The time to buy for the holiday season is quickly winding down as we’re only a week away from Christmas. If you’ve waited until the last minute to shop for the travel fanatic in your life, don’t despair, as you still have some time.
The fact of the matter is that most travelers tend to live minimally anyway, and while gifts to help them travel better or to encourage their wanderlust are always appreciated, not everyone needs more “stuff.”
So instead of finding a way to send a physical item at the eleventh hour, consider giving your favorite traveler one of the following easy last-minute gifts instead.
You can also check out our 2014 Gift Guide for Long-Term Travelers, which has 33 items that are Amazon Prime eligible (noted in the description), so you still have time to get them before Christmas!
BootsnAll Travel Gift Certificates
Give the gift of travel this holiday season. BootsnAll is offering gift certificates to be used on Indie - our multi-stop flight finder. If you know someone who is planning a big excursion, help them out with their biggest expense - the flights!
Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificates
Invite the traveler to stay at more than 4,000 B&Bs and inns in the United States and Canada when you purchase a Bed and Breakfast Gift Card. The cards have free shipping, no hidden fees, no blackout dates, no expiration dates, and never decrease in value. In addition to the card, the recipient will receive a directory with all of the eligible properties listed.
Despite the fact that they are constantly on the go, travelers have a lot of down timer. Magazines are generally lightweight, easy to read in small durations of time, and simple to pass off to other travelers. Plus many magazines now offer them on tablets, so if your travel lover has an iPad or similar, they can access them from anywhere. Check out magazines like National Geographic Traveler, among others.
Photo book gift certificates
Chances are good that the traveler in your life takes a lot of photos. Help them turn those digital files into visual memories they can hang on the wall or compile into a glossy coffee table book. Photo printing companies like Snapfish and Mixbook offer gift cards in various denominations, so your favorite traveler can do more with his or her photos than just posting them on Facebook.
Give the gift of an experience this year when you buy a gift certificate for one of many adventure tour companies. It’s best not to book a specific tour as travelers will have preferences regarding what dates and types of experiences they are most interested in; a gift card can give the traveler the flexibility to choose his or her own. Many companies offer a multitude of tours, though, so chances are very good that the recipient will certainly find something that piques his or her interest.
Gift cards for electronic devices
Because travelers have a tendency to pack light, many of them carry electronic equipment such as iPods, iPads, and e-readers. Gift cards for iTunes allow travelers to restock their music supply, while those to Amazon.com allow the recipient to buy reading material for the road.
There are now Groupons available in hundreds of cities across the United States and Canada offering 50 to 90 percent savings on dining, entertainment, and activities. Keep your eye on the Groupon deals for your recipient’s hometown or a city you know he or she will be visiting, then splurge on a fun activity or a dining experience. Once you buy the Groupon, the recipient generally has a few months to use it. Here’s an insider’s tip: Travelers can always use a massage after a long flight, so consider purchasing Groupons for spa services as well.
Airport lounge pass
If there’s one place with which travelers are intimately familiar, it’s the airport. Treat the traveler in your life to a comfortable layover with a pass to an airline’s lounge. These exclusive waiting areas offer several benefits that vary between lounges but often include free alcohol, snacks, wifi, and personalized service from airline employees. You buy lounge membership by the airline, not the airport, and while a yearly lounge membership pass generally costs around $450, you can purchase one-day passes on the airline of your choice
Travel gear gift cards
You can pretty much never go wrong with a gift card to your recipient's favorite store. Sure, it's not quite as personal as picking something out just for him or her, but if you don't know exactly what the person needs or the correct sizing, a gift card is the better, hassle-free option. Stores like REI and Moosejaw offer gift cards in various prices.
Make a donation
Many travelers have seen enough of the world to know how good they have it. If the traveler on your gift list has mentioned that they'd like to give back to the less fortunate around the world, skip the gift this year and instead make a donation in their name to a worthy cause. Give to Heifer International, a group that helps people become self-sufficient by providing them with farm animals. Or participate in micro-lending to small business owners around the world through Kiva. You can even help give someone else the gift of travel by donating to Matador's Youth Scholarship Fund, which gives low-income, urban high school students the opportunity to travel. Passports with Purpose is also a great organization which chooses one big project per year that helps out a local community.
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