11 Creative & Thoughtful Ways to Give Travel as a Gift (Free Printables Included!)

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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.

Adorable Travel Surprise Scratch Card
$8.00

The cutest way to gift a surprise trip! This travel-themed set allows you to write down your destination and turn it into a scratchcard... all housed in a tiny suitcase.

02/28/2024 06:49 pm GMT
 
Epic Explosion Box

Want a gift reveal with wow factor? Hide your travel surprise inside this explosion box (decorated with cute details about your destination) and watch their eyes light up.

 
Vacation Surprise Pop-Up Box

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).

Photo by SayItWithLoveCoShop on Etsy
 
Custom Holiday Scratch Card

Ever wished you could rig a scratch card to win...? Here's your chance! This clever product allows you to fill in a custom prize for a scratch card that looks otherwise like an average one you'd grab from the shops!

Photo via TheCraftyPharm on Etsy
 

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!

A Tinggly Experience Box

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.

Gorgeous Custom Gold Boarding Pass

For a classy keepsake that's ideal for gifting someone with a travel experience, look no further than these customizable boarding passes lined with gold details and beautiful design!

Photo via Foilux on Etsy
 
Download a printable version of this for free 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!

Click here to download
 
Fun Travel Pop-Up Card
$11.59

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.

02/28/2024 07:54 pm GMT
 

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
Can of Corn Diversion Safe
$8.99

Hide your gift in this and watch the confusion unfold. BONUS: it serves a practical purpose after the ruse is done - it can be used to conceal valuables in a discrete way!

02/28/2024 08:10 pm GMT
 

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.

Adorable Vacation Reveal Puzzle

If you want to reveal your travel gift in the form of a puzzle, this done-for-you solution is the ideal choice if you're low on time and want impressive results.

Photo via 28Collective on Etsy
 

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!

Cryptex with a Hidden Compartment
$29.99

Conceal your surprise voucher, boarding pass, etc. in this Cryptex for optimal mystery points.

02/28/2024 08:04 pm GMT
 

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!

My Go-To Packing Cubes
Eagle Creek Pack-It Original Packing Cubes Set

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.

Buy Now Compare w/ Other Packing Cubes
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
 

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.

Adorable Ribbon-Tied Envelopes
$18.99

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.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/28/2024 06:30 pm GMT
 

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.

My Go-To Travel Favourites:

🧳 Eagle Creek: My favourite packing cubes

💳 Wise: For FREE travel friendly credit cards

🍯 Honey: For finding coupons automatically

🏨 Booking.com: For searching hotels

📷 Sony A7IV: My (amazing) camera

✈️ Google Flights: For finding flight deals

🌎 WorldNomads: For travel insurance

🎉 GetYourGuide: For booking activities

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