Mom Journal – What a meaningful gift…and one that will bring so much connection, even with all this separation right now! These prompts are so unique, fun and will be sure to have you both laughing, and crying, together this Mother’s Day.51401_1_640px
  3. Personalized Photo Keyring – I mean is this not so beautiful?! I need one of these stat…hint hint husband 🙂 The perfect small treasure to send to your mama that will just brighten her day…and keep her thinking about her babies on those aimless drives we are all going on, just to get out of the dang house (no? just me?!)!il_1588xN.2198763900_dazs
  4. Virtual Painting Class – SO.MUCH.FUN. Sign up for a virtual painting class for your mom and you, many studios have taken their classes online during all of this! Such a fun way to connect with each other during this strange time and let some stress out with some creative fun!rifqi-ali-ridho-VlXlW77swwY-unsplash (1)
  5. Customized Keepsake Box – A gift that’s going to for sure leave her in tears. The present you know she’s always wanted, but just never got around too. A beautifully handcrafted and personalized keepsake box for all her most precious memories…this gift will blow quarantine distancing out of the water 🙂wayfaren-284_1512x
  6. The Stories We Tell // Scrapbook Album – We are HUGE fans of Artifact Uprising over here and this new memory keeping product does not disappoint. How gorgeous is this scrapbook album?! Make a night of it and have a virtual scrapbooking date with your mama once she gets hers in the mail…now you know she would lovvveee that!scrapbook-big-envelope-pdp-4
  7. Personalized Photo Puzzle– Never at any other time in human history have people been doing more puzzles! Take your favorite photo with your mama and turn it into her next quarantine stay-at-home project….a sweet and fun gesture that’s perfect for this Mother’s Day especially 🙂pzf100
  8. Board Games for a virtual Game Night! (…and a bottle of her favorite wine) – Ok for that fun, life of the party mom- this is your gift. Ship her a few board games, that can be played virtually of course, and have her favorite bottle of wine delivered and boom you’ve got a Mother’s Day WIN. Our favorites for a Zoom game night are- Our Moments, Codenames (if you each have the game), Taboo and Scattegories (classics), and Wine IQ (which seems very Mother’s Day fitting :))


Hoping this gives you some inspiration and encouragement that with a little bit of intention, this Mother’s Day can and will be special! Tag us on Instagram at @wayfarenco with your meaningful gift ideas and purchases (quarantine style :))!


15 Meaningful and Unique Gifts (that you’ve probably never heard of)

What do you give to those you love most in your life? How do you pick out thoughtful and meaningful gifts that will really communicate the appreciation you have for someone or what their relationship means to you? Practical gifts are always nice to give (or receive!) and gifting an experience is always a win in our book- but what about when you really want to make an impact with a tangible gift?

 Having an intentional and thoughtful holiday season is something we feel pretty passionate about over here.  Our motto – gifting should be meaningful or it shouldn’t be gifted at all.

Less is more. Less but better.

We’ve rounded up 15 both unique and meaningful gifts for anybody in your life and we’re betting these are SURE to be the favorite presents under the tree this year!

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Loom Journals

Loom Journals are prompted pass-back-and-forth journals designed to strengthen the relationships that matter most to you. They have a parent-child one and a love journal. Something anyone would surly treasure forever and ever – shhh might be getting one of these for Luke this year 🙂


Saranoni Blanket

The softest blanket to ever exist in all the lands. The hand-picked, custom knit, proprietary fabric is silkier than anything. The Saranoni Grand delivers double-sided comfort and luxury like you’ve never felt before. Yes yes yes, no one…I tell you no one is going to be mad about this gift.

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Still Novel Print

Turn a moment into a work of art (in minutes). Can I get an AMEN for anytime keepsakes are done in a timeless yet on-trend way?! So often they turn out kitschy or tacky…all the praise hands for Still Novel.

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Plum Print

Transforming your kids’ art into custom treasures one book at a time. Memory-saving + clutter-clearing….this is at the top of our list. Simply mail in all your child’s masterpieces in their prepaid box and they do the rest! This one is a real gem, SO special for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the like.


Artifact Uprising

Our go to for any sort of photo compiling, saving, framing, printing…ALL the things. Anything you order from Artifact is going to wow you with both the quality and design. Three cheers again for keepsakes you actually want to display on your coffee table for all to see!


Guy Fox Fragrance

Alright, alright so this one isn’t for everyone on your list, but those men are just so tricky to buy for sometimes aren’t they?! Enter custom cologne, yes you read that right – a custom made fragrance for your beau. Simply take a quick quiz, find their perfect scent, and voilà, you have a thoughtful and personalized gift for that hard to buy for guy in your life.

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Book of the Month Club

I was gifted a subscription last year and it was hands down my favorite gift of the year! The gift that keeps on giving…and who doesn’t want that. Each month pick from a carefully curated selections of amazing reads, sent right to your doorstep. This one is sure to be a hit this season!


Push Pin Travel Map

The gift for the person who has everything. A keepsake that both commemorates all the travels they’ve taken and also inspires them to dream up new adventures and get to crossing off that bucket list. The highest quality and most beautiful push pin map you’ll find (call us biased, but we’re pretty convinced of this one :)).


Personalized Family Recipe Towel

Grandma’s recipe can now be passed down for generations to come through this family recipe keepsake towel. Meaningful AND practical, now that’s a win in our book. Simply send in a PDF of that nostalgic recipe and they do the rest!

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Maybe my favorite idea in the whole bunch. A year of stories bound in a beautiful book. Here’s how it works- each week they send the recipient (or you!) questions they’ve never thought to write about, they write a “story” each week (you can even choose to share them with family then), then that year’s worth of stories are bound into a beautiful keepsake box! Already know exactly who we are gifting this to this year 🙂

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The Night Sky Poster

Was it your first kiss, the birth of a child or that moment you realized your world had changed…give a gift of the stars to always remember that special night. These prints are super high quality and art that is sure to be treasured for years to come.


Love Letter Blanket

Another really wonderful personalized life. Cozying up with a special note from your favorite person, I mean that’s pretty darn neat. Send in your handwritten note (or choose from a handwriting font for the penmanship impaired) and they use a super high quality printing process to put it on a blanket! Again meaningful AND practical, always our favorite combination.

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Personalized Home Portrait

This custom house portrait makes the perfect piece to mark any significant life event- be it an anniversary, purchase of a first home, moving to a new home, housewarming, realtor closing gift, birthday, wedding, paper anniversary, first anniversary and more.
Love love this meaningful idea and know so many people who would too.


Custom Keepsake Box

Where to put all those mementos you’ve collected over the years? Our guess is they are probably all stored in a shoe box at the top of your closet. Finally, a keepsake box that is actually worthy of all those memories. Beautiful enough to display on a coffee table or bookshelf, AND build to last a lifetime.

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Homesick Candle

Nostalgia in a smell. Homesick offers specialized candles that tap into your sensory memory through nostalgic scents that can remind you of the place where you grew up or has an extra special place in your heart – so fun! Love this simple, yet thoughtful gift for anyone on your list.


Custom Soundwave

Sound Art? What is that you say? Sound Art is any audio or sound, converted to a visual piece of art. The sky’s the limit on design options, colors and sound to use. Your favorite song, wedding vows, inside joke, poem, unborn baby heartbeat, a voicemail of a lost loved one …… if you can hear it, they can make it a visual piece of art.


That’s the round up friends. Here’s to an intentional Christmas and meaningful gifting. Wishing you the merriest holiday season!