What are some good travel gifts? Experiences that travelers can book for themselves

The newest trend of holiday gifts does not take up space in carry-on luggage and does not increase the weight of checked baggage.

It doesn’t even need to be packaged.

Instead of giving vacationers new travel gear – electronic organizers, Yeti thermoses, another airplane pillow – some people choose to travel on their own.

A survey computer company Adobe of more than 1,000 Americans showed that while 51% of respondents plan to buy physical gifts this holiday season, 17% plan to give an “experience” instead.

Respondents most often named spa treatments (25%) and concert tickets (25%), while others said they plan to give plane tickets (21%) and cooking lessons (16%) as gifts.

“Giving experience”, as you know, is not new. But this holiday season, it’s picking up steam as striving for minimalistic packaging converges with the pandemic that has made travel a top priority for many in 2022.

More experience, less bullshit

Migle Rakauskaite, Chief Marketing Manager of the Travel Experience website, said the pandemic is causing an increase in travel gift purchases.

“Giving traditions are changing,” she said. “People seem to appreciate the time they spend together and do something meaningful. Gifts for the experience are much more valuable than ordinary ‘things’. “

They are also lightweight. With just a few swipes on the keyboard, shoppers can experience experiences that once took time and coordination – a food tour of Vietnam, a hot air balloon ride outside Chicago, or a private gondola tour for two through the canals of Venice, Italy.’s “gift boxes” never expire, which played a “huge role” in the growth in purchases during the pandemic, Rakauskaite said.’s “Bucketlist” gift box ($ 239) allows recipients to choose from over 800 experiences, from a two-person surf lesson in Kona, Hawaii, to a minibus “chase” for the northern lights.

Photo of Piria | The moment of opening | Getty Images

Perhaps most importantly, recipients, not buyers, can choose the time and date that fits their schedule.

Tinggly solves the problem that some people can’t give intangible gifts – it sends a package for recipients to open it. Gift boxes can be mailed worldwide, although e-vouchers can also be sent to shoppers at the last minute, according to a company spokesperson.

Weekend getaway

For people who prefer to retire and relax on vacation, it is better to choose a weekend.

“Ski chalets, lakeside cabins and other homes are available as gifts on the Vrbo rental site,” said Alison Kwong, senior manager at the company. Once the home is booked, the buyer only needs to add the names of other travelers to the booking.

While Vrbo doesn’t have vouchers or gift cards, homes like this mountain hideaway in Park City, Utah can be booked for someone else, the company said.

Courtesy of Vrbo

Kwong encourages buyers to first think about which home is right for the recipient. This could be a house with a games room or home theater for families, or a mountain hut with direct access to the ski slopes for a group of friends.

“When you find a vacation home, you know they’ll like it… make sure the vacation home has the flexibility to cancel in case they need to change the dates of their stay,” she said.

Onefinestay rents an Adobe Old Town Overlook Mountain Chalet in Park City, Utah for approximately $ 895 a night.

Courtesy of One Fine Stay

Onefinestay, a rental website with homes and villas on “listings” of destinations such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Cayman Islands and the Italian Amalfi Coast, allows people to book homes as gifts.

Shoppers must confirm dates, credit card details and guest details prior to arrival, according to a company spokesperson.

Travelers and tourists

Those who prefer outdoor recreation can receive travel gifts booked through Camping

The website is similar to Airbnb for outdoor enthusiasts, connecting travelers with campgrounds, vacation car parks, ranches, and village resorts, many of which cost less than $ 50 a night.

Harvest Hosts members can avoid crowded campgrounds by parking their mobile homes at secluded wineries and farms during their travels.

francoporter | E + | Getty Images

Another option for mobile home owners is a gift membership to Harvest owners… Membership costs $ 99 per year and entitles you to overnight parking at no additional cost in over 2,700 locations throughout North America. According to the website, the sites here are unconventional and less crowded, including wineries, organic farms, and museums.

For $ 40, RV owners can also park their cars at hundreds of golf courses across the continent, according to a company spokesman.

Splurge on gifts

To be successful on this vacation, you can use the services of companies that combine home rental and concierge services.

The Nightfall Group can arrange to rent exotic vehicles such as the Ferrari 488 Spider while on vacation.

Agoes Rudianto | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Twilight group rents homes from Beverly Hills, California to the French Riviera.

Travelers can take advantage of services ranging from airport transfers and purchased groceries to aircraft and yacht charters. Chauffeurs, cooks, nannies, and butlers can also be booked through the Los Angeles-based company.

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