If you’re looking to gift your adventure-seeking friend something they don’t have to venture out to see, at-home experiences are a great idea. These experience gift ideas will help the traveler in your life to see the wonders of the world, brush up on their language skills and expand their knowledge all from the comfort of their home.
Think of going on a safari through South Africa, mastering gnocchi and ravioli with an Italian mastermind and even diving with sharks right from their own home. What we love most about these thoughtful experience gift ideas is how they encourage connection, since they’re the most fun when you experience them together.
Here are our 19 picks for the best virtual and at-home experiences you can gift to someone — or yourself — for any occasion.
Sur La Table Date Night: Mediterranean Table ($79; surlatable.com)
If your favorite travel buddy is your spouse or partner, you can add a dash of romance by booking this Date Night class via Sur La Table. This cooking and kitchen store does offer in-person classes, but it’s also taken its library of instruction online to make it more accessible for all. In this experience, you’ll be guided through how to cook seared scallops, couscous and garlic aioli, cumin and harissa-glazed carrots and olive oil polenta cake with whipped cream.
Airbnb Discover Buenos Aires’ Street Art & Sketch With a Specialist (starting at $15 per person; airbnb.com)
In addition to the copious amount of wine and empanadas you’ll consume in Argentina’s capital, you’ll also stand in awe of the street art that adorns nearly every corner of the city. While a trip to Buenos Aires might not be possible for many, you can still learn about the bustling art scene from a local guide in this Airbnb virtual experience. When you gift this to the artist in your life, you’ll give them an interactive experience, traveling through four dynamic neighborhoods: Banfield, Puerto Madero, La Boca and Palermo. As a bonus, the last 15 minutes present the opportunity to test their street art experience with a drawing of their own.
Corto Virtual Tasting Experience ($50; corto-oil.com)
Olive oil is a kitchen staple you might not think twice about using in your recipes. However, it’s sourced from destinations around the world — from Italy and Greece and Croatia to California. You can help your foodie and travel friend learn about how olive oil is crafted in this immersive virtual tasting experience with seventh-generation Italian olive farmers. The gift includes a flight of oils, all designed to showcase various flavors and intensities.
Carley Sheehy Sushi-Making Kit ($29; uncommongoods.com)
Your jet-setting pal would likely prefer to be exploring the vibrant, colorful streets of Tokyo, sampling hidden treasures around each corner. But since they can’t make the long journey to Japan just yet, you can encourage them to learn the craft of one of the country’s signature dishes: sushi. It’s not an easy one to master, but this curated kit includes a rolling mat, instructions and drink pairings as well as everything needed to make four servings. That’s right, it also comes with sushi rice, nori (seaweed), sesame seeds, rice vinegar fillings and spicy wasabi powder. The only thing missing is local, fresh seafood — and some patience.
Eat2Explore Explore the World Through Food Subscription Box (starting at $16.22; amazon.com)
Consider this gift for a fun and engaging way to teach the children in your life about culinary traditions from Spain, China, Ethiopia and more. Each box includes three recipe cards along with spices, sauces and grains from the featured country of the month. If your kids love it, sign up for a monthly subscription!
Puerto Food Tours Learn About Mexican Coffee From a Traditional Family Roaster (starting at $13 per person; amazon.com)
You know your morning cup of joe starts your day off with ease, but what beans tickle your palate? What roast do you prefer? The experience walks through what the coffee cultivation and roasting process is like in Oaxaca, South Mexico. You’ll learn how roasting works and how different types of coffee are prepared. Then, when it’s time to explore the world again, you both might know how to order what you crave abroad.
Carley Sheehy Make Your Own Fortune Cookies Kit ($30; uncommongoods.com)
So, your gift recipient has been to a healer in Bali and a psychic in Spain, they take astrology seriously and their favorite part of a Chinese dinner is the fortune cookie at the end. Now they can write their own fate with this sweet gift set that makes 48 homemade fortune cookies. While it does come with 60 pre-written messages, it also has an edible ink pen so they can scribble out their own sentiments too.
Airbnb Explore Kenyan Cuisines, Culture & Music (starting at $31 per person; airbnb.com)
Kenyan food will have everyone who can’t get enough of spices and stews salivating. Give the gift of learning how to make Kenyan cuisine with this course that does more than teach authentic recipes; it also provides insight into Kenyan culture. You can book a private lesson or choose from a group experience, which covers different meals each day of the week.
- Sunday and Monday: Kenyan nut stew served with mukimo (irio)
- Tuesday and Wednesday: Kenya’s finest stew served with butternut chapati
- Thursday, Friday and Saturday: Curry, chapati, ugali and steamed cabbage and carrot
Airbnb Live Virtual Wildlife Safari in South Africa (starting at $25 per person; airbnb.com)
Many Airbnb Experiences follow a structured schedule, but with this one, no two journeys are the same, since it’s live in the South African bush. The person you gift this experience to will be guided through a 240-acre wildlife sanctuary in search of elephants, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos and more. Along the way, the guide will tell riveting stories and teach about this neck of the woods — anyone will walk away stunned by the beauty. Invite a friend for all of the fun and make it a gift for two.
Airbnb Meet and Draw a Llama (starting at $29 per person; airbnb.com)
Need a fun idea for your inquisitive kid who is obsessed with animals? Or maybe just has an affection for llamas? Whatever makes them adore these cute creatures, this fun digital class not only introduces them to a llama in real life (through the screen, of course) but also encourages them to practice observational skills to draw them. The lecturer will guide through pointed prompts like how the animal eats, moves and reacts.
Italki Subscription (starting at $25; italki.com)
You and your favorite travel buddy may have spent the past few months planning a much-deserved vacation. To prep them for the adventures that are sure to come, nudge them to finally learn a language like they’ve been talking about doing for years. An Italki membership will put them on the right path, offering more than 130 languages and 10,000 high-quality teachers that provide one-on-one online lessons.
Macaron Kit ($32; uncommongoods.com)
Experiences in the City of Lights can often be some of the most magical. If you went with your best friend, you likely explored the winding streets, admired the architecture and charm and, of course, ate your weight in food. Now bring those sweet memories back to your travel buddy with this macaron-making kit. It includes a nonstick silicone baking mat along with a recipe book featuring flavors like rose, Earl Grey, pistachio and more as well as a refillable icing pen with six tips.
Airbnb Make Gnocchi and Ravioli at Home (starting at $25 per person; airbnb.com)
For the recipient you want to impress, this pasta-making class is the way to do it. Consider booking the experience for two as a romantic date-night experience where you will prepare homemade gnocchi and ravioli. It’s taught by an Italian family who has passed the recipe down from one generation to another, making you feel part of history in the making. As a bonus, you’ll also learn how to make pesto for a topping, and you’ll get a discount to book again if you want to discover other pasta types.
The Lincoln Apartment Bakery Learn to Make Delicious Montreal-Style Bagels ($17; amazon.com)
True bagel lovers are strictly Team New York or Team Montreal. For the friend who enjoys this breakfast must-have, consider gifting this class that teaches the fine art of the Canadian favorite. The Montreal bagel is sweeter and fluffier than its Big Apple competitor, so it might challenge traditional taste buds. This class will cover various bagel styles, appropriate toppings and variations and hands-on instruction to make your own at home.
Masterclass Membership ($15 per month; masterclass.com)
For the person in your life who’s always up to learn something new and different, a Masterclass membership could make their year full of wonder. It features more than 100 renowned instructors — like Gordon Ramsay, Simone Biles, Joanne Chang and more — over 11 categories. Some are hands-on, others are lecture-style and all will make them think.
Intrepid Urban Adventures Peruvian Pisco: A Virtual Cocktail Class ($11.55; amazon.com)
After reaching Machu Picchu in Peru, there’s a great reward of a round — or two — of pisco sours to celebrate the victory. If you can’t make it to this wonder of the world yet, grab your best friend and give the gift of pisco with a Peruvian instructor. This class covers the history of this Peruvian-born liquor, how it’s distilled and, of course, two cocktails to shake up, sip and savor.
Nordiva Tours The Town That Trade Built: A Walk Through Historic Bergen ($20; amazon.com)
Scandinavia has a unique aesthetic, style and way of life. Focused on families, function and preserving the environment, this part of the world draws visitors looking to better understand why citizens of these nations are happier and healthier. Take your gift recipient on a stroll through Bergen, Norway, a spot that’s largely considered one of the world’s best-preserved trading districts. It’s one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, and while you may not see it in person yet, you will enjoy this virtual trip with a local host.
Doughnuttery DIY Mini Doughnut Making Kit ($29.99; amazon.com)
Created by a shop in New York City, this kit includes all that’s needed to make 30 bite-size doughnuts as well as four gourmet sugar blends: coco loco, lemon pop, speckled strawberry and cinnamon. It also features a doughnut depositor and instructions that will get everyone excited.
Airbnb Dive Under the Sea With a Shark Expert (starting at $20 per person; airbnb.com)
Experience the heart-racing adventure of diving with sharks without leaving the couch or even getting wet. Guided by an instructor who has 21 years of experience in shark conservation, scientific research and more, go “underwater” to see these amazing creatures face-to-face.
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