Birthday gift (vouchers?) ideas for my brother who will be traveling in Europe this summer

#1

So my brother’s birthday is coming up in a couple weeks and I’ve been trying to come up with gift ideas. Since he and his spouse will be traveling in Europe for at least a couple weeks in June, I thought it’ll be a good idea to give him a gift of experience instead of tangible items. They are both experienced travelers, but this will be my brother’s first time in Europe.
As far as I know they will be visiting Ibiza, Rome/Milan, somewhere in Switzerland, maybe Greece, definitely Paris, and potentially London.
My brother loves food and cooking and has recently started a foodie vlog, so I thought maybe a gift certificate for food tour/cooking class in Rome or Paris may be a good idea. Problem is I don’t quite know the exact dates they’ll be there.

Does anyone here have experience with food tours/cooking classes in Rome and/or Paris? Can you share your experience? What other birthday gift ideas do you have?

Thanks a lot!

#2

I don’t have any experience with food tour/cooking classes in Rome and/or Paris but you’d save yourself some tense moments if you had an open-date gift voucher. Gift certificates generally don’t have a set date, unless it’s for an event (which you mentioned). Personally, I’d send a gift certificate for a bookshoppe, maybe a gift voucher for the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore if they intend to be in Paris. I loved that bookstore, it was one of the highlights of my trip.
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#3

BritRail or EurRail Pass cannot be topped!

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#4

It pains me to say this, but they are not book people and generally don’t go to bookstores if they can help it. :cry:

#5

Good heavens, heretics!

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#6

Hi nagnabodha,

I do have some recommendations—they might be slightly farther afield but 100% worth it. I recently did the Culinary Backstreets culinary walk in Naples (super quick, easy train ride from Rome — could even make it a day trip!). It’s outstanding, and while it’s not a cooking class, it’s a totally immersive culinary experience… you get to see behind-the-scenes in kitchens, taste the city’s best food, and spend time with people who really know the place and people. Culinary Backstreets also offers culinary walks in Athens, which I would equally recommend. These tend to be half-day activities, and well worth the money. You could definitely contact them and book as a gift for your brother. That would be my recommendation! (P.S. I work on the Atlas Obscura Trips team, and we collaborate closely with Culinary Backstreets, so I’ve gotten to see the quality of their experiences first-hand, and am continually impressed.)

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#7

That complicates things a bit … what kind of voucher in particular ? what sort of things do they like ? In terms of London there are a lot of options (Museums , theatre , art galleries , guided tours etc. ) but I can’t really say for the other countries as I have never visited them except for France/Paris ( There is probably much more you can do with a voucher there then London) and Spain ( never Ibiza though as it is my idea of hell).

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#8

This is a great recommendation! Thank you :slight_smile:

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#9

Le Cordon Bleu Gift certificate to buy a gift voucher for a culinary workshop in Paris

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#10

The only time I have had my pocket picked was in Paris: I didn’t feel a thing. We Americans do not learn to steal by finesse; we much prefer to stuff a gun in someone’s face and growl, “gimme yer money.” That, we understand very well, and generally comply. Since then I have used a sling billfold for my money, cards, and passport. It hangs from your neck, and goes under your shirt between purchases. I have not lost a penny in Europe or Asia since I got it, and recommend it highly.

#11

Too bad you don’t have dates, but maybe contact these people & ask about a pre-paid voucher. Sounds really cool.
https://www.inromecooking.com/en/tour/popes-farm/full-day-papal-cooking-experience-shared.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwwtTmBRBqEiwA-b6c_7DrZrBUl84eDjvKzVUWv9wswSJa2xA0ZvNH0XGKC9TalTMwdMdKVRoCkoMQAvD_BwE

#12

Culinary Backstreets for sure!

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