The Best Experience Days for 40th Birthdays

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I remember my Mum’s 40th birthday so clearly. Well; I remember the morning after clearly. My poor Mam was the most hungover she’d been in her entire life. Turns out if you’re a single G&T type of girl, drinking seven glasses of wine on an empty stomach isn’t a good idea. We had had a great party the night before in the local pub, even hired a DJ. I mean, that was what you did back then wasn’t it? Vol-au-vents and party sausages were the 40th birthday party staples.

Things have changed though haven’t they? I’m not sure whether it’s the advent of social media and our collective obsession with documenting our lives, or the pesky pandemic which has encouraged us to ‘max out’ on all our big occasions, now we’re allowed to have them again. I just recently celebrated my 40th, and it was a month long extravaganza of mini breaks and partying.

Even before the pandemic, I regularly heard of people surprising their partners with trips to New York, hiring private chefs, booking two week all-inclusive five star holidays; all in the name of celebrating the big 4-0.

But what happens if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to anything that, well, flash? With my husband’s 40th fast approaching and the budget of a freelance writer/Pilates Instructor not quite being what I’d like it to be… I’m getting creative! 

He’s told me he’d love an experience rather than a physical gift, so I’ve been doing some research on the best experience days in the UK. Anyone for bungee jumping?

Spas

Ok so maybe this wouldn’t be top of Rob’s list of experiences, but if you’re buying an experience day for someone who loves to be pampered, it’s a winner! Do your research by typing ‘discount spa days’ into Google and you’ll find a huge range of offers at a more affordable rate than on the spa’s own website. Having indulged in a fair amount of these discounted spa days, my top tip would be to book your visit for a Monday, Tuesday or a Wednesday. They’re usually much quieter days meaning it’ll be easier to get a lounger by the pool and you won’t feel so much on the treatment conveyor belt.

Cars

A spin in a super car is up there on the bucket list of most 40 year old men, playing into the mid-life crisis cliche! These race days can be pretty costly however there are ways to source them more cheaply. As well as checking out all the discount/money saving websites, try contacting your local car racing track as they often do deals direct which are more affordable than buying through a third party site.

Bars

Ok, a trip to the local pub is just not going to cut it for a 40th birthday experience these days. But if you’re buying for someone who’s a fan of a tipple, there are some amazing experience days out there where you can sniff, taste and even blend your own whisky, gin or wine. Experience Days offers more than 500 experiences/gifts across the UK and they have a great Food and Drink section. There are options for tasting tours all the way through to fine dining, so you should find something to suit your budget.

Adrenalin Junkies

There are people out there who get a huge buzz from feeling that they might imminently die. I am not one of those people! But if you’re sourcing experience days for an adrenaline junkie; you’re in luck! There are endless ways to scare yourself senseless and again the Experience Days website is a great place to start, they have a range of options starting at only a tenner for paintballing experiences right up to outdoor adventure weekends costing upwards of three hundred pounds.

Theatre

A trip to the theatre makes a really memorable 40th birthday present. Again, two tickets, plus the pre-requisite pre-show meal, can work out pretty costly. If you’re on a budget and can be flexible about which show you go to and when, getting return tickets on the day can save you a fortune! You have to hold your nerve and know that you’ll get tickets somewhere, you might just have to put in a bit of legwork on the day! Alternatively you could always buy your loved one theatre tokens, nifty little gift vouchers which can be used in theatres nationwide. Once they’ve got those, they can pick a date and a show which suits them!

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