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I love the idea of giving the gift of an experience vs. something material. While most “things” probably lose their value soon after they’ve been used families can create life long memories by gifting experiences. However, experiences can cost more money than some “things”. So, that begs the question, what kind of experiences can we afford?

Save Money on Experiences

This summer our family did a lot of experiences in the way of short trips: some one day trips and some overnight trips.

We’ve been to Niagara Falls in NY, Hocking Hills, Ohio and Mammoth Cave in KY, among other places.

We recently did a day- trip to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island and then a day-trip to Sauder Village, Olander Fossil Park (both near Toledo, Ohio) and ended the night at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio before driving home. Wow, that’s a lot of driving!

Some of the ways we saved money on experiences was

  • To do free experiences that we can drive to and return home from the same day.
  • To buy season passes (we got the $99 Season Pass for 2019-2020 for Cedar Point this year).
  • To use Groupon discounts! I think I saved almost $40 on our Sauder Village tickets!
Gifting an Experience instead of Things

Experiences as Gifts

If you want give the gift of an experience first consider the person you are gifting. Would they enjoy a museum? Would they enjoy an amusement park more? Maybe they aren’t the traveling kind but would love to be gifted piano lessons or horse-riding lessons instead! Look for discounts for any of these in your area though Groupon.

Another way to save money is to gift an I.O.U. to your family member or friend that you plan to use on discount days at their favorite place. For example, if you homeschool be sure to check to see if these places offer discounted days for homeschoolers! Perhaps your family qualifies for military discounts or something else. Keep all of these in mind as you are “shopping around”.

If saving money isn’t an issue then you can just purchase a gift certificates from the business directly or buy a gift card to a restaurant.

Find local experiences with Groupon below:

To recap, consider the following when choosing and experience as a gift:

  • Who is the gift for and what would they enjoy?
  • Can you save money by purchasing through Groupon or another way?
  • Can you save money by doing the experience during military or homeschooling discount days? (Or some other discount day?)
  • You may want to stuff a stocking with small practical, yummy and fun things (like these too) along with your gift certificate of Groupon “experience-gift”!

Got any other tips? Share them in the comments!

Want more ideas? Click the image below!