The Anti-Gift Guide for Travelers

The Anti-Gift Guide for Travelers

So I got about a thousand emails over the weekend about sales and stuff, how about you? It’s a lot. And as much as I love the holidays, there is something about the consumerism that surrounds us during this time of year that rubs me the wrong way. It got me thinking about waste and the planet and eco-responsibility, I won’t bore you with the Google rabbit hole I went down looking at the statistics of holiday waste and unwanted gifts and all that, let’s just say that it’s a lot. It’s time to start thinking of ways to give and show our loved ones we care through other means.


Hipsters in Amsterdam

The idea of giving experiences instead of physical gifts has been around for a while. A meaningful, exciting, or fun experience will live on in your memory forever while physical things break, get lost, or become obsolete. While it’s not as exciting as unwrapping a big box, experiences have long-lasting positive effects on our psyche. 

There are different ways of giving experiences like planning a thing to do together with someone or giving them an option to do something they’ve always wanted to do (without you).

Here are some ideas of experience gifts to give this holiday season. 

Plan a trip to do together

hanging out with your besties on a girls trip
Yosemite weekend

Planning a trip with someone, be it your significant other, besties, mom, siblings, whoever, is a great gift because it will be a shared experience that you both will remember forever. It could be as simple as a weekend getaway or it could be something more extravagant like a weeklong vacation. Either way, the experience of a trip with someone is awesome.

Help someone plan their trip

travel day

Whether the person you are looking to get a gift for is a frequent traveler or has been dreaming of their perfect vacation you can help them get their plan in motion. 

Gift cards for Air BNB and Southwest Airlines are easy ways to contribute to their trip fund without just giving cash.

Airline points can be like gold for frequent fliers, they can also be transferred or gifted to another person in the same rewards program.

Travel subscriptions are becoming a new thing to help people save money and go on trips. BRB has started in the UK and it’s been called “the Netflix of travel”. It works like a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee, then you select the types of trips and destinations you are interested in, and three times a year BRB plans you a trip. The best part is, that monthly fee you’ve been paying pays for that trip. Inspirato is another subscription travel service, but this is for luxury travel. It is FANCY! The monthly fee is pretty expensive, but what you get is amazing trips and amenities all over the world.

If someone you know is already planning a trip abroad a great thing to get them is travel insurance. It can cover everything medical emergencies to missed flights to stollen gear depending on the plan. World Nomads has several different levels and plans to choose from and is one of the best out there.


La Sagrada Familia

I know from traveling as a young poor nomad that getting the chance to do a once in a lifetime activity is the best experience in the world. The first time I travel abroad by myself my mom paid for me to do a tour that I would not have been able to do otherwise and that was awesome. Now with services like Viator and  AirBNB’s Experiences you can book an activity or give someone an AirBNB gift card to get to try those one-of-a-kind activities.

Okay, some stuff…

gift guide for travelers

I know I railed against buying stuff earlier but here are some good sustainable stocking stuffers for the traveler in your life. They are useful, good for the planet, and don’t take up too much space.

I hope this makes your holiday season a little less stressful and I hope it provides some ideas for giving the people you care about meaningful experiences that they will cherish forever. When it comes down to it, the time we spend with our loved ones is going to mean so much more than any gift we could give. So why not spend that quality time on a tropical beach or a snowy mountain top? 🙂

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