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53 Non-Materialistic Gifts For Any Budget

41 Non Materialistic Gifts (Non-physical gifts) - Almost Zero Waste

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Are you searching for the best non-materialistic gifts?

In this article, you will find a list of non-material & non-physical gifts, perfect for family and friends, Christmas, birthdays, events, or other holidays! 

This list is ideal if you want to avoid giving materialistic gifts and THINGS often left out to collect dust. 

I got (or gifted) some of the ideas below, and each time, it was super fun & I highly appreciated the experience and will always remember it.

I divided the ideas into 8 categories:

  1. Courses
  2. Outdoor adventures
  3. For girlfriend/wife 
  4. For boyfriend/husband
  5. For couples 
  6. For kids 
  7. For your mom/dad (parents)
  8. For anyone in between!

A couple of notes before we start:

  • You can find non-materialistic & non-physical gifts UNDER $30, UNDER $50 & UNDER $100. Sometimes I will give more than one option, including cheaper & more expensive choices.
  • I won’t give a specific location if some gift ideas are too specific. (e.g., “Amusement park”)
  • The prices will most likely vary. This will largely depend on where you live.
  • Make sure to scroll til the end to find an infographic with all the ideas.

Without further ado, let’s begin with the non-materialistic gift ideas!


Non-Materialistic Gift Ideas: Courses & Classes


1. Meditation class

If you have a friend or a family member who is into mindfulness, then a meditation course might be a fantastic non-material gift. You can choose between:

  • Group class – You can find great meditation classes discounted for less than $20 at Groupon. Another good place is Eventbrite, where some classes are just $10.
  • Online class – An app such as Headspace or an online course on Udemy can be a good option for busy people or if you are on a budget. Udemy offers enormous discounts on courses, and you can easily find Meditation Classes for under $20. An app like Headspace costs $69.99 per year. 

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $15 TO $70

meditation class
Yoga & meditation group class

2. Language course

You can give a single session or a complete beginner course. There are affordable options, so you won’t have to break the bank.

Private courses:

  • Search for nearby tutors at Care.com. The prices per lesson can vary significantly by region, but it is usually between $15-30 per hour.
  • TakeLessions is another place that offers online, at-home, and studio classes. Usually, online courses are cheaper, but it varies greatly between $30-60 per hour.

Online courses:

  • Coursera – Offers a certificate, price of $49
  • Udemy – Udemy offers beginners classes under $20
  • Groupon – You can find a variety of courses under $30
  • Skillshare – The monthly subscription costs just $19, and your person will get the opportunity to browse through hundreds of classes

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $15 TO $60

3. Online courses

There are a few fantastic platforms that offer courses by certified teachers. They will share their knowledge on any topic you can think of! A few online course platforms that I know and recommend are:

  • Skillshare: Skillshare is a subscription-based online learning community offering various courses, including drawing, graphic design, illustration, animation, entrepreneurship, marketing, productivity, etc. It costs $99 annually or $19 per month.
  • Udemy: Udemy is the global marketplace for teaching and learning, with 130K courses, in 60+ languages. They have Business classes, IT & Software, Personal Development, Design, Marketing, Health, Music, and more. The price of each course is between $10-$30.
  • Coursera: Top instructors from world-class universities and companies teach different topics, including Entrepreneurship, Science, Math, Psychology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and more. Price starts at $39-$49 per course. Once your friend finishes the course, they will get a certificate.
  • Masterclass: Your friend will learn from the best masters in the field. Each class includes online videos, a class workbook, and an online student community. One masterClass costs $90, and you can pick between Natalie Portman’s Acting Class, Christina Agulera Singing Class, Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking Class & more.

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $10 TO $99

4. Fitness class

An excellent non-materialistic gift for your more active family members or friends. You can also choose between an online class or a class in a studio.

ClassPass is a great way to give someone you love classes at great studios nearby. ClassPass offers many different plans, like $39 per month for 7 classes or $59 per month for 11 classes.

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $20 TO $60+ 

5. Yoga class 

If you have a friend interested in learning more about yoga, meditation, and spirituality, you can surprise them with a yoga class in a local studio.

For online options, you can check Alomoves; it is an online platform that offers yoga classes from some of the most excellent yoga teachers in the world.

They create new levels regularly, and the price is $20 per month or $11 per month if you pay $129 for the whole year.

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $20 TO $100+ 

yoga class gift
Yoga class in Costa Rica

6. Photography class

A lovely gift for photography enthusiasts. Some places to look for are:

  • Nikon – They offer online and workshops; the price starts from $14 
  • Eventbrite – You can find affordable photography workshops between $30-$80 (+ some cool FREE seminars!)
  • Skillshare & Udemy – Both of these platforms offer good & online photography classes for less than $20

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $14 TO $80

7. Pottery class 

Pottery can be extremely calming, relaxing, and fun, and it is ideal for beginners and people of all ages who have no experience with it. 

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $40 TO $90

Pottery class gift
Pottery class in Zagreb, Croatia

8. Drawing class

If you know someone passionate about creating art, a drawing course will be an excellent non-materialistic gift idea. You can look for classes in your city or get an online course from Skillshare or Udemy. 

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $10 TO $60 

9. Guitar/Drums course

You can surprise someone interested in learning to play a specific instrument. One lesson won’t be enough to learn a lot. So this gift can be more pricey if you consider gifting a couple of classes, not just one.

That’s why you can combine the paid lesson with some awesome free guitar lessons for beginners. You can find a list that Ben from Strummingly collected with some great options.

  • TakeLessions.com offers online, at-home, and studio classes. Online classes are cheaper, but it often varies.
  • Udemy and Skillshare have various classes if you are looking for an online course.

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $20 TO $80


Non-Materialistic Gifts Ideas: Outdoor Adventures


10. Hiking

Ideal for all of your adventurous friends who love spending time in nature. You can check –

  • All Trails: AllTrails helps people explore the outdoors with the largest collection of detailed, hand-curated trail maps. It includes trail reviews and photos from a community of 10 million registered hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners. It costs $2.50 per month, $29.99 per year
  • Cloud9Living has hiking deals for $35 – $95.
hiking gift idea
The hardest hike I ever did! Super fun though

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $30 TO $95 

11. National park pass

National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands is an annual pass, valid for one full year from the month of purchase.

There’s no limit on the number of sites you can see, and each Pass covers entrance or standard fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle. 

UNDER $100. PRICE: $85

12. Ski pass

A perfect idea for ski enthusiasts. Even though this experience gift might end up more pricey, it will be highly appreciated by a ski lover. 

Research the most convenient and affordable deal that will fit your budget. Take a look at some ski resorts here. (US-based)

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $60 to $100

skiing pass gift
A weekend skiing trip in Slovakia

13. Scuba diving 

Ideal gift for your friends & family that love snorkeling and are interested in the sea world. Scuba diving is a fun and creative non-materialistic gift and a wonderful way for anyone to explore deep down under.

UNDER $100

14. Surfing lessons 

If you live in an area ideal for surfing, or you know your friend is going to a place with surfing lessons, you can surprise them by giving them classes where they can learn how to catch some waves! It is ideal for your adventurous friends and the ones who love trying new things. 

UNDER $100

15. Rafting / Kayaking 

Kayaking or rafting can be a tremendous non-materialistic gift for those who love the outdoors and adventures. It is ideal if your friend lives near-by a river, lake, or sea.

UNDER $100

rafting gift
We went rafting for a friend’s b-day

16. Yoga Retreat

There are many affordable options worldwide, from Asia, Thailand, Indonesia, Spain, Mexico, Australia, and the US. All packages include accommodation, Yoga, and meditation sessions. Sometimes they have included meals, too.

Note: The cheapest retreats start from as little as $40, but consider that the location is usually – Indonesia, Thailand, or Asia.

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $40 TO $100 


Non-Materialistic Gifts: For Girlfriend Or Wife


17. Wellness experience

Can you think of a person who will say ‘’No’’ to a wellness day, including massages and relaxation? I’m not sure I can think of someone!

It is a fantastic gift for almost anyone, and usually, there are great affordable packages. You can do a quick search online, and you might find some pretty good deals.

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $35 TO $90

Wellness experience gift
Wellness & massage space in Costa Rica

18. Cooking class/workshop

A cooking class is an excellent non-materialistic gift if your girlfriend/wife is a foodie. 

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $35 TO $100

19. Concert tickets 

Another experience gift that is hard to go wrong with. If you know someone’s favorite artist is coming to town, get him/her concert tickets! The price is usually affordable, and the gift will be highly appreciated.

Take a look at:

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $50 TO $100

concert tickets gift
My friend & I went to the 1975’s concert – my favorite band!

20. Diet & Nutrition courses

If you know that she is interested in nutrition and health, then a Nutrition course might be a fantastic idea. Some ideas include:

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $10 TO $80

21. Dance class

If your girlfriend/wife likes dancing, check out some classes nearby. You can also check online courses (Masterclass, Udemy, etc.) The price usually varies.

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $50 TO $100

dance class gift
A Caribbean dance class I went to while volunteering in Costa Rica

Non-Materialistic Gift Ideas: For Boyfriend Or Husband


22. Tickets for a sports game

Most guys will love this gift, especially for a game with some of their favorite teams or players.

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $15 TO $90

23. A personal trainer

If your boyfriend/husband is training, you can get him a personal trainer at the gym. This will motivate him to reach his goals and gain insight into his training. Pretty cool!

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $25 TO $100

24. Indoor climbing

A membership for indoor climbing is an excellent gift because climbing is so much fun! If your partner is adventurous and likes trying new things, check out some climbing centers close to you.

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $25 TO $50

indoor climbing gift
Indoor climbing in Streetmekka, Aalborg

25. Indoor skydiving

A gift card for Indoor Skydiving is a fantastic gift for any age. You can easily find Indoor Skydiving locations around the country. Most centers allow participants as young as three years old. In addition, you can directly e-mail a gift card to the person you want to surprise.

  •  Iflyworld: 2 flights for one person – starting from $49 

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $49 TO $80


Non-Materialistic Gift Ideas: For Couples


26. Wine tasting 

If you and your boyfriend are wine lovers, this non-physical gift idea might be perfect. Do an online search for something nearby, or take a quick look here:

UNDER $100. PRICES FOR 2: FROM $80 TO $100

27. Stand-up comedy

Dig a bit and find a good stand-up comedy show in your city. It is an excellent gift for couples, which is often an inexpensive and fun experience. You can also check StubHub and Ticketmaster for fantastic events.

UNDER $50. PRICE FOR 2: FROM $40 TO $90

28. Escape room 

Escape rooms challenge participants to solve puzzles with their teammates to get out of the room.

Each escape room is unique and has its theme – from spy adventures and casino heists to prison breaks, haunted houses, desert islands, and more. 

Most cities host several escape room options. Do a quick search and find what is available for you. 

See the top 10 Escape Rooms in the US on Tripadvisor.

UNDER $50. PRICE FOR 2: FROM $45 TO $90

29. Movie tickets

Movie tickets are probably the ultimate and most affordable gift for couples of all ages. It is an inexpensive non-physical gift. It will be a pleasant surprise if you know someone who is not going to the cinema too often, especially if you pick a kick-ass movie. Check online or at Eventful what’s currently in the cinemas.

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $20 TO $50


Non-Materialistic Gift Ideas: For Kids


30. A new sport 

Kids love to try new things, so consider getting a class for a new sport. It can be swimming, football, gymnastics, etc.

If you want to find something close by, you can check Thumbtack.com. Just write your zip code and the activity, and see what will appear.

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $20 TO $80

31. Art class 

There are various art classes for kids, such as pottery making, drawing, acting, etc. Check Kidpass.com for activities in your area. The prices vary depending on the class and where you live, but I’m sure you can find something cool and affordable.

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $20 TO $100

art class gift

32. Music lessons

A fantastic experience gift idea for kids, too. They can either learn how to play a specific instrument, or it can be a singing class. You can check your local area for classes.

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $15 TO $80

33. Conversation starter cards 

Turn a mason jar into a conversation jar by filling it with family conversation starter cards

UNDER $30. PRICE: $10 

34. Amusement park

Not every city has one, but it might be a fun experience gift if there is one nearby. Try to see if you have some close-by options. Check this article with the Top 25 Amusement Parks in the US. 

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $50 TO $100

35. Scavenger hunt 

You can organize a scavenger hunt for your kids & their friends for B-days or other holidays. A scavenger hunt doesn’t require much, and it is an affordable and fun indoor or outdoor activity. You can get over 20 scavenger hunt ideas & maps here.

FREE

36. Symbolic animal adoption 

If you have a niece or nephew that’s crazy about animals, you can symbolically adopt an animal for them. Many organizations offer the adoption and protection of animals for endangered species, including elephants, sloths, penguins, baby orangutans, etc.

These adoptions generally come with a plush animal, an image of the animal, exclusive adoptive parents-only events, the monkey’s story, a certificate for adoption, etc. Animal lovers of all ages will go wild for this adorable adoption package.   

For more details, Check Wild Futures UK or Born Free USA.

UNDER $80. PRICES FROM $40+


Non-Materialistic Gift Ideas: For Parents


37. Spa day

A spa day might be an ideal option for an experience gift for your parents.

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $35 TO $90

38. Museum card 

 A museum membership is a great gift if your parents enjoy art or history.

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $20 TO $60

39. A lovely dinner

A lovely dinner is always a pleasant surprise, especially if you prepare your parent’s favorite dishes. 

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $20 TO $60

lunch experience gift
A lovely lunch with friends we went to visit

40. Tickets for a musical 

If your folks like musicals, then you can’t go wrong with that. 

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $50 TO $100

41. Photo album

While this idea is between materialistic and non-materialistic gifts, I think most parents/grandparents will love it if you create a customized photo book for them with family pictures. 🙂

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $15 TO $50

42. Book a sailing trip/cruise 

This is on the pricier side but can make an amazing gift for your parents who loves the ocean and would love a couple of relaxing days in the open sea. 

PRICES FROM $100+

43. Day trip

A day trip to a nearby location can be a fantastic gift that will be remembered much better than some material gift. Look for unique nearby destinations that you can visit and make a small family trip. 

UNDER $50. PRICES FROM $50 TO $100

day trip gift
Daytrip to Plitvice lakes, Croatia

Non-Material Gifts For Anyone:


44. Bowling 

Bowling is a super affordable fun activity, making it a great non-material gift idea for both kids & adults.

UNDER $50

45. Restaurant gift card

If you know your friend, girlfriend, or boyfriend wants to go to a new restaurant, you can surprise them with a gift card. Or, if you know their favorite place, you can’t go wrong by bringing them there.

PRICES FROM $100

46. Consumables

There are SO many excellent consumable items you can gift to someone. The best part is that once the gift is “consumed,” there won’t be anything left to collect dust.

That type of clutter-free gift is fantastic for minimalists, people interested in simple living, last-moment gifts, or people you don’t know. Some consumable gift ideas include: 

For more ideas, check my list of 41 of the best consumable gifts.

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $10 TO $30

47. A trip to another city or country

Exploring a new spot, city, or even state is a fantastic non-physical gift that can be affordable. Buying a train/bus ticket to somewhere they’ve never been or always wanted to go is a cool gift idea.

UNDER $100. PRICES FROM $30 – $100

trip to another country
A day trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia

48. A letter

Write a handmade letter and send thoughtful handwritten notes to friends and family. If you need a little help, consider getting the LITTLE LETTERS series – they have many great letters with prompts, ideal for your mum, dad, grandparent, friend, etc. 

UNDER $30. PRICES FROM $10

49. DIY coupon

DIYing a coupon can be a fun and thoughtful experience gift. It can be for a free homemade meal, a free foot or back massage, or a coffee gift card. For example, a friend gifted a coffee gift card to another friend (image below); it was a cute & fantastic gift that was highly appreciated. 

UNDER $30

diy gift card
A DIY coffee gift card my friend made

50. Audible gift card 

If you have friends, who love reading but don’t want to accumulate tons of books, consider gifting them Audible membership. It is an inexpensive and great gift, ideal for people who travel a lot and listen to podcasts & audiobooks. 

UNDER $30. FROM $15 TO $100+

51. Hypno-therapy session 

Тhis may sound a bit too edgy. However, hypnosis can be beneficial for various reasons. It is a state in which a person is aware and highly focused, with an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestions.

A single session can help control and prevent undesired behaviors, such as smoking, help cope with anxiety and stress, or help to reach desired goals, such as losing weight.

If you know someone open to trying new things and you believe hypnotherapy can benefit them, consider gifting them a session.

UNDER $100

52. Picnic 

Gifting a picnic experience can be a romantic and fun way to spend a few hours together. The options of where to go are endless! Pack some of their favorite treats and drinks and go to a nearby park, beach, or rooftop.

UNDER $50. FROM $30 TO $50

picnic gift
Picnic in our local park on a warm spring day

53. Plant a tree 

Instead of the same old gifts for any big day in your family or friend’s life, why don’t you plant a gift tree?

This gift is ideal for your eco-conscious friends, minimalists, and people who love nature. If you do it with The Gifted Tree, they will send a beautiful handmade paper certificate.

UNDER $80. FROM $29 TO $69

Sum up

Giving experiences rather than things is frequently much more valuable, and people tend to appreciate it more.

I hope this list of non-materialistic & non-physical gifts gave you some cool & unusual ideas to surprise your close ones. 🙂

Feel free to share in the comments below which is your favorite non-materialistic gift or if I missed a cool one!


Infographic with all 53 non-materialistic gift ideas:

non materialistic gift ideas infographic

5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the list of good suggestions.
    Just a small thing… The reference to the “old folks” in the musical section just doesn’t feel right. Especially because we Old Folks in long-term relationships very often look for non-material gifts.

  2. The content of this article is good but the organization is a nightmare. Half of the space is stock images that make scrolling through the list a chore – I didn’t make it more than 25% through.

    1. Hi Erin. I appreciate the feedback. I agree with you – I don’t particularly like to use stock images, but sometimes I do it because I don’t have proper images for some of my articles. However, I’ve removed all stock images and added a couple of my own. I hope it is more bearable now. 🙂 I also added an infographic with all the gift ideas in the end, so you can stroll down and see everything at once.

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