Thoughtful gift giving is one of the hardest tasks on our Christmas to-do list, despite its status as a defining feature of the seasonal holiday cheer. We’ve got a bold gift idea that will show you aren’t limited to material goods alone.
That person who has everything? Give them something they didn’t even know they wanted. Want to give gifts that people will remember you by? How about giving them actual memories instead.
Consider giving the gift of travel. As an extremely versatile gift idea, there are several ways you can go about putting together the perfect package for your friends, family or that special someone. We’ve covered some ways that you can go about giving travel packages or even local activities as exciting and thoughtful gifts that will provide an experience as opposed to a material good (not that we don’t like material gifts as well).
Scope of the Gift
The great thing about this gift idea is that you can adjust the scope of the gift to your own budget. You probably won’t be giving your next door neighbor an all-expenses paid week-long trip to Bali (you’ll be buying that for yourself), no matter how many times they’ve lent you sugar or brought over your newspaper. You could, however, encourage a little local travel by giving them a gift certificate to fun local activities, like tickets to a show, dinner at a nice restaurant downtown or a day of jet-skiing at a nearby lake, river or beach (age and lifestyle dependent, of course).
For your parents or in-laws, however, consider booking flights or a nice hotel (or both) for a weekend getaway. You can find great deals on weekend vacation packages—just be sure to scour the web for reviews and comparisons. If the gift receiver loves luxury as much as you do, remember to meet your own standards or even higher. Top-notch cuisine, accommodations or activities will show that you’ve not only put in thought, but that you actually care.
Perhaps you need a gift for someone whom you know is already going on a big trip this year. Consider enriching their experience by buying them add-ons, e.g. a dinner, a show or snorkeling near their destination (after receiving inside intel as to their exact itinerary, of course), or perhaps a spa package at the hotel where they’ll be staying.
Gift searching for your special someone? Impress and dazzle them with a completely planned romantic getaway that matches your interests and lifestyles. You could try a weekend resort stay a two-hour drive away or hop down to a neighboring country for some extra romantic effort.
If you need some more ideas to get you started, here are a few travel packages we’ve found that would be excellent as gifts:
For our UK readers, cover flights and hotel for your in-laws in Expedia’s travel package to Paris with a stay at the lovely 4-star modern-meets-1920’s Parisian hotel, the R. Kipling. The package includes two return flights (original departure from London) and 3 nights at the R. Kipling, which is conveniently located near Moulin Rouge, the Basilica de Sacre-Couer, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Galeries Lafayette.
Surprise! The East Coast (U.S.) makes wine too! Small, local vineyards avoid the big biz competition with California winemakers by specializing and focusing sales in the local region. Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck, New York, pictured above, makes its wines from organic grapes and has excellent reviews for personalized wine tasting experiences. Set up a wine tasting for your girl friends or Aunt May at a nearby vineyard for a unique, exclusive local experience. Gents, this can easily be altered to a brewery bonanza.
Just be sure to double check all dates and times on the sly prior to organizing the itinerary. The last thing you want to do is stress someone out who’s already busy and can hardly schedule their own lunch, much less a trip. If you’re considering a gift for someone like this, try to find more flexible options, like an open end round-trip ticket or a gift voucher.
If you’ve pulled off an excellent travel package gift before, we’d love to hear about it! Leave us a comment below. As always, feel free to contact us directly if you’re interested in some more ideas.