Give the Gift of Travel this Holiday Season

When you give someone the gift of travel or make it possible for them to check off an incredible bucket-list moment during their trip, you're offering a present more long-lasting than the latest iPhone or the trendiest footwear. What you're really giving is memories to last a lifetime. In recent years, we are seeing more value placed on experiences over material possessions, with more people taking big trips than ever before. Gifting travel or travel perks fits nicely in this mindset, but with a gift so potentially emotional and hard to return, it's important to really know your recipient well and do your research.

Once you've decided that someone in your life will benefit from the gift of travel, here's how to do it well:

Get input from the recipient.

It's best to start by gathering some intel from your gift recipient – either with their knowledge or by asking a third party. Maybe they've already told you about an upcoming trip and you want to gift them an activity or service to make it more special. If you really want to gift a whole trip, then we recommend letting the recipient be a part of the travel plans (for one, it's fun to dream up a trip!) – then work with a travel advisor who knows your budget and can help make sure both sides are on the same page – with no hurt feelings.

Consult a travel advisor about your budget.

Tying into the point above, a travel advisor can be very beneficial in planning a trip when there's more than one voice involved. You probably want to set a budget for your gift, and a travel advisor has plenty of experience crafting a trip that meets your vision and stays within budget. They can also tell you if your idea for a budget is in tune with the idea you have. Travel advisors can steer you to the right dates for your trip and the best places to stay and know some tricks to help the budget where necessary. Not to mention making sure the transportation and sightseeing fit into the right places for the smoothest trip possible! Having a travel professional in the picture also takes the pressure off you to personally collect all the small details required when putting together a travel plan.

With CTCAdventures, we organize all the details, as well as providing you with a Custom Travel Plan you can share with the giftee. One idea is to contact us for an initial itinerary and quote that matches your budget, which you can present as a gift. Then, we can work with the gift recipient to further customize the trip according to their specific preferences, all the while sticking to the budget you've set.

Gift items to upgrade travel.

Travelers are often budget-conscious, so you can give a gift that will make their trip more convenient or upgraded in some way. Everyone knows travel can pose many hurdles, from foreign languages to transportation headaches to just being out of place and not knowing what's culturally acceptable in a certain destination. There are some giftable items that can alleviate travel woes and make your recipient very grateful for your thoughtfulness. Private car services, nice hotel rooms and upgrades, private excursions and local guides can really level-up a standard trip to the trip of a lifetime. Working with a travel professional to help you set up a service or upgrade adds an extra level of security and decreases stress when planning a travel gift.

Gift unforgettable experiences.

Gifting a once-in-a-lifetime experience is a sure way to have a gift-giving win this holiday season. This is where knowing the recipient really comes into play, since an unforgettable experience doesn't look the same for everyone. At the same time, gifting a fun and "local" activity can uncover a new passion the recipient didn't even know was there. Examples of unforgettable trip add-ons could include: a cooking lesson, concert or theatre tickets, day trip on a yacht, luxury spa or hamam package, unique day excursions, jeep adventure tour, guided hiking trek, food tasting tour or photography walk with an expert. If you book an experience for the beginning or end of someone's trip, it's even more likely to add a special moment to their vacation that will always be remembered.

Use reward points toward a gift.

Many experienced travelers are familiar with loyalty programs from hotels, airlines and credit card companies. Sometimes, these points and miles systems can be complicated, but if you are signed up (or looking to sign up) with Amex Membership Rewards, then we have you covered. If you are an American Express Gold or Platinum Member, then you can book with CTCAdventures and use your accumulated Travel Points toward air and land travel. Please call us to discuss the details. What better gift-giving scenario could there be than handing your loved ones flight tickets for the trip of a lifetime, then leaving it to us to customize a trip they'll love?!