Gearing up for holiday shopping? Want to surprise your loved ones with a gift filled with memories and adventure? Today we are discussing why travel is the best gift.
Why Travel is the Best Gift
We don’t think of travel necessarily as a gift, but WHY is it a more memorable and thoughtful gift?
- Experiences > Things
- It’s unexpected (which is the best type of gift)
- Anticipation (planning/going)
- Memories (focus on positive right now)
Some Tips for Giving Travel as a Gifts
- Don’t Wait!
- Don’t plan the full vacation (let the recipient have some say)
- Plan a very special aspect of the trip (that one thing…)
- Not quite sure what to get? Book a destination tour or a travel pass (Amtrack)
Suggestions for Travel-Related Gifts
- A gift card that can be used (not cash card)…destination (food, shops) or part of a trip (air, train, tickets)
- Destination Gift Box
- Travel item (passport holder, adapter, packing cubes, external battery)
- TSA Pre-check/Global Entry (TSA $85 for 5 years, GE $100 for 5 years)
Question: What do you think would be a great travel gift?
Please let us know in the All Things Travel Podcast Facebook group!
Start Making Your Magical Memories!
Ryan and Shayne are both Travel Advisers with Creating Magic Vacations, an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Feel free to reach out to us for a free quote and to start making magical memories.
Where in the World is All Things Travel?
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Episode 129 Transcripts
Episodes are transcribed with artificial intelligence, so there are likely some highly amusing translations!
Ryan: Hello and welcome to All Things Travel. Is it too early to gear up for holiday shopping? Wanna surprise your loved ones with a gift filled with memories and adventure? Today we’re discussing why travel should be at the top of your list this year.
So Shayne, we have talked about this topic before and I’m glad that we brought it back because I think every year it, it’s something good to remember and think about, but we’re talking about travel as a holiday gift pretty early this year. Why so early?
Shayne: I don’t think that October 5th is really all that early to talk about holiday. Gifts. In fact, in my other newsletters for my happiness blog, I start talking about it a lot earlier. I will include throughout the year, frequent countdowns, Hey, Christmas is only in this number of days. Let’s start thinking about gifts.
Valentine’s Day is, in this number of days, it’s probably time to start thinking about gifts.
Ryan: and I’m the same way I’ve. Already started to think about the holidays. I already have some ideas of things that I want to get folks and how I want to prepare for that. And I think too, oftentimes we’ve waited to talk about this until right before Thanksgiving or something, and it’s too late because,
Ryan: Black Friday deals do exist for travel.
And so the savvy promo person, somebody that wants to really look for something can find it. And also now that cruising is back more than ever, there is gonna be a wave season for cruising this year. And wave season starts in November. Wave season being when the promotions start, when the sales start.
you know, And they just haven’t had to ha do that. The last couple years because not enough sailing had been happening. Right.
Shayne: Right. And I think it doesn’t do any good to wait until wave season starts to say, Hey, it’s wave season. Let’s start thinking about cruising. I like the, what we’ve done, We’ve been putting out some cruising episodes recently so that we can start thinking about wave season before it gets here. I see that all the time with promos, and usually by the time someone is offering a promotion on something, you could have gotten a better price if you had just bought it earlier.
Ryan: Absolutely So that’s why we’re talking about holiday gifts. I think travel makes a lot of sense. Travel adjacent gifts make a lot of sense, and we’re gonna talk about that today and give you some ideas, whether it’s an actual trip or whether it’s a travel gift. I think we’ve got your, your holiday gifts handled, don’t you think?
Shayne: Oh yeah. If they follow our advice, they will be the gift giving. Kings this year
Ryan: And if you do, and it backfire. It’s not us, we had nothing to do with it.
Shayne: Yeah. If it doesn’t work out for you, we cannot believe that Disney Travel Secrets suggested that you would do that this year.
Ryan: by the way, that’s another podcast he’s bringing up. All right, so before we get into the gift giving guide, I wanna know where in the world this All Things Travel, Shayne.
Shayne: San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Ryan: Oh, talk about travel. Oh my gosh. What a beautiful location.
Shayne: Yeah, looks absolutely gorgeous and no bar this time, Ryan, because if there’s anything in this world that takes precedence over bars and pubs or coffee shops with me, It’s a castle, so I’m, recommending that we go visit the Castio Sun
Ryan: But then we are gonna wander down to Old Town and get a drink, right?
Shayne: Well, yeah, because that’s, that is in that old town, San Juan, where we will marvel at this ancient architecture and try to find an old bar and an old cafe to enjoy some food and drink.
Ryan: and I believe and correct me if I’m wrong San Juan listener, but I believe San Juan, Puerto Rico is where the pina colada was invented. So therefore we do need to pay homage to that.
Shayne: I love the peanut. I love that combination. Pineapple and coconut.
Ryan: Well, Puerto Rico, we are so glad that you’re listening to All Things Travel. It means a lot to hear from folks, not only close to us, but farther away.
Do us a favor, reach out to Shayne or I either on the Facebook group or via email and we’d love to hear from you cuz we have a nice little gift for being featured on the show today.
Shayne: You know, I just had a thought, Ryan.
Shayne: Here’s what I think. you should do. Join the Facebook group and then in the Facebook group announced I am a new listener. Or I’m an old listener, Whichever if we haven’t mentioned your town yet, just announced in the group, I’m listening from here.
You should come to my town and then this is where we should hang out.
Ryan: I love it. That’s a great idea.
Shayne: Plus it would save me a lot of work,
Ryan: All right. Well, hey Facebook group, take Shayne advice and let us know where you’re listening.
Shayne: And before we get into the topic, Ryan and I know that most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip that’s perfect for your interests, saving you time, saving you money and stress.
Ryan: So if you’d like to plan a vacation with us, reach out to me, Ryan, at Creating Magic Vacations. That’s r y a n. And I would love to help you plan the perfect vacation for you and your family.
We don’t necessarily think of travel as a gift, but why does travel make a great gift?
Shayne: I think, and we’ve mentioned this before and I’ve got a blog post on this, experiences are better than things.
Ryan: Experiences are definitely better than things, and I think, you know, Not to sound schmutzy or anything, but you know, as a dad, as a husband I’m getting that idea more and more as the years go along, right? I want to take my kids on these trips. I want to have them experience this. I don’t need something for Christmas. I want to have a weekend with my wife away. Experiences are better than things.
you, kind of skipped over something real quick. You said you have a blog post about this and we’re gonna make sure that’s posted in the show notes, aren’t we?
Shayne: We will, and the blog post was more Valentine’s Day centric. That has some . I kind of do a little ragging on why flowers are a bad idea and why chocolate is a bad idea, although they’re pretty, still a pretty good idea. But I think when it comes to giving gifts, Everyone would be better off considering giving experiences and it could be because you and I both have daughters that are just a year or two away from leaving for college.
So we try to seize any time we can spend with them that we can get.
Ryan: it’s also unexpected, and unexpected gifts are the best gifts, right? I mean, we all put our wishlist up on Amazon. Well, I do. I’m not sure if you do. And, there’s certainly things I want on there and I’m expecting them, but I also really like the unexpected gifts.
Shayne: And that was why I mentioned flowers and chocolate Christmas time might be the old stem, by the fruitcake or a tie for dad or something like that. And part of what’s gonna make us g special and more memorable is if it’s something different and whether it’s a voucher for a trip or some of the other things that we’ll talk about later. There’s gonna be an extra level of appreciation for one of these gifts that we’re gonna talk about tonight.
Ryan: And there’s the anticipation, the planning, the going. I mean, for me, part of the fun is thinking about the trip as you’re leading up to the.
Shayne: Yeah. Cuz we, you don’t have to give the gift of taking a trip for the holiday for Christmas
Ryan: Oh, sure. Yeah. I mean there, there’s many ways to look at this. You can think of, I’ve had people where I’ve worked with clients where it’s, we’re giving the gift and we’re leaving this afternoon. I’ve had clients and myself where we’re giving the gift and we’re leaving. In six months. I’ve had a gift of.
I want to take this trip with you sometime, and my gift to you is we’re gonna start planning this, so it kind of goes across the spectrum,
that anticipation is important,
Shayne: maybe you say the Christmas gift this year is I have put the deposit on this trip that we’re gonna take in the summer. You have six or seven months of time that you can look forward to what you’re gonna do on this trip, plus the planning It’s not just over, right?
You don’t unbox the present. And then, Oh, look at that. This is nice. It’s over like from one of my favorite lines from the Christmas vacation movie. It’s the gift that keeps on giving Clark cuz you’ve got, you’re gonna get to joy it all the anticipation leading up to the trip.
And then after the trip, the next benefit of the gift of travel is,
Ryan: The memories, you’re talking about our daughters Shayne and taking those trips and thinking about, you know, we’ve got two more spring breaks and we’ve got two more summers. It’s the memories that you’re creating. It’s the ideas. Of traveling together and seeing things together.
And I don’t remember the feeling of opening the gifts that I got two years ago on a certain holiday, but I certainly remember the feeling associated with the memories with my family on a certain.
Shayne: And I think the, It’ll be the same way with spouses, With kids, you can put a lot of time and effort and money into shopping and finding them. All these things, and I think. In a year or two, they’re probably not gonna really remember what they got for Christmas last year or the year before.
But 10 years from now, 20 years from now, they’re gonna remember the trips that you took or maybe even just the shows you went. It doesn’t have to be necessarily travel. It could be just a show or something, an experience. They’re gonna remember that forever.
Ryan: Right. And I’ve mentioned on the podcast on the past when we’ve talked about cruising. My, my family’s leaving actually on Christmas day. We’re traveling down to Florida and getting on a cruise the next day for four nights, and that’s what I want my Christmas gift to be. I want to spend, I mentioned, getting stuff like the drink package, getting stuff like the water park at Royal Caribbean’s Private Island.
For me, that’s my Christmas gift. I don’t need the, another thing to unbox. I wanna have that experience with my family at that.
Shayne: And then something that we don’t have on the show notes. I just, I thought of it earlier today. It’s not on my blog post. It’s something I thought of earlier today is that we’ve got landfills just filling up with stuff and that’s another reason why experiences are better than things. can fill your mind up with all these memories and experiences.
then you don’t fill up the landfills with all the stuff that you bought last year or two years ago or three years ago,
Ryan: So in the Sherlock Holmes show, he always talks about his mind palace. So now are you talking about your mind landfill?
Shayne: maybe. A mind landfill I like that.
Ryan: So what are some tips if people are thinking about this and they’re like, You know what, Ryan and Shayne, you’re right. Maybe giving a gift of travel or starting to plan a trip is the right thing to do for the holiday season. What are some tips that we have for them?
Shayne: First one is Don’t wait. Which would apply to a thing or an experience. Don’t wait until. November to start shopping. Go ahead and shop now for Christmas. Go ahead and shop now for Valentine’s Day or for any birthdays that are coming up next summer.
Ryan: You know, And if we’re using, the December holidays, Christmas and things like that, as an example, you can book something now. You can put a deposit down now and know that you have it and you have it locked in. But if Black Friday deals come up or holiday promotions come up, That’s the advantage of having it taken care of now, because if you can save money later, you’ve already gotten it and you’re not having to get in line with everybody else.
You’ve already purchased that accommodation. You’ve already purchased that trip per se. Now you just get the benefit of the promotion that’s coming later.
Shayne: Then you can just spend Black Friday having a nice, peaceful day at home Or you can go out and watch everyone else in the mad rush from a distance
Ryan: along with Don’t wait. One thing that I would say is don’t play in the full. my wife did this for me a few years ago where she surprised me with a trip to New York City, and she had planned out a lot of the things because she had lived in New York City. I had, and it was my first trip.
So she kind of had the major things planned out. . And then there were times where I got to choose what we did, as part of the, as part of the gift, if you will. And that was a really cool way to do it. So, you know, Maybe you know where you’re going, when you’re going, you have, kind of the big tent poles of the planning done.
But then you say, Okay, you get to choose dinner for this night, or you get to sh choose the museum we go to or the activity that we do. That’s a way to share in that planning and that.
Shayne: when Ryan and I talk about taking the stress out of the planning, that doesn’t mean we can take away all the planning from you. There can still, planning can still be part of the fun and we’ll let you still have that fun. So book with the travel advisor.
So we can take away the stressful parts,
Ryan: You get to keep the fun parts.
So the next tip. If you’re going someplace where you know that there’s a special thing for the recipient, maybe it’s their favorite baseball team and they’ve never been to that home stadium or Shayne. I know you’ve taken your daughter to see Hamilton.
Having that, that one thing that you can base a trip around really makes it that much more special.
Shayne: That’s kind of the theme of the trip, and it’s what you’ll remember most about it, but then you can also leave room to improvise and come up with other things that you’ll wanna see and do while you’re there.
Ryan: And lastly, if you’re not sure what to book, but you know somebody’s always wanted to go to Italy, well, instead of planning everything out, why not book a tour where the person can then choose? The types of excursions they want do or the types of add-ons that they wanna do or get like a travel pass. So like Amtrak for example, if you are, if you live in a part of the country where train travel is relatively easy and Amtrak Rail Pass can get you a lot of places.
Shayne: Well then how about some travel gifts that aren’t necessarily the trips?
Ryan: I think first and foremost, a gift card. And you’re like, Dude, that’s kind of boring But hear me out with this. Not just an Amazon gift card so that they can buy stuff for the trip, not just a Visa cash card. I’m talking about a gift card specifically for the trip that they can use there at the destination.
So let me give you a non-travel example of this. when I got my first job, I moved from the Midwest out to New England, and the first Christmas when we came home, We started to get gifts that were gift cards from the town in Vermont that we lived in. And what my parents had done is while they were out visiting us one day, they went out and they got a bunch of gift cards from places that we liked to go to and.
Those were the gifts that they gave people to give us at Christmas, and that was really thoughtful. One, because we were young, my wife was in med school. I just had my first job. We didn’t have a lot of extra money and that helped a lot, but it just felt so thoughtful a as a gift. And so maybe there’s a special shop or a special food place where you know they’re gonna go, or you just get a gift card for part of the travel.
So a Southwest card to help with the air or something like that.
Shayne: Yeah, that’s a great idea. Then sort of has to spend it on some type of experience versus just a Visa gift
card Or even an Amazon gift card. They might end up spending it on groceries or
Ryan: You. Yeah you don’t want that at all. This next one I really like, you know, as a way to surprise somebody about travel or get them excited about the, a trip that they, maybe they know they’re going on, create a destination box. So maybe in there you have a certain food item from that city or, a subway map from the city or, something something that, that makes them excited.
Either as a surprise that, Hey, we’re going to San Francisco, or Hey, we’re going to Paris. Or if they already know that trip is coming up, getting them things kind of, kind of to to wet their whistle, if you will, about that location.
Shayne: I like that idea, Ryan, because you can kind of do both. You have the trip that you’re about to have or maybe a souvenir or something to look forward to.
Ryan: give somebody, We’ve talked about gift cards already, but, if somebody’s going someplace where they’re gonna be using the subway system. I mean, giving them a prepaid subway card. I mean, that’s gold, man. That helps them from the very beginning of, maybe even from the airport, they’ve got their transportation taken care of.
Shayne: taking out that hassle. Transportation from the airport. And I can tell you from personal experience, when, when we stayed with our in-laws in Spain for that month, that time, I lived in Spain for a few months. When we stayed with our in-laws in Spain, I used the heck out of that bus pass.
I mean, I was. All over the city it was easy to get around and not having to worry about what it costs or getting back to the flat from somewhere. was an amazing thing to have.
Ryan: Next a guidebook, and maybe this is part of that destination box or it’s separate, but I don’t know about you, Shayne, when I start to plan. I’m old school. I will sit down with my guidebook and I’ll start to map stuff out. I’ll circle things, I’ll dog ear things, and that’s part of my planning. Maybe I don’t even use that guidebook that much while I’m on the actual trip, but just taking the time to look through, read about and kind of map out figuratively and literally really helps me get excited about the.
Shayne: I’m more new school, so I like to create a Pinterest board.
Then I can refer back to it. But my kid did get me, uh, not necessarily a guidebook, but she got me a Disneyland book that has a lot of pictures from the first few days and the days leading up to the opening of Disneyland, and that was a really special gift.
I love that
Ryan: Very cool. A travel item. So you know, one of the things that we got our kids for Christmas last year because it was the Christmas before going to Europe for the first time. We got each of them a passport holder. And that was kind of cool because they, they had something that, you know, that they knew was theirs for the upcoming trip or if you need an adapter, or not even just an adapter, but cords and plugins and things like that.
Because as we travel more and more, we’re gonna need more of those things. Packing cubes, external batteries. What are those things that people don’t necessarily think about? That make traveling easier, that can certainly be a gift that promotes travel, if nothing else.
Shayne: And if you have a friend who loves travel or who is wanting to travel, Here’s a great idea. Just go to ebags.com and sign up for their mailing list and they will pretty much weekly send you legit discounts. It’s not like five or 10% discounts, so they have 20 and 20% discounts on just lots of cool items on a, I think a couple of weeks ago it was packing queues, but other types of travel related gear. It’s a great way to get ideas and discounts.
Ryan: This last one, Shayne is a biggie that we’ve talked about a lot. TSA pre-check and global entry. If you have a traveler in your life and they don’t have this, This makes a fantastic gift. You can’t necessarily complete the process for them, but you can help them with the funds and getting set up cuz there’s some paperwork and things like that.
But TSA pre-check is obviously the expedited security check at the airport. Global entry is the international version of that. TSA is $85 for five years. And global entry is a hundred dollars for five years and includes TSA precheck. what a great gift for a traveler I even say if somebody’s gonna travel once in a year, TSA precheck is worth it.
All right, Shayne. So any holiday travel related gifts coming up in, in your household that you know of, that you’re willing to, to kinda spoil order for?
Shayne: I did see from eBags, Not necessarily a backpack or a purse, but a an over the shoulder way to carry a lot of things, like a phone and a passport. A few things. If you’re gonna be wandering around a city, I think somebody I know might be receiving one of those this year.
Ryan: Well, I’ve already sent you. A present that I’m gonna get somebody this year, and it’s not a travel item, but it’s a travel piece of art. So I’m excited to put that together and and share that with her. But then, like I said, obviously our family’s going on a trip right after Christmas, and so for me that’s the actual gift.
Shayne: And from what I’ve heard about this crews that you have coming up, it is a fantastic gift. Well done. Disney Travel Dad.
Ryan: Well, hey, we would love to help you plan your gift of travel. We can help you plan the trip. We can give you ideas for gifts to surprise somebody. We can help you map out all of these bits and pieces, whether it’s giving you advice on TSA precheck, whether it’s getting you set up with tours and gift cards and things like that, we can do it all for you.
If you would like help with planning your gift of travel, reach out to me Ryan at Creating Magic Vacations. That’s R Y A N, at CreatingMagicVacations.com.
Shayne: Most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip that is perfect for your interests and saves you time, money, and stress.