Let me ask you a quick question, without too much effort think back to last year’s Christmas or your birthday.
What did you get for presents and from whom?
Struggling to remember? Or were they impersonal and quickly thrown in the donation bag for the Salvation Army?
What if there were ways to create memories for those that are hard to shop for?
What do you buy the person who has everything?
Have you thought about giving the gift of travel?
During this holiday season, as you wait in those never ending lines at the mall, or anxiously await cyber deals to drop into your inbox to commence shopping, consider that for most people, the interest in material goods only lasts a few months, maybe a year at best. And that is if you know exactly what to buy that special person that they haven’t bought for themselves. If you find this similar situation playing out on an annual or semi-annual basis for your family, friends, and loved ones, consider opting to provide them an experience instead. It can be the best way to create memories that extend beyond just the trip or the holiday you spent together. Those memories can be powerful connections for those separated by distance, they can help you grow closer to them, even if you see them every day, or they can help create traditions that have the potential to carry on throughout generations.
As a family, we do our best to spend every other Christmas traveling together. And since Jeremy and I are so far away, it is an awesome time to spend with our friends and families usually in a tropical (read: warm, sunny, hot) location or on a cruise ship. We forego the giving of gifts and spend it on traveling together and we continue to give each other the gift of lifelong memories.
So, let’s fast forward to Christmas Day, to a birthday, graduation or retirement party. The excitement of opening a gift is certainly memorable. The anticipation, the wonder, the gratitude are all present (pun intended). But, by giving the gift of travel not only do they get the enjoyment and pleasure of opening a gift, but that pleasure continues to build as the trip nears, and ultimately end up traveling to some faraway place they only dreamed, or re-visiting a locale to rekindle memories of the past.
That brings me to some top ideas for giving the gift of travel:
- Honeymoons: many newlyweds are not in a financial position to afford that dream vacation to celebrate their nuptials; however, you can help give them with that gift. Something that Jeremy and I constantly reflect on is the generosity of our family when we were first married to allow us to experience two fantastic destinations in one trip. It was definitely something that we couldn’t have afforded on our own, and the gift of travel made it possible.
- Graduation: your college grad has worked their butt off for the past few years, dedicating themselves to achieving the goal of graduating, and travel can be a great way for them to celebrate, but also to make the transition into the next stage of life. Some of the top locations to consider are the Caribbean (especially Jamaica and the Dominican Republic), Europe (France and Italy), and
- Retirement: for an employee or co-worker who has dedicated a better part of their working lives to your company or the company you both work for, giving the gift of travel is an awesome way to send them off. I can’t think of a better way to start your retirement than with a trip around the world, a 14 day Mediterranean Cruise, or even a short trip to Vegas.
- Passport/TSA Pre Check/Global Entry: For those who haven’t traveled internationally, or who have the desire to travel more one of the first road blocks to travel are international travel documents. But, they are also great gifts for your frequent flyers that spend a lot of time in the airport. All three of these, provide access and expedite the travel process, making the whole trip that much more enjoyable. (Hint: we’ll be publishing a blog specifically on TSA Pre-Check & Global Entry soon!)
- Family Vacation: since we are across the country from our family, we are huge fans of this type of gift. In fact, we’ve coordinated trips with different family members from both sides of our families, meeting in exotic destinations and enjoying the sights and sounds together. They are memories that have lasted the longest, and help us close the miles and miles of gap between us every day. However, even if you live right next door, one of the best ways to grow closer and escape the everyday routines that develop is to give the gift of travel for a family vacation. I can’t think of a better way to get to know your mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren better than going on vacation and experiencing new things together in a faraway place.
- Airline Tickets: it sometimes goes overlooked, but one of the most expensive parts of traveling is the airfare and what they don’t tell you is that it is also one of the most frustrating parts of booking travel. Everyone loves to look at the beautiful pictures, get wrapped in the excursions, and lost in the endless options to see, seek, and do while on vacation. However, if you want to be a gift giving MVP consider giving the gift of travel through airfare gift cards. They are available through almost all major airlines and can help significantly lower the total cost of the trip, but also reduce the headache and hassle of having to sacrifice flight times and airline seats due to sticker shock or extra fees that airlines are famous for tacking on at the end of booking a flight.
How have you given the gift of travel? If it’s something you haven’t considered previously, try it out and see how it can be the gift that keeps on giving.
If you’ve been inspired to give the gift of travel, Plan Your Perfect Vacation offers travel gift certificates in any denomination. Click here to contact Samantha today!