Forget Stocking Fillers: Over Half of Britons are on the Lookout for Experience Deals this Black Friday

While Black Friday is typically associated with consumers on the lookout for discounted gifts for loved ones at Christmas, new research by Travelzoo, a travel deals company, suggests that the UK is on the hunt for a different type of deal this year.

According to a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, more than half will be searching for experience deals (a trip to a restaurant, theatre or spa), rather than traditional gifts and stocking fillers. When asked about their gifting habits this Christmas, over half (53%) of those who took part in in the survey said they are considering, or will definitely gift, an experience.

Commenting on why they are opting to gift an experience over traditional gifts, two fifths (42%) said experiences offer a much more personal/thoughtful gift than any other gift option, while a third (36%) believe their friends and family will get more enjoyment from an experience than a generic gift. Other reasons cited for gifting an experience over a traditional gift are: generic gifts are likely to end up in the back of friends'/families' cupboards (24%) and experience deals are now available at the same price as generic gifts (26%).

Nicola Gibson, Travelzoo's Head of Local and Entertainment Deals, explains: "In a world where leisure time is precious, and people are keen to avoid stockpiling unwanted 'stuff', the gift of doing something rather than having something is more popular than ever. In our business we're seeing a marked increase in memorable experiences, such as restaurant and spa deals, being bought as gifts, and envisage that this Christmas a present that allows loved ones to create a new memory may outsell traditional material items."

When it came to Christmas gifting, the research found differences between men and women for traditional gift buying, but the same preferences when it came to gifting experiences (see tables below).

Top three traditional presents men plan to gift women

Top three traditional presents women plan to gift men

1 – Perfume/Toiletries

1 – Clothes

2 – Clothes

2 – Aftershave

3 – Accessories (make–up, handbag, shoes etc.)

3 – Gadgets/Electronics


Top three experience gifts planned by men and women

1 – Foodie experience (lunch/meal out, afternoon tea, drinks, etc.)

2 – Relaxation experience (massage, weekend away, spa day, etc.)

3 – Adventure experience (race car driving, speed boat racing, etc.)


Gibson continued: "The scenes of chaos in retail stores last Black Friday have stuck in the minds of consumers. As a result, many will ditch the high street this Friday in favour of shopping online for experience deals."

Travelzoo Deals available this Black Friday

 £16 -- Food & Wine Tasting for 2 at Surrey Vineyard, 50% Off

What's included

  • Wine and Food Tasting Experience for two people at Denbies Wine Estate. The experience includes a guided winery tour and then a wine tasting, including three samples of Denbies wines and a selection of canapés, in the cellar


£20 -- Hampshire: Bombay Sapphire Gin Tour & Cocktails for 2

What's included

  • The Self Discovery Experience for two adults (aged 18 and over). The 90-120 minute self-guided tour ends with a gin-based cocktail for each person in the Mill Bar (available Friday-Sunday, 2 January-20 March, 2016)


£30 -- Michelin-Starred Mayfair Meal with 'Stunning' Views

What's included

  • A 3-course lunch for one person from the Menu du Jour and one of the following drinks: a Classic Bellini cocktail, a glass of red wine or a glass of white wine


£60 -- Pamper Package at Award-Winning London Day Spa , Usually £120 

What's included

  • The Best of Bliss Facial for one person. Lasting 80 minutes, it uses Bliss products and includes a cleanse, exfoliation and treatment mask, as well as a shoulder, neck, arm and foot massage
  • Three hours' access to the spa facilities; these include a swimming pool, a sauna, a steam room and a gym
  • You'll also get towel, robe and slipper hire


£69 -- 3-AA-Rosette Restaurant: Tasting Menu for 2 near Oxford

What's included

About Travelzoo

Travelzoo is a global media commerce company. With more than 28 million members in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and 26 offices worldwide, Travelzoo® publishes offers from more than 2,000 travel, entertainment and local companies. Travelzoo’s deal experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.

Certain statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations, prospects and intentions, markets in which we participate and other statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts. When used in this press release, the words “expect”, “predict”, “project”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “seek” and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including changes in our plans, objectives, expectations, prospects and intentions and other factors discussed in our filings with the SEC. We cannot guarantee any future levels of activity, performance or achievements. Travelzoo undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release. Travelzoo and Top 20 are registered trademarks of Travelzoo. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.