The Secret to Meaningful Gifts for Travelers

Including free and inexpensive gifts!

 This post may contain affiliate links which means Trip Scholars may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read more here. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on!

Gift giving is one of life’s sweet joys. But, it can also be stressful to find something that fits the budget and brings the receiver joy. Luckily, researchers have learned how we respond to gifts. It turns out that there is a secret to giving a perfect gift that the thoughtful among us have known for a long time. We have collecteded a rich collection of meaningful gifts so you can find the perfect fit.

Studies show that gift receivers usually prefer sentimental  gifts. And, the most sentimental gift of all is quality time together!  Experiences are more meaningful, they foster relationships and enhance our deeper well-being.  Traveling creates some of the most significant experiences of our lives.

We have gathered together some of the top ways to spend time with our loved ones or share meaningful gifts that they can enjoy on their own. We have some free and low cost gems and some that will break the bank. If you will already be paying for some of these in relation to traveling, why not make it a special gift?

Keep in mind that studies have shown it is the thoughtfulness of the gift, not the cost, that determines the receiver’s appreciation. Some of our most memorable gifts have cost the least–or been free. During these challenging times, investing in time instead of money is even more valuable. 

You can use the Trip Scholars website to put together your own collection of activities to enjoy from home. Or, book a travel education coaching session with me and I’ll use my years of experience to help you craft a plan for many month’s of enjoyment!

Travel Experiences

We are the totality of our life’s experiences — give the gift of creating rich memories and deeper connections. 

  1. National Parks Pass
  2. State parks pass
  3. Performance tickets 
  4. Restaurant gift card
  5. Plane Tickets
  6. Lodging/campground reservations
  7. Tours with an expert
  8. Museum tickets
  9. Sporting event tickets
  10. Airline or hotel points
Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, Greece

Classes Related to Their Travel Destination

Give a gift that will last a lifetime —  a greater knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of our world and its people. When well matched to the receiver, these classes are a joy.

  1. Cooking class
  2. Language tutor or class
  3. Dance class
  4. Music teacher
  5. Art class
  6. Drama class
  7. Naturalist class
  8. Scuba certification
  9. Airbnb classes
  10. Atlas Obscura classes
Children dancing

Digital Memberships to Learn Before Departure

The more we learn about our world, the richer and more interesting it becomes. These memberships let your recipients  enjoy learning with experts and discover top entertainment, all from the cozy comfort of home.

  1. Wondrium (The Great Courses Plus)
  2. Duolingo Plus
  3. Babble
  4. MasterClass
  5. Netflix
  6. Hulu
  7. Britbox
  8. Acorn
Mand and Woman looking at computer

Get Moving

Think back to some of your favorite memories in your lifetime– you were likely moving in one way or another. These are some of our priciest gift recommendations, but they may be worth it if they fit in the budget since they will create unforgettable memories. Go in with multiple friends or family members to share the cost — and the joy of giving!

  1. Gas or EV-charging card for the road trip
  2. Train Pass
  3. Sailing or boating reservation
  4. Paragliding reservations
  5. SUP or kayaking rental
  6. Surfing class or rental
  7. Bike rental reservation
  8. Charter a boat
  9. Hot air balloon ride
  10. Helicopter ride
  11. Rent an RV
Train in snow

Free and Low Cost Travel Lovers Gifts

Low on your gift-giving budget this year? You’re not alone! Here are some ideas to give a meaningful gift that won’t break the bank.

  1. Playlist of music from your destination
  2. Digital slideshow of past travels
  3. Homemade meal inspired by the location
  4. Photo in a homemade frame
  5. Baked goods inspired by the location
  6. Use the Tripscholars site to put together a whole year of fun to share before you leave
Tripscholars Homepage

Travel Lovers Gifts to Anticipate and Remember

The joy of travel begins the moment planning starts and lives on as some of our most treasured memories. Extend the happiness with these thoughtful gifts.

  1. Novels set in their destination
  2. Myths or Fairy tales from their destination 
  3. Field Guides
  4. Photo album or scrapbook
  5. Video games based on their destination
  6. Tabletop games based in their destination
  7. Beer, wine, spirits, coffees, or teas from their destination
  8. Food gifts from their destination
  9. Local Art 
  10. Ornament from or about your last trips
  11. Maps 
  12. Coffee table books before you go
  13. A donation to a charity in the location
Board game travel

The Secret Joy of Gifting

Thinking of your recipients and what their interests are in relation to these ideas can be a delightful reflection on the people you love! What are they most passionate about and how can you help to foster it through experiences?

We have ideas! The mission of Trip Scholars is to enhance travel experiences and to better understand ourselves, our world, and each other. We do this by saving you hours of research time. Explore the resources in our Travel Library and read Our Roadmaps Blog to get the best recommendations from thoughtful, experienced travelers. You’ll find specific ideas related to the interests of your loved one. And consider working with me privately as your travel education coach.

What are the most meaningful gifts you have given or received? Please share your suggestions in the comments, I’d love to hear! Happy gifting!

Like it? Pin It!

Share this post

The Secret to a Perfect Gift PinPin
Pin The Secret to a Perfect Gift

There is Always More to Discover on the Trip Scholars Blog!

6 thoughts on “The Secret to Meaningful Gifts for Travelers”

  1. You’ve included some wonderful ideas and I appreciate the way you have grouped them. My most memorable gifts are the handmade versions. Each time I use them, I think of the person who created it and gifted it too me. One friend made a lightweight packing folder with a hidden pocket for an emergency cash stash. Another gave me a zippered laundry bag in the shape of panties. Another added an evil eye zipper pull to a small zippered pouch purchased while travelling Turkey together.

    Another idea inspired by your post is to take a virtual tour together. Several tip-based tour sites have emerged during the pandemic and it could be a way to explore a destination together to assist with planning.

    • You have very thoughtful friends, thank you for sharing such inspired gifts! I also especially appreciate handmade gifts, my mom was a crafter in multiple mediums and I really cherish the love and time that is in each handcrafted gift. I hope you ideas inspire other gift givers, they are fantastic!

      I also love the idea of a shared virtual tour, that would be perfect while we are home.

  2. I actually prefer to be given an experience rather than a physical gift, so my friends and family usually give me money or gift cards to put towards travelling!

    • You have thoughtful family and friends! I love thinking back on experiential gifts. They are such great memories and I really appreciate how the gift giver really took the time to reflect on what I value. I am sure you put yours to great use!


Leave a Comment