Travel Gift Cards: A Thoughtful, Value-Oriented Choice

Travel Gift cards and certificates from companies like airlines, hotels, cruise lines and other related services can make holiday gift giving easy. Better yet, matching the right offer with the traveler on your gift list, it’s the thoughtful gift that keeps on giving.

Frequent travelers commonly have their favorite airlines, hotels and car rental companies. Those are their go-to sources that get the booking nod among others being considered, when other factors in the buying decision are equal or close to equal. Gifting travel funds can be done via plastic gift cards or gift certificates, either printable or online.

United Airlines gift certificates, for example, has gift certificates starting at $25 and going up to $10,000. Recipients can then use these certificates just like cash to buy airline tickets as well as taxes and surcharges.

Short on cash but long on miles? Consider gifting miles to friends or family. There’s still a cost, averaging about $15 per 1000 miles but a few thousand miles could make the difference on a traveler’s air plans.

American Airlines has a bonus gifting plan going on through the end of the year that gives AAdvantage club members bonus miles, up to 30,000.

Those who do not travel much look for guidance and recommendations on where to stay, what to do and more. With a general idea of where someone wants to go and what they want to do, gift cards as holiday gifts can be just the incentive they need to get them planning and dreaming about travel.

Actually, if planning on giving a trip as a holiday gift, we might just do that through gift cards, which can answer many travel questions and save money too.

Which airline should I fly?
The gift options noted above can help here. If not sure which airline they might use/like, a gift of airline-related services might be a good idea. Add on a gift from GoGo Inflight Internet service via one of their JetPacks that offer discounted service when purchased in advance and usable on many airlines.

Where will I stay?
Starting with a hotel for the trip, Marriott Hotels has gift cards and ordering is easy. Marriott allows buyers to specify an exact amount and even design the card that will be sent. Other hotel chains have these too, with one for every budget.

What should I do there?
Make picking tours and activities easy for your infrequent traveler with a gift certificate from Viator, a company plans everything from sightseeing tours to unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

What about dining?
If your traveler is visiting a city you know and there is a special place to share with them, that restaurant no doubt has a gift card available. For a broad range of coverage, pick a large restaurant chain with multiple concepts located in cities around the world. Darden Restaurants has Capital Grille, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and more in thousands of locations.

The list goes on and on too. Luggage, Gear, Travel Accessories, Car Rentals and more can all be gifted and, in the process, show just how thoughtfully connected to your traveler that you are.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user 401(K) 2012]