If you’ve ever wanted to gift someone an experience or trip, odds are you’ve dealt with the following first world problem… how exactly to give the gift of travel in a fun way that preserves the wanderlusty magic.
Because honestly? The actual process of gifting experiences can often feel… a little lame. Anyone who has anticlimactically emailed someone a voucher will know this to be so. The gift might be exciting, but the experience, not so much.
… Well that changes today! If you’re looking for fun ways to gift travel, whether that’s a surprise trip, an experience voucher or just a gift card for them to enjoy on their next trip abroad, this post is full of fun, unique, and creative ideas that are much more exciting than a lukewarm email. To sweeten the deal, I’ve even included some free printables for you too!
So keep scrolling. Your next genius gift idea awaits!
Save this List of Ways to Give Travel as a Gift for Later!
You’ll be very glad you did.
1. Make the reveal a fun little surprise
Alright, let’s start with an easy one!
Honestly, one of the best ways to give travel as a gift is simply by making the reveal a bit more exciting through packaging. These days, there are tons of fun options, from an adorable little premade suitcase box that comes with a passport scratch card to a cool explosion box you can fill with photos and on-theme details.
Looking for an adorable, memorable and low-effort way to surprise someone with a trip? This pop-up box card is perfect, with tons of cool options for the world's most popular vacation spots (just check their shop for the full selection).
2. Get them a Tinggly Box
Looking for something even easier? A Tinggly Box can help with that. They offer thousands of unique experience gifts worldwide, all of which can come in a nice giftable box for a small extra fee. If you’re undecided on what experience to gift them exactly, they also have their classic boxes which include thousands of potential options. Perfect if you’re looking for an easy option!
The simplest way to gift experiences! This nifty gift box is filled with hundreds of potential travel experiences that the recipient can choose for themselves, taking the guesswork out of knowing what experience to buy. Until Feb 15: Use the code HAPPY20 for 20% off!
3. Gift them a mockup boarding pass
If you’re being the ultimate gift giver and surprising someone with a flight or full-on trip, then another cute idea would be to print out a mock boarding pass that announces all the details (or some vague details, if you don’t have the whole thing figured out yet).
There are a lot of great options for this these days. On the fancier end of the spectrum, there’s places you can get thick ones printed with elaborate gold leaf details, or if you wanna save some money (gifting flights isn’t cheap after all), then you can just use my free printable here.
4. Hide the reveal in a fun card
If you want a way to gift travel that’s a bit more low-key, another easy idea is simply announcing the surprise in a card.
But as you can imagine, I’m not someone that simply does “normal cards”. I’d strongly suggest a cool travel-themed card, whether it’s a free one you print online (like the one below) or a cool one you buy. As usual, the more personal the better!
Definitely a more low-key option for gifting travel, but an adorable one nonetheless that makes a great keepsake. This pop-up card is perfect for revealing an experience gift - just write it inside the card alongside the opening suitcase.
5. Fake them out with a decoy gift
Admittedly, this one is kind of diabolical, but I do think it’s a fun idea. As an oft-diabolical person, this may be one of my favourite ways to gift travel.
The idea is simple: wrap up and gift them something MUCH less exciting than your travel/experience gift, then pull a switch and reveal your true gift after they’ve lowered their expectations.
Some ideas include…
- A gift box with goodies from the place you’re travelling to, making them think THAT’S the whole gift when at the bottom there’s a boarding pass/trip announcement
- Taking them out to dinner at a restaurant with the cuisine of your destination, saying it’s because they’ve always wanted to go, then surprising them with the fact that you ARE going in the future
- Hide the voucher in a diversion safe and make them think you got them a crappy gift, like a can of corn or a lint roller
6. Reveal the answer to them in a puzzle
For an added element of suspense to the travel gift reveal, consider making them work for it by hiding the destination in a puzzle.
A lot of online makers these days sell cool customizable puzzles that you can get printed with your destination of choice.
For a lower-cost solution though, you can just print or write out the destination/surprise on a piece of paper, then cut it up in a few pieces and throw them in an envelope.
7. Make a scavenger hunt that leads to the surprise
And on the note of “making them work for it”, you could even take things a step further and organize a full-on scavenger hunt before the grand reveal. This idea could be combined with some of the other options on this list, making a cool boarding pass or card the final prize after they solve all the clues …. or if you want to go full nerd with it, you could even hide the surprise in a Cryptex, and make them hunt for letters that spell out the key to opening it!
8. Gift them a guidebook… with a ticket as the bookmark
Or okay, maybe a more practical solution than a random Cryptex would be to gift them a guidebook or travel journal instead. Then, when they seem surprised by the gesture, you reveal there’s a bookmark in there too, with a gifty boarding pass or voucher in there acting as the bookmark. Genius.
9. Buy them something they’ll need for the trip
In a similar way, you could also buy them something useful and practical that they’ll need for your surprise trip/experience, from packing cubes to hanging toiletry bags… then when they thank you for the gift, casually mention that they’ll be needing them for their trip to _____.
Stuck on what to gift them for this practical decoy? My list of travel gifts might be able to help!
I adore packing cubes because they keep everything organized and can help you save space by squishing and condensing all your stuff. I've tested a bunch of the top brands and this set is my favourite.
10. Give them options to choose from
I’m stealing this idea on how to gift travel from my boyfriend, who has started gifting me with getaway options as my Christmas present each year, which I love because it makes me feel like I’m on a game show or something with different prize packages!
The idea is simple: pick 3 (or more) options for fun getaways or experiences you think they’d like, put them in fun envelopes (the more glam and dramatic the better) and then have them open each one and decide which of the options they’d like to choose.
This idea for gifting travel is most ideal if you want to make sure your experience/trip is 100% something they want, and also great if you’re indecisive and can’t commit to one particular getaway.
If you want an impressive way to dress up printed vouchers or a non-physical gift, these colourful and adorable ribbon-tied envelopes add the perfect touch of elegance and whimsy.
11. Pair a Gift Card with an Itinerary/Recommendations
Lastly, I have a cute recommendation if you want to give the gift of travel or an experience, but don’t necessarily have the budget to pay for an entire trip or big activity.
Remember: not every travel experience gift needs to be a hot air balloon ride in Bora Bora.
Even something like a prepaid Visa for twenty bucks can be thoughtful if you dress it up with a card that has cafe recommendations for the next place they travel, or suggested things for them to spend it on.
Some ideas might include…
- Recommendations for a cool cafe, restaurant, etc. to visit with your gift card (either based on personal experience or research)
- A suggested mini-itinerary for a day in their trip
- Give them options on things to spend it on (like a choice of detours on the Amazing Race)
I Hope You Enjoyed This Roundup of Ways to Give the Gift of Travel!
Let me know in the comments if you have more ideas to add to the list.