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It’s down to the wire for the holiday season — are you still shopping for last-minute holiday gifts? We’ve all heard about the supply chain issues at this time of year, and many of us are seeing them firsthand as we wait and hope for holiday gifts to arrive in plenty of time. Or perhaps you’ve had a last-minute addition to your gift list, leaving you wondering whether Amazon Prime can deliver an Apple device or cocktail kit with one-day shipping in time for your family gathering.
Fortunately, last-minute holiday shopping for the best gifts for your favorite traveler doesn’t have to mean picking out a dopp kit at the pharmacy store down the street. Thanks to internet magic, you can find the perfect gift without ever leaving home. Whether you’re looking for luxury gifts or a good deal on some budget ideas, use our gift guide to find the best last-minute gifts for the ones you love – no wrapping paper or gift box required.
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America the Beautiful Pass
The America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass will give your favorite travel lover access to all the national parks and recreation areas with no admission fees. The list of places included is expansive. Not only will your gift recipient gain access to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon – the pass also includes access to other federal lands including Alcatraz and the Mount St. Helens observatory. The passes are non-transferable, so be sure to include the gift recipient’s name when you purchase online. $80.
Subscription to Universal Yums
With each box featuring snacks from a different country or region, a Universal Yums subscription is perfect for a family that loves to travel. Subscription boxes are always one of my favorite last-minute gift ideas because they provide an amazing experience all year long. My own family subscribes to this box occasionally, and it’s always a hit with our kids (yes, even when we tried the Fresh Shrimp & Mayo Seaweed Roll from Thailand). We love the included trivia game and facts that help us learn about new cultures and places. However, the boxes are extra fun for us when they feature places we’ve already visited and we get to remember our favorite spots. The small size offers plenty of fun, but upgrade to larger sizes to share with a group. Starting at $19.
Science Museum Membership
Buy a membership to a local museum that is a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers, and you’ll be giving someone a key to museums all over the entire country. For example, $85 will buy a family membership to the outstanding California Science Center, and the membership card then will provide free or discounted admission to over 350 other museums. (When we’re on a road trip, we always check to see if our destinations have ASTC member museums.) Price varies.
Got an avid outdoor fan on your list, or know someone who has camping aspirations? Give them a glamping experience with Tentrr, who will provide a canvas tent, adirondack chairs, and a queen bed with a memory foam mattress for a hassle-free adventure at locations all across the United States. Some Tentrr destinations offer additional amenities, such as the ability to pick your own vegetables or order farm-fresh eggs. For a more rugged experience, campers can pick private backcountry sites and opt to bring all their own supplies. $16 and up.
Outstanding in the Field
Do you have a foodie family member who loves beautiful, Instagram-worthy locales? Give them a gift certificate for Outstanding in the Field, a pop-up restaurant that takes meals to exotic locations. The gorgeous, outdoor dinners are hosted at farms, beaches, and vineyards to connect diners to food at its source. A gift card allows your loved one to pick where they will experience their special dinner, whether down the road in Santa Barbara or at a secret location in Tulum, Mexico. Starting at $100.
Whether you’re looking for luxury gifts or a few budget ideas, use our gift guide to find the best last-minute gifts for the travelers in your life — no wrapping paper or gift box required.
A CLEAR subscription is a great gift (and a practical gift) for a frequent traveler who hates to wait in line. (I live with one of those!) Give them a subscription to CLEAR, an app for mobile phones which serves as your ID, wallet, and health information card at airports and venues around the country. The app gives travelers access to special lines at airport security and events to keep them moving quickly. $79 for 6 months.
Don’t Miss! Best Gifts for Family Travelers
Do you let your travel miles or credit card points sit in your account, always intending to do something with them and then accidentally letting them expire? Put those points to good use by using them to give the gift of travel to a best friend or family member. Someone once used their travel points to give me my first overseas experience with a first-class plane trip to London, and I will always remember that wonderful gift. With little to no extra cost to yourself, you can give someone the extra miles they need to get a great deal on their next trip or an upgrade to better airplane seats. Free.
Admirals Club Membership
An American Airlines Admirals Club membership is a luxury gift for the special traveler in your life who needs some self-care. I used to wonder why anyone would spend THAT much money on access to an airplane lounge, but it turns out it’s a great way to stay sane in between long flights. I once got stuck in an airport where the only food available in the terminal was in the lounge, and I’ve never been so relieved to see a buffet. So if you have a loved one who travels a lot, give them peace of mind (plus access to gourmet meals and hot showers) by springing for an Admirals Club membership. $650.
Airbnb Gift Card
Give the wanderers in your life the gift of travel in any style with an Airbnb gift card. Whether your friends and family prefer city apartments, country farms, or luxury accommodations with private pools, they can travel their way to any destination with an Airbnb gift card. And the best part is that these gift cards can be used for way more than lodging — the credit also can be used for experiences like a photoshoot, a spa day, walking tours, and more. Starting at any amount.
Don’t Miss! Best Travel Gift Ideas for Tweens
Remember the days of recording songs off of CDs or the radio to create perfect playlists for your best friend or boyfriend? It’s even easier these days with digital downloads. Create a list of songs for a special person to use on their next road trip, and then send them a gift card to purchase the songs for themselves through their music service of choice (like iTunes, Amazon, or YouTube Music). Bonus points if you hand-draw an album cover and liner notes. $5 and up.
Hopefully, these last-minute travel gift ideas can make this time of year stress-free and full of fun. But remember, no matter which special occasion you celebrate, and whether your budget is extravagant or non-existent, there is no better gift than time with the people you love.
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