Let me show you five of them:
1. Prepay, book or gift wrap a whole trip
This is the most obvious gift idea (dah!) and seems to be the most expensive one too, but don't be fooled yet. You might not be able to go from an US country to Italy, but you can travel easily around your place. European countries have some great deals and if you search smartly you can build and pay the whole trip for an affordable amount. If you don't want to cut back on the destination, then you can choose be more flexible on the place where you are staying or the where and what you choose to eat, limit your shopping budget or a million other smart tricks. Just don't get discouraged. The sooner you start planning the better it is, but you can always do it, because pressure and good will work miracles :)
2. Dream plan a trip
Even if you can not book or prepay the entire trip or a part of it, consider gifting the idea. Choose something very meaningful for the other person or for you both (or all). It might be one's hometown, a place you'd always dreamed of seeing, a forgotten desire from long ago, a trip left into middle because of a sudden strike in your life or even the place you met for the first time or has a strong signification to you if you return back to it. Once the destination is a well thought gift on itself, start searching like a Google pro in order to build a plan. Just know that you are going to spend much time on this process, daydreaming, obviously. Read guides, tours, suggestions, travelogues, tips, history, official websites and anything else possible, so you can come up with the best way to reach the destination, the top things to do and see there and much more little puzzle pieces. After you have gathered all the information, try to present it neatly and in an understandable way for the gift receiver. The options are endless, starting from a simple biding, to a scrapbook, to a website, a blog, a notebook, a map, a book, small cards, calendar etc. You can always choose to make the trip for real or just daydream together over your plans, watch a related movie or an old tape from the last time you were at that destination or just hug and appreciate what you can already do and what you have to fulfill your life for the moment.
3. Make a photo book from a past trip
This one might be one of my favorites because it serves so many purposes at once. It is a pleasure for the gift receiver, a beautiful take back to you while sorting through pictures and memories and mostly it materializes the great time you had and you can relate to it more often from now on. Usually I edit the pictures and create a simple layout myself and I print it locally in white 300 gr paper. The cost is reasonable, for let's say 20-30 A4 pages (less than 1Euro per page) and its value is priceless. You can always order it online, you just have to sort the pictures, decide on the layout, material, cover and effects or trims on pictures and it comes to you ready printed after some days. Tie a ribbon around it, put it in a box or just hide it in a special place and let the other person discover it with joy.
4. Create a memory box
If a photo book is cherished by everyone, a memory box is very intimate. Usually I make these for myself and only I can open it in several months or years and still recall everything the objects inside are meant to say. The only way you can make it for someone else is if you had the trip together of course. If you can, start preparing for this while you are traveling and try to gather objects in a separate pocket or bag area. Usually I put there different things like tickets, room info, hotel cards, advertising fliers, pictures, little snacks, candies or gums, flower and leaves, guides, notes and what else you might run into. Once you get home put them in a box or plastic bag and you can arrange them later for the gift. If you have already made the trip long time ago, there might still be things around the house, believe me. Try looking for a shopping bag, a forgotten receipt, bills in your pockets, exchange coins at the end of your bag, a flight sticker on your luggage, gums, hotel toiletries, info fliers, business cards, clothes tags etc. Don't freak out, I am not that much of a materialist stalker (I just happen to be a cancer sign :P).
5. "A hen next year is better than an egg today"
If you really want to make a trip, you should start planning and saving like yesterday. I am being a little tough, but it is true. And what is a better act to do today than refuse to buy a cheap gift for the moment and save that money for what you want that gift to be in the near future? You can explain this to the other one maybe before they expect your gift, but it really depends on the situation. Especially, if you combine this act with the idea no. 2 or just a miniature of it, like a mood board (or Pinterest one) it will be so romantic and touching that the gift receiver will feel very special. The best of this situation is that you can start saving together and if you live in the same house, you might even go crazy on savings. If you end up cutting back on many things and have your trip after 2 months and be rich in a year, don't blame me, I just gave you a humble idea :) Seriously, if you are very much into trips, you will resist temptations and this is double good for you. It also teaches you, little children, your friend, cousin, boyfriend, husband or even extended family that it is better to have a hen next year than an egg today (this is an expression in my country, I don't know if you guys have equivalent ones, so please share). Experiences and memories are so much worth it and will be remembered much longer than a toy, an iphone or a jewellery.
I wish you all choose to gift and get gifts, including real and daydreaming trips :)
| Love, Lisa |