Experience Days – A Parent’s Guide

When your child turns 16, 18 or even 21, they tend to want to do something a bit whacky to celebrate their ‘coming of age’.

And usually this takes for the form of skydiving, supercar driving, paintballing or similar type of experience day.

So having booked and been on a number of experience days, I felt it best to share my experience of actually purchasing one as a gift and receiving such a gift, as well as turning up on the day to actually do it.

Because it’s not quite as simple as you might think, as there can often be confusion and frustration for the recipient of the voucher when they choose to use it.

This is because often, the buyer of the experience can overlook certain details, which can in fact result in the recipient facing difficulties with trying to use their voucher.

A good one is a 16 year old receiving a driving experience when they’re not even old enough to hold a driving licence!

What to look out for when buying gift experiences

As a parent looking to buy for your child, you need to ensure that you consider the receiver of the gift, making sure that you check over the specific information regarding the experience, what it entails etc. so that you can provide the best present for them and avoid any disappointment.

When researching gift experiences, look out for:

  • The Date – As many experiences only take place in the summer, which is mainly due to them being dependent on weather conditions. This may well be worth considering when buying for a birthday. Because if you give your child a voucher at the end of the summer, they might not be able to use it until the weather gets better again.

This means that they could potentially be waiting nearly a year until they can use their gift, and although experience vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, this might be a little disappointing.

  • Duration – It’s also worth looking into how long the experience will last.

An experience might sound like it’s a bargain, but if it only lasts for a short period of time, is there any point? Imagine the look of disappointment on your child’s face (and the potential tantrum) after being so excited about driving in a Lamborghini, but then it turns out that they only get five minutes in the car. And it would be even worse if they (or you) had to drive miles and miles to get to there in the first place.

  • Location – Talking about having to drive miles to the place of the experience, location is another key point to take into consideration.

Although most experiences do take place nationwide, some may only be available from a handful of venues, or even just the one location.

Make sure that they’re able to get to the place with ease and without costing them an arm and a leg to get there.

  • Other Restrictions – There are a few other factors to look out for when buying specialised experiences, and that is to check for restrictions on height, age, whether they might require a driving licence, and if people with certain health conditions are unable to take part.


So before you buy a skydiving, car driving, rope swinging, paintballing, flying or other experience for a special birthday, make sure you take all these things into consideration.

But so long as you do your research, you’re likely to provide a gift that will give them the opportunity to do something they’ve always wanted to do, and for that they’ll be truly appreciative.

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