I’m in favor of giving and receiving gifts that don’t add to household clutter. For families that love to travel, it’s easy to give things that won’t turn into a dozen plastic pieces strewn about on the floor. So whether you are looking for gifts for your own travel-loving family or gifts for another family who loves to travel, consider these practical travel gift ideas.
Who wouldn’t love a ticket to get away? Airline tickets don’t have to be an expensive gift. If you have airline miles, you can use your miles to purchase award tickets for others without having to transfer your miles to their account. (See our Hot Deals page for credit cards that enable you to earn bonus miles).
You can also purchase an airline gift card or look for good cash deals at Airfare Watchdog.
Use your hotel points to give a family a night away! Most hotel brands allow you to use your own points for a reservation for another guest.
If you don’t have enough hotel points, consider buying a gift card. Amazon sells hotels.com gift cards, and many other brands are available online.
Restaurant Gift Cards
For my family, one of the most expensive things about traveling is the cost of eating out! We don’t eat out that much of home, so when we stay in a hotel for an extended period of time the costs really add up.
Families who love to travel can use chain restaurant gift cards for meals. Also check out websites for local restaurants at your destination, as many local restaurants sell gift cards online.
If you have elite airline or hotel status, consider gifting your upgrades to a family who loves to travel. For example, United Mileage Plus Premier members can use their upgrade certificates for another traveler even if you are not traveling together. Hyatt allows elite members with Globalist status to share elite benefits through its Guest of Honor program.
Airport Lounge Passes
Airport lounges are not a necessity by any means, but they sure are nice for families to grab a bite to eat and relax before flights or during long layovers. Some lounges allow a guest and kids to enter with the pass holder. Consider gifting a Priority Pass lounge membership or using AA miles to purchase an Admiral’s Club membership.
Travel Magazines and Books
Reading about travel and researching destinations are a big part of the joy of the whole travel experience for many families. Buy a local travel guidebook for their next destination, or gift them a subscription to a travel magazine.
Luggage really takes a beating on most trips! Travel-loving families will appreciate new luggage for their trips. See this post for luggage suggestions and reviews.
Bed Bug Spray
I have never personally experienced bed bugs in hotels, but some travelers have. Give the gift of peace of mind with this travel size bed bug spray.
Museum and Zoo Memberships
Museum and zoo memberships are great for families that love to travel. Many local memberships have reciprocal privileges at zoos and museums around the country that can be used on vacation. For example, our membership at the Perot Museum in Dallas enabled us to get into museums on our trips to Colorado, Florida and New York City!
For families with pets, the cost pf pet sitting can really be a budget buster. As a gift, offer to pet sit during their next trip, or give a gift card to a local pet boarding facility.
Readers, what other travel gift ideas do you have for families who love to travel? What has been your favorite travel-related gift?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.