8 ways to celebrate your closest friendships with Virgin Points
Friendship is the spice of life – a special kind of seasoning that brings flavour and delight wherever you choose to sprinkle it. And, if the events of the pandemic haven’t been enough to show how important our pals are, science is clear on the point.
According to research from Virgin Pulse, having close friends that you trust and love is a great way of dealing with stress, and promoting general wellbeing. The feel-good effect they bring over a lifetime helps us live longer, with significantly higher levels of happiness, according to an 80-year Harvard study on the topic.
Below we’ve picked out eight excellent ways to spend time with the most important men and women in your life – all using points on an adventure from Virgin Red, the new rewards club from Virgin.
For your core friendship group: a dome stay with huskies – 42,500 points
Gather your loved ones for this unique one-night dome stay for four at the Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation. Available via a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Chrome Collection, this spectacularly cosy escape involves plenty of scope for your crew to catch up over wine and chatting, far away from life’s distractions. The highlight comes with a huskies experience the next day, where you’ll get to hang out with these gorgeous sled dogs and learn all about their breed and history from experienced handlers.
For your sporty mates: a paintballing day for four – 7,750 points
If you want to take your friendship beyond the pitch, Virgin Red’s paintballing for four reward could be the answer. Think a day-long forest foray full of stealth and strategy to eliminate the enemy – who’s always closer than you think. Like football or rugby, you’ll work as a team to hold your nerve and deliver a triumph; only this time it’s paintballs that’ll bring home the glory.
For your childhood bestie: a ring-making workshop with prosecco – 26,000 points
For an evening out with a twist, try this pretty darn special workshop hosted by the folks over at Posh Totty Designs (available via a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Ebony Collection). You and a plus one will get to make your own personalised sterling silver rings with the support of expert jewellers – and with prosecco on the side to boot. A great chance to get creative and shoot the breeze with an old friend, in a relaxed and intimate setting. After you’re done designing, your ring will be cast into sterling silver: the perfect memento to your friendship.
For the foodie in your life: a boutique chocolate-making workshop – 17,500 points
It’s many a foodie’s dream to be a fully fledged chocolatier, and this boutique workshop gets one step closer to the fantasy. Pair up with the foodie friend you can always rely on to be your partner-in-crime, and roll your sleeves up for this truly fabulous masterclass. Available with a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Scarlet Collection, it involves cutting, dipping and decorating your own handmade chocolates over a day of ganache-fuelled goodness. Nom-nom.
For a bonding adventure getaway: glamping escape with axe throwing – 42,500 points
If you and your gang just need time away to let off steam, this two-night Somerset escape for four may well do the trick. Limber up for a 60-minute axe throwing session, which will teach you everything you need to know about this ancient – and surprisingly satisfying – sport. The experience includes a stay in a charming glamping pod overlooking a local wildlife sanctuary. Wilderness + axe wielding = what could possibly go wrong? Available via a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Red Virgin Experience Days’ Chrome Collection.
For the friend who needs a little pampering: champagne afternoon tea – 8,750 points
Let’s get real: the past 18 months have been a right slog for many people, and we all have friends who require some serious cheering up. For such occasions, a champagne afternoon tea in Solberge Hall Hotel, a mansion overlooking the Yorkshire Dales, is only right. Dig into homemade cakes, scones and a side line of bubbly with this afternoon out for two, available via a Virgin Red voucher from Virgin Experience Days’ Amber Collection – and immediately feel better about life.
For your very best man/woman: reward flights to Barbados – 20,000+ points per person*
The number one person in your life deserves a reminder now and again that they are exactly that. And occasionally that reminder involves a getaway somewhere tropical for the two of you: no demands, deadlines, partners or kids. If you can manage the time out together, Barbados seems like a natural destination point for your adventure a deux; a faraway land brimming with balmy beaches, palm trees and sunset cocktails aplenty. Tempted? Virgin Red’s reward flights to the Caribbean start from 20,000+ points* a piece.
For the new pal you’re getting to know: a helicopter buzz flight – 17,500 points
Making new friends as an adult is a bit like dating. There are so many unsaid rules, and the ever-present fear of looking too keen. But nothing says ‘let’s get to know each other’ like a helicopter buzz flight for two, available with a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Scarlet Collection. Forget about any residue awkwardness and dive straight into this thrilling experience – a bonding journey like no other.
* Taxes, fees and carrier imposed surcharges apply to all Virgin Red reward flights. Points based on off-peak rates.