Saturday, December 18, 2010
Last-Minute Gifts 12.18.10
I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather this week, so Part 3 of my foodie article will resume on Wednesday. Today I’d like to talk about last-minute gifts for Christmas, which is a mere week away now. While you can still order many things online and get them to their destination on time, wouldn’t you rather NOT spend $30 on expedited shipping? That’s a whole other gift that you can buy with that money. Instead of that, how about buying something travel-related that you can actually get via email or skip down to the mall and pick up (if you get there right when they open, you’ll be in and out in no time)?
What do you get for the person who has everything and loves to travel? How about a gift subscription to Budget Travel, Travel + Leisure or Condé Nast Traveler? I’ve done this with other magazines and go down to the store and pick up the latest edition, put it in a box with a nice card saying they can expect another copy every month for the next year and wrap it like any other gift. It goes over really well and these three are chock full of information on many different destinations each month.
Do you have a Disney-addict on your list? Do they go to Disney every year and own every piece of Disneyana possible? Well, a gift card will fit their wish list perfectly. Either a generic Disney card or else a Disney park-hopper pass. You can pick these up at the Disney Store in the mall. Park-hoppers are available for Disneyland parks or you can buy the generic gift card that can be used at the Disney Store, Disney.com and almost everywhere within Disney parks, including Downtown Disney stores and restaurants. They can even be used towards park tickets. Attach the card to a cute little plush from the store display, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland or a Disney movie and you’ve got a great looking gift for the holidays…and one that is super useful.
Guidebooks make wonderful gifts, especially if you know that someone will be traveling to a new destination in the coming year. For example, if I were planning a trip toGuatemala, I would love to find a box of guidebooks under the tree. Lonely Planet, Fodor’s and Frommer’s are the top three brands, but certainly you will find many others, like the Wallpaper guides.
Airline gift cards and/or miles will get them further! If you know a trip will be planned, but you don’t know where, then an airline gift is always welcome, especially if you know they fly the same airlines, like we do! If a gift card isn’t a viable option, spend the same amount and purchase some frequent flyer miles for them and have it emailed right to them.
Give the gift of a pain-free back with the Healthy Back Bag. Ameribag makes these in many different sizes, colors and materials. There’s one for everyone and they are the BEST to travel with. With interior pockets and the main zipper towards your body, they are super secure and the curvy body and padded strap conform to your shape and distributes weight evenly. I love mine, my friend loves hers and I met a woman in EPCOT who also loves hers and wanted to know what fabric mine was made of so she could get another one! They sell them at luggage stores worldwide and also at your local AAA travel store. If you have Amazon Prime, there’s still time to order one and receive it by Christmas Eve!
Got a friend or relative that can never find their car? Run up to your local outdoor store, like REI, and get them a Bushnell BackTrack GPS. Not only does it fit in a pocket and comes in a variety of fun colors, but it will also help anyone get back to their original starting point, whether it’s a coffee shop, hotel or car in a parking lot. The one drawback is that this doesn’t work indoors, so if you park in a garage, you won’t be able to pinpoint your coordinates. Probably not a great gift for someone who often gets lost in shopping malls.
And hopefully next year, my book Shereen Travels Cheap will be on this list, too. I am working hard to find a publisher, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be something to cross off my Christmas wish list this season. Of course, you’ll be the first to know when it happens! Thanks for being such loyal readers!
Don’t forget to watch this space for new posts and updates on featured posts by ME! Yeah, yeah, I’m all about myself sometimes…but still, please check out the following websites that are very informative and have been kind enough to let me write for them and promote myself. I’d also like to thank WhichBudget.com and Airlikes.com for giving my blog numbers a nice boost with their reposting of my website reviews for their pages on both their Facebook and Twitter accounts.