It’s the holidays again, and that means the pressure of finding the perfect gifts for loved ones. Uncertainty about sizing and fit makes clothing a difficult choice, appliances or house-hold items are too impersonal, food and wine too fleeting. What’s a determined and generous gift-giver to do?
How about the gift of travel? It is certainly unique—but is giving a vacation in real life a good idea, or a dream driven by movies and sitcoms?
People are increasingly valuing experiences over material possessions. A recent study showed that a vacation is recalled as one of the most extraordinary and memorable life experiences, right behind milestones like a wedding or the birth of a child. Memories of a trip are often cherished long after the material gifts have been lost, broken or expired in their usefulness.
There are some rules to follow when giving the gift of travel. Take these tips from the experienced travel professionals:
- 1. Consider a travel gift certificate. Unless you are certain of the recipient’s calendar and availability, a gift certificate towards a vacation is the best idea because it makes the gift flexible and open-ended and gives the receiver the ability to choose all the details best suited for them. Mann Travels’ vacation specialist Robin Lrehzzioui sells travel gift certificates to her clients all the time. “I create a nice certificate for them,” she explains, “and suggest they couple it with a travel guidebook, a journal or a travel accessory for a great presentation.”
- 2. Honeymoons are another great way to give the gift of travel. If you know the destination, you can add an experience to that trip that they may not have considered. Maybe it’s a couple’s massage at the hotel or a gift card to a local restaurant they wouldn’t otherwise splurge on. Its helpful to call the travel agent planning the honeymoon to coordinate your surprise and avoid any duplication.
- 3. Some young travelers may not have a passport, and taking care of that expense for someone about to embark on an international journey is a great and thoughtful gift idea. You can’t actually get a passport for someone else, but you can download the forms and give them the $110 fee so they can become a globetrotter!
- 4. Multi-generational travel is extremely popular and the holidays can be a great way to announce plans to take the family on a vacation. Whether it’s Disney or a ski vacation, providing family members the opportunity to look forward to that kind of experience together is priceless. Those memories will be shared for a lifetime.
However you decide to give the gift of travel, make sure you speak with a travel professional so all the details are covered and everyone has a happy holiday season!