Beyond boring envelopes: 10 creative ways to wrap an experience

November 24, 2015                 3m read time
April Kilcrease


Nobody needs another Christmas sweater. If you want to spread holiday cheer this year, give an experience. Research shows that purchasing activities, like bike tours or rock climbing classes, creates more happiness than buying more stuff. But how do you put a bow on a workshop or a vacation? There isn't anything to wrap and giving a piece of paper in an envelope often feels kind of lame. Don’t worry—we’ve got you and those intangible gifts covered. Here are 10 creative ways to present an experience.

1. Give a musical note

Slip the details of a dance class (or any musical gift) inside an album cover or place the gift certificate in a box and wrap it in sheet music.

Dance class gift wrapped in paper with musical notations ZOZI

Dance class gift wrapped in paper with musical notations

ZOZI

 
 

2. Guide the way

Place the description of a city tour in a relevant guidebook or folded map. Highlight some of the tour’s stops on the map or mark the pages in the guidebook.

Napa wine country travel book, map, and handwritten note saying "we're going here" ZOZI

Napa wine country travel book, map, and handwritten note saying "we're going here"

ZOZI

 
 

3. Put a bow on it

Tie up a walking tour or fun run with shoelaces or use climbing rope as ribbon for a climbing class.

Box wrapped with neon running shoe laces ZOZI

Box wrapped with neon running shoe laces

ZOZI

 
 

4. Make 'em search for it

Make word search wrapping paper that includes words that describe the experience.

word search wrapping paper spelling out what the person is receiving ZOZI

word search wrapping paper spelling out what the person is receiving

ZOZI

 
 

5. Pack it up

If you’re giving a trip, you’ve got a world of gifting possibilities. Insert a brief description of the trip into a luggage tag or passport holder. Or wrap the itinerary along with a useful travel item, such as a travel pillow or a set of travel-sized toiletries. You could also buy a travel journal or a book about the destination and inscribe the first page with details about the getaway.

suitcase filled with travel books, maps, and a toy airplane ZOZI

suitcase filled with travel books, maps, and a toy airplane

ZOZI

 
 

6. Woodsy wrapping

For a camping or hiking trip, make the package a gift, too. Tuck the details inside of a backpack, canteen, or an enamelware mug. Or wrap it in a bandana or a plaid wool shirt. Want to keep it simple but personal? Describe the upcoming trip on the first page of a Field Notes notebook.

present wrapped in a pink bandana ZOZI

present wrapped in a pink bandana

ZOZI

 
 

7. Slice of paradise

Giving a jungle, forest, or beach escape? Attach a gift card to a plant that looks like a mini version of what they’ll be hiking through or lounging under. Or use a tree cutting as a gift topper.

Jungle getaway in leaf wrapping paper with a small succulent on top ZOZI

Jungle getaway in leaf wrapping paper with a small succulent on top

ZOZI

 
 

8. Spell it out

Turn the gift box into a game. Wrap a box of Scrabble tiles that the recipient must rearrange to spell out the activity.

Scrabble pieces on top of a box spelling out drink, wine, painter, and brush ZOZI

Scrabble pieces on top of a box spelling out drink, wine, painter, and brush

ZOZI

 
 

9. A Tisket a tasket, a green and red basket

Deliver a wine or food tour in a picnic basket. Or package it with other al fresco gear, such as a picnic blanket or utensil set.

picnic basket ZOZI

picnic basket

ZOZI

 
 

10. Message in a bottle

Write out multiple options on slips of paper and put them in small glass bottles. Let the recipient choose which activity they want to do.

Photos of travel gifts inside small bottles ZOZI

Photos of travel gifts inside small bottles

ZOZI

 

 

 

April Kilcrease

Editor

April is the editor at ZOZI. Born in Germany, she grew up on three continents with a road-trip loving family. In her twenties, she was thrilled to discover that she could continue this semi-nomadic lifestyle as a journalist. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, and AFAR.

Subscribe +
Pkarrowicon

Get the best stories and activities, personalized just for you. Go on, get out there!

You might also enjoy: