Are you on the hook for just a few more last-minute gifts to your traveling better half? Your hobby may make it easy!
One unexpected benefit of the travel addiction has been the metamorphosis of the annual wish list for both birthdays and Christmas. The search for the right gift has always been a challenge for me even if the results say differently. My wife is kind enough to tell me I do a great job of gift-giving but she’s my wife and that would be a customary response. The fact that many significant others seem to barely keep track of these actual dates means I’m at least one step ahead.
Prior to our jet setting days I would mire through the countless sale papers looking for that unique gift. Like most husbands and boyfriends out there, the simple purchase always led to the jewelry stores. It was also the safe choice because it exhibited the cost incurred for such a gift. It is the version of the deep exhale for a man and seemingly a present that could deflect any criticism. And then we started traveling.
Now the focus has changed. The mere mention of jewelry prompts the, now, automatic response that I assume I always wanted to hear. Couldn’t we take a trip for that same amount of money…or even two? It’s a Christmas Miracle! A trip can not only be viewed as present but it continues this savage thirst for adventure that we all suffer. You would think this would make the whole buying experience a bit easier to manage, but in fact it has become a little harder.
Trips don’t occur all of the time and when you are a budget traveler the itineraries must fall in line with a series of what-ifs. Our travel comes down to point accumulation, vacation days, flexibility in scheduling and many other caveats that must be addressed. So, where booking a trip every time a holiday comes around sounds simple enough, it doesn’t occur nearly as often. But it does limit the scale of buying as anything with a large price tag could be considered frivolous compared to a frivolous trip to the Caribbean. That type of frivolous is allowed.
For the travelers you must get creative with your hobby. There are plenty of gift options for the traveler out there, more than can be counted. From luggage to clothes to trinkets of all sorts, you can still find a gift that is not only thoughtful but relevant to your interests. And yes, there is travel themed jewelry options for a bit of “just in case” thinking. But in the essence of saving money for the things that really matter, trips that is, here some ideas that can go a long way. A safety net approach to gift buying for your significant other never hurts and when time is short, finding the best deal on the best site may not be an option unless you have Amazon Prime. Even Prime days are dwindling so think more of the bookstore down the road. Being that Christmas and Hanukkah is literally around the corner, it’s so much of where to order but where to pick up. And the ideas that follow can be found easily and for your travel partner, will be viewed as a thoughtful gift.
The Gift of Memories and the Written Word
Journals are still an ideal gift option. We have become a society that is obsessed with technology and the interaction with travel has caused a decline of sorts in the written word. The fact that journals still sell reflects the nature of the hobby itself. Written documentation of your journeys still ranks high, not only from a personal level but from a sincerity standpoint as well. Pen on paper may never go out of style and the gift itself implies that the journey is just beginning. Journals can be found at just about any retail store and some of the higher end versions, even cheap ones that look high end can be found at bookstores.
Books on travel adventures, insights and simple guide books have made quite the comeback over the last couple years. Yes, an app can accomplish what a guidebook can but holding a book in your hand may never go out of style. And what better way to announce a trip than a present opened with that handpicked city staring back at you. And what better way to symbolize the pent-up joy of telling other people “I’ve been there” without actually saying it. Nothing beats bragging without actually bragging. That’s something your tablet can’t do. Go to any bookstore for a vast selection of these and you could even opt for large format coffee table books that can be a soft brag for places you’ve been!
Comfort and Convenience
Comfort and convenience gifts rank very high on the can’t miss travel list. With more steps taken by airlines to decrease comfort for the coach passenger, every little thing in your arsenal to increase your happiness is much appreciated. Think travel pillows, my favorite being the J pillow, and compact blankets, clothing. You can even get pricey with some noise cancelling headphones (be sure to use your favorite shopping portal of course) or even some luggage that typically you would never dream of spending so much money. But for a holiday and to achieve the WOW factor, upsizing your spend never hurts, and can bring the same response to a traveler as jewelry can to others. Check out the higher end stores for these options as we close in on the big date as you may be surprised to find many of these on discount now.
Security items are not the flashiest of gifts but have the shelf life that matters. From passport and wallet protectors to hidden pocket clothing and portable safes (great option, as Cousin Eddie would say, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving”. I can’t say I would be disappointed with the gift of Global Entry or TSA Pre-check at any time either. As a matter of fact, a yearly pass to an airport lounge may hold the most bang for the buck for those unlucky to have a credit card with this option. You think a diamond will give you jealous looks? Just wait until they see you walk in the Airline Club to gnash on some food and get inebriated for free to kick off the holidays. Be creative with how you present these as you merely have to offer the intention, not necessarily the club passes themselves. You do it with Groupon don’t you?
Not so Fast
Finally, I must admit there is a time for jewelry in every man’s life as the go-to gift. Travel addiction doesn’t completely abolish the glitter of diamonds and gold but it does offer alternatives. Even my wife will admit she loves jewelry but not enough to take away from any experiences we may enjoy in the future. It’s led me to be more creative in my gift giving but that’s a good thing, because the thought really does count for many.