I promise you – the avid traveler in your life has a drawer full of portable battery chargers. While these can be life-savers when you’re out all day sightseeing and that dreaded low-battery notice comes up on your smartphone, they have more than they need. The same goes for travel pillows. Try something different this year for the travel-lover in your life. Give them a gift you know they can use and appreciate. Here are a few they’ll love, and that you can purchase up to a few days before Christmas.
Airbnb Gift Cards
My husband became somewhat of a traveling salesman this year as he flew around the country marketing his publishing platform to PR firms. He chose to stay in Airbnbs exclusively, enjoying their homey feel, prime locations and in some cases, the company of the owners who showed him great local hangout spots. He stayed in a condo in Tallahassee, a horsefarm in Columbus, Ohio, and a highrise in Cleveland.
Airbnb has properties in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. Chose from rooms in an apartment to a castle in the countryside. Our neighbor rents our his three-bedroom treehouse and is one of the most desired properties in the world. Purchase a personalized Airbnb card online in amounts starting at just $25.
Airline Gift Cards
Contribute towards their next flight by purchasing an airline gift card. The beauty of these cards is they do not have fees, do not go down in value and do not expire. While a physical card may be shipped in two days or overnight for a fee, many have the option of a virtual card with an email and PIN sent to the recipient. Some grocery stores and other retailers sell airline gift cards as well.
The big caveat with these is to make sure it’s an airline the recipient travels on. My daughter lives in Houston, and she and her husband primarily fly United or Southwest. For my friends in my hometown of Atlanta, Delta is a safe choice.
Creditcards.com identified five American airlines offered by major U.S. airlines. These include American Airlines ($50-$1,500), Southwest ($10-$1,000), Delta ($50-$1,000) Alaska ($25-$500) and Hawaiian Airlines ($50-$2,000)
Travel-related Subscription Boxes
Subscriptions boxes are a relatively new product – Birchbox was a pioneer with its beauty-related boxes launched in 2010. Now there are more than 2,000, which includes several in the travel space.
Try the World specializes in delivering gourmet food products from around the world, focusing on a different country each month. Its Signature Box includes a Culture Guide “to help you create an authentic culinary experience at home.” That box starts at $39 a month, while a smaller snack box starts at $19.
Globein features products sourced from artisans around the planet. Each box includes information about the artists who made the crafts, and the company’s mission is to employ artisans in remote areas. Choose a three-, six- or 12-month subscription starting at $35 a month.
Tauck eGift Card
My first riverboat cruise was with Tauck World Discovery, along the inland waters of Belgium and the Netherlands. I fell in love with both this form of travel and the family-owned tour company.
In addition to the river cruises, Tauck’s products include land journeys, small ship cruises and Tauck Bridges family adventures. The company partners with BBC Earth on Earth Journeys on trips to Asia, Africa, Antartica, Latin America and North America. Guests get hands-on use of field equipment to see how BBC filmmakers capture footage.
Tauck also partners with Ken Burns on American Journeys, trips based on themes of his films. These include California’s Gold Coast, America’s Canyonlands, The Hudson Valley and Legends of the American West.
Card amounts start at $50.
Airline Lounge Passes
Consider giving the gift of a one-day airline pass for your friends who don’t already have access to one. The Club Airport Lounge pases are $40 and include access to lounges in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, Seattle and San Jose.
Amenities include free snacks and drinks (including alcohol), TVs, wifi access, workstations and shower facilities.