Every Christmas Eve I’m out there getting last-minute Christmas gifts. It’s my own personal tradition. Anyone who needs a last-minute gift idea might want to consider the gift of travel. Seriously….. travel can be given as a gift!
If you still haven’t found the right present for that special someone, go online or run to your travel agent if they haven’t already flown off on their own holiday. Think of where your loved one(s) have wanted to vacation and give them the gift of a trip. Here’s what to do:
1) Get your hands on a nice brochure or print off a beautiful photo of the destination they want to go to. The photo or brochure is the actual gift so make sure it’s brand new and nicely printed.
2) Pick a date well in advance. Maybe they have always wanted to go to Mexico in the Spring or experience Carnevale in Venice, Italy. The point is to pick a specific time period so it doesn’t look like an idea that is never going to come to fruition. None of this, “someday honey, we’ll go on that cruise.” Uh-uh. Pick a date and stick with it.
3) Figure out your budget for the holiday and see if you can put a deposit down with an option to pay the balance later. Hey, it’s a last-minute gift. Understandable if you don’t have an American Express Black Card to whip out for that fabulous trip to Tahiti. A deposit means you are committed, you did the homework, you spent some moolah without going into poverty, and you are going to be king or queen of a small hill after they realize that you’re taking them somewhere. Please note: if you get a receipt or itinerary from your travel agent or website of some sort, make sure the price is not on there. Having a printed itinerary makes it a very real gift but you don’t want the price to print out! Be creative if necessary.
4) Throw in a couple of travel books of that particular destination. Maybe get one practical book and one fun book such as a DK Eyewitness book for the history, museum, and practical information, or my favorite, Rick Steves, and perhaps a shoppers guide or dining out guide for the fun stuff. You could also throw in travel goodies such as luggage tags, inflatable pillows, a Bucky eye pillow, a Louis Vuitton carry-on case, o.k, I’ll stop. You get the idea.
5) For God’s sakes, if you go through all that, please make sure your brochure or printout is a presentable gift. You don’t have to put a brochure into a Tiffany box but there are plenty of pretty bags and tissue, or a simple, flat box with a pretty bow on it would suffice. If you decide to add the extras mentioned above, it might be fun to have them unwrap the goodies first and have your brochure or books and photo be revealed at the end. A nice, decorative card would also add to the presentation. TRUST ME. I’ve arranged this type of gift during more Christmas Eves than I care to admit. Go for it……it’s a fantastic gift!
Happy shopping and good luck out there!
As with all travel plans, please ALWAYS read the fine, infinitesimal print with the various rules and regulations. You always want to know what the cancellation policies are with tour operators, hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise lines, tug boats, you name it. Nobody will be dying to let you off the hook if you cancel so please travelly people, always cover your ass…..ets!