Birthday Ideas for Him: Vacations for the Man With Everything

Here are some money-can-buy birthday ideas for him.

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Plum Guide home Copper Cabana in Hackney, East London

We all know one. They come in every shape, size, age – and they all say there’s nothing they really want or need when it comes to gifts. They’re all liars (shock), but don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Spoiler: experiences are still the best gifts you can give him. They’re genuinely unique, something he can enjoy with someone else (maybe you) and in the unlikely event of him having a terrible time, there will be lots of photo opportunities to pretend otherwise.

The good news just keeps coming your way because we’ve done the heavy lifting for you – we’ve dined in the Michelin-starred restaurants, stayed in the Plum Guide-approved homes and fallen into every tourist trap going.

The result? We’re confident there’s something for every stereotype man in your life, here. So save your embarrassment (we tried the no gift approach for you, too) and have a read through this vacation gift guide to birthday ideas for him.

Barcelona vista Gaudi

Barcelona

The sportsman

Looking for the perfect gift for a sports fan? Barcelona is considered by many (Catalonians) to be the home of football – or fútbol, rather. We’re recommending you fly him here because we know this amazing little place where a friendly host will throw in free football tickets. Yes, you read that right: host Enric offers free tickets for Barcelona’s matches if you stay in his home, Gaudi’s Churchyard when there’s a game on. Oh, and did we mention the view? The windows of this humble home open directly onto the masterful façade of Sagrada Familia.

Gaudi's Churchyard, view, Barcelona

Tel Aviv

The weatherman

Booking a surprise trip for an erudite sun-worshipper? Imagine a city with the cultural and political intrigue of the Middle East, the weather of the Mediterranean and food that’s (arguably) better than both? It’s Tel Aviv. Compact and beach-laden, this city enjoys sunshine all year long, while the ancient streets and sprawling markets make for a cool and eclectic vibe. If lazing in the sun gets too much you can always take a day trip to the desert – or Jerusalem. Or the Dead Sea.

Cactus Culture, Plum Guide

Looking for somewhere special to stay? It’s oversized for two but last time we were here we stayed in Cactus Culture. This apartment is nestled in between Carmel Market and the beach in Kerem Hateimanim and has an abundance of terraces to enjoy views of the city. There’s an outdoor bathtub, a jacuzzi and even a friendly shark. Alexa, play the Jaws theme song.

Cactus Culture jacuzzi shark

Browse more remarkable apartments in Tel Aviv.

London

The foodie

If you’re looking to cook up a storm in the kitchen for the man in question, you’re in for a treat in Copper Cabana. This former ironmonger’s workshop in Hackney, East London makes for an unforgettable birthday culinary trip. There’s an indoor grill, an abundance of island space, as well as professional pots, pans and knives aplenty. The brass taps don’t match the copper kettle but hey, mistakes happen.

Copper Cabana kitchen with pla

Copper Cabana pots and pans

Not quite right? Plum Guide is the official selection of the world’s best stays. Each home on the platform has been personally vetted by an independent home critic so your high standards are met every time. Find your perfect stay in the official collection of the world’s best vacation homes.

Paris

The ro-man-tic

Yes, it’s a stereotype to attribute romance to Paris but ro-man-tic honestly felt too good to lose. We also happen to know this great little place you’re he’s going to love.

The Bilbury window, Paris

The Bilbury boasts sumptuous purple sofas, a marble fireplace flanked by chic geometric art and a designer staircase that leads up to a chill-out space with untouched views of Parisian rooftops. Speaking of views, they’re pretty great from every window here.

Rome

The Roman cameraman

Is the man in your life obsessed with taking photos? Don’t buy him a camera – it’s predictable, pretentious and likely to be the wrong one. Instead, take him on a trip with lots to take photos of – see where we’re going with this? Rome has it all, from imperial history and incredible works of art to cobblestone streets and quintessential charm. And of course, one of the most important reasons of all is, you've guessed it, the food.

We recommend you treat him to a stay in Desiderata. The Ruspoli family, who own the palace in Spagna, trace their lineage back to Marius Scotius, Charlemagne’s right-hand man.

Desiderata bedroom

‘Opulent’ barely begins to do Desiderata justice. Even though there’s only one bedroom, the flat tips 1500 square feet. Slabs of marble, vast oil paintings, hand-carved wood – if you can think of some signifier of old-world grandeur, the chances are you can find it here.

Desiderata

We bought the pasta machines and ravioli cutters in lockdown but it’s official: nothing compares to Rome. Here’s a food tour of Rome to guide you through eating in the eternal city.

Don’t worry if these birthday ideas for him haven’t been quite right. Plum Guide is home to the world’s best vacation homes – honestly, they pay independent home critics to test every home for you (it’s a real job – Google it), so we’re confident you’ll find one that suits you in their collection of the world’s best rental homes.

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