Are you looking for ideas about how to give a holiday as a gift!? Well you are in the right place! I have so many fun, thoughtful, exciting and easy ways to present a holiday as a gift.
I’ve written lots of travel themed gift guides over the years but, realistically, the best gift you can give a travel lover is a holiday!
No one really wants fancy luggage tags or passport holders, we just want to be whisked away on holiday.
A weekend away is the best present ever and it’s even better because you get to share in that gift too. And, let’s be honest, it’s much nicer to spend an evening on the sofa searching for hotels than it is battling your way through the crowds as you buy presents on the high street!
The only problem with giving someone a weekend away or a holiday as a gift is that they don’t have anything physical to open on Christmas day/their birthday/Valentine’s Day etc.
I don’t care how old you are, it’s always nice to have an actual present all wrapped up with a pretty bow. And as the gift giver it’s nice to see their face as they unwrap their present and realise where they’re going.
So here are some creative ways you can give travel as a gift and present your loved one a physical present.
If you haven’t got a trip booked yet, here are 52 weekend away ideas to get you started!
Should you keep the whole holiday a surprise or tell them beforehand?
When you’re gifting a holiday, you can either keep the whole thing a secret until just before you leave or you can use one of these ideas to give a holiday as a gift prior to the trip.
I think it’s a wonderful idea to keep the whole thing a surprise but, realistically, it’s difficult to do for adults. It’s easier for children who don’t have busy schedules and don’t make their own plans, but adults have complicated schedules and it could be difficult to pause their social life and their work life without them knowing!
It’s definitely much easier to tell them beforehand and gift them their holiday in one of these fun and creative ways!
I recently surprised my husband with a surprise honeymoon to Menorca and did something in between! I’d told him we were going away to our caravan in Abersoch because we’d spent all of our wedding budget but I’d secretly booked a holiday to Menorca to stay stay at Barcelo Nura 5* all-inclusive!
Organising a surprise holiday like this worked really well because Sam knew the dates we were going away…we just went somewhere a million times better than he expected! This ensured he booked the dates off work, didn’t make plans for while we were away and didn’t become suspicious when I was doing all my normal pre-holiday jobs and organising my own suitcase!
We needed to leave our house at 5am to make our flight so I’d planned to wake him up in the morning at 4.45am and tell him we were leaving. But I started to panic it would be too stressful so I ended up telling him just before we went to bed the night before! He was really pleased I’d told him because he wanted to organise his own bag and he would have felt really confused and disorientated being whisked away to the airport at 5am!
Happy gifting and happy travels!
How to present a holiday as a gift
1. Give them a guidebook
Buy them a guidebook to the destination you’re visiting. You’ll see the flicker of confusion that runs across their face as they open a Lonely Planet to Venice and wonder why on earth you’ve bought this. They then put on their fake smile as they graciously accept this random present…then it finally clicks and you see their face light up when they realise what the real present is!
2. Have a suitcase packed for them
This one takes a bit of organisation and you’ll need to know the other person REALLY well but if you can pull it off it’s a great way to surprise them. Pack a suitcase for them and then wrap up the suitcase for them to open. They’ll probably be really confused as to why you’ve wrapped up an old case but this is still a great way to surprise them.
Bonus tip: If you know the person really well and you’ve got extra money to spend, fill the case with new clothes for them to wear while you’re on holiday.
I did this recently during a surprise holiday to Menorca for our honeymoon! My husband and I weren’t planning on going away after we got married because we’d spent all of our wedding budget! But I managed to hold some back and book a surprise trip. I was so pleased with myself!
We were only away for four nights and it was a relaxed holiday so I was confident packing his suitcase for him. I packed some of his trusty favourite items but then had fun buying him some new clothes too. I had a little spree at Tog24 and got him some lovely shirts and shorts.
It was a really nice feeling for Sam to arrive in a new destination with a suitcase full of new clothes!
3. Give them a diary with your holiday dates marked in
This one works particularly well if you’re giving a holiday as a Christmas gift as a new diary initially seems like a very normal present. But this is a dairy with a difference because you will have already marked a special trip in it!
You may need to pop a post-it note or even your tickets in the page of the diary to make sure it opens there – it could get boring asking them to flick through every date!
4. Give them mini clue presents
Let’s say you’re taking your loved one to Paris for the weekend, you could give them a mini Eiffel Tower statue, some French brie, some French wine or a beret. Or you could be a bit more cryptic and give them a series of more difficult clues to help them figure out where you’re going.
5. Wrap up their passport
If you’ve already spent your entire present budget on your weekend away then why not just wrap up their passport? Keep it a secret as to where you’re going for added excitement!
6. Make them a voucher
Keep things cheap with a DIY voucher for your weekend away. You could even make a voucher booklet for different parts of your trip such as a romantic meal, a luxury hotel, a spa treatment and breakfast in bed. You can download gift vouchers here for a professional template.
7. Write a poem
You don’t need to be William Wordsworth to write a poem – the simpler the better in my opinion! Write a poem explaining what’s going on and watch their face change from confusion to delight as they read it out!
Have you ever given the gift of travel and how did you present it?
Bonus tip: Try WowTrip
If you’re not overly confident booking a holiday or you don’t know where to take the person, why not try WowTrip?
WowTrip is a company who offer surprise holidays. Basically, you choose your dates and your departure airport and they book everything for you. Prices start from £150pp and they’ll reveal where you’re going just before you fly. It’s really exciting and takes a lot of the stress and hassle out of booking a holiday.
I’ve taken two WowTrips and I loved them. I’ve written about my first one here when I went to Brussels: WowTrip review: Would you take a mystery holiday?
How to give a holiday as a gift for a control freak!
Lots of people will be panicking about giving a holiday as a gift for someone who is…for want of a better word…a total control freak! Lots of people wouldn’t like the idea of having everything organised for them and many people wouldn’t like to have their suitcases packed for them!
If this is the case then I’d recommend just buying their flights and gifting them the flights as their present. You can then look at booking the hotel together and arranging your day trips and things together.
You can then add extra little surprises onto the trip, such as having champagne waiting in your room or other little presents or surprise days out for when you arrive.
Other things to think about when giving a holiday as a gift
There are other things you’re going to need to consider when you’re giving someone a holiday as a gift.
- Have they booked time off work?
- Does someone need to look after their plants or their pet?
- How will you stop them making plans for the time you’ll be away?
- How will you stop them doing things like arranging a food shop to be delivered while you’re away?
- Have they got travel insurance?
- Do they need any medication?
Keeping costs down when giving a trip as a gift
It sounds extravagant when you talk about giving a holiday as a gift but it really doesn’t need to be.
Take a look at Skyscanner and find some cheap flights somewhere new. I’ve recently had flights to Marrakech, Krakow, Tallin and Vilnius for less than £20 return. Book them for a future date so you then have time to save for accommodation and spending money together.
If you’re trying to keep costs low, make sure you book cheap flights to a cheap destination. I recently made the mistake of booking cheap flights to Ibiza and then realised there is no way to do Ibiza on the cheap!
Another cheap option would be to book a local glamping experience or take a look at a site like TravelZoo for amazing packages. I had an incredible Transylvania package holiday for £300 and it was amazing. It included a stay in an ice hotel and a once-in-a-lifetime adventure around Transylvania.