Of everyone I know, I might be the worst person to shop for in the world. When family asks me what I wish for during the holiday season, my standard response is: “Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all.” Even when the day is dedicated to me, all I ask is to be remembered in kind terms (for a change).
I have a distinct feeling that I’m not the only frugal traveler who feels this way. After all, our happy group is often rich in many different ways than traditional metrics can be measured. While others may measure their wealth through the value of their house and the cars they drive, frugal travelers measure their wealth by the points they have accrued, the places they have been, and their experiences from traveling the world. The gifts we give are stories of our adventures and souvenirs from places that have changed us for the better – and that’s not a bad thing.
However, it does not change the frustration that their friends and loved ones feel when trying to decide what to gift them during the holiday season. If you have a frugal traveler that you’re not sure how to gift, here are five non-traditional gift ideas you can buy online that might bring a little delight for the adventurer in your life.
TSA-Friendly hand sanitizer: Imagine spending the entire day visiting historic sites at destinations around the world, just to sit down to a meal with rather…weathered hands. A small, portable bottle of hand sanitizer can save the day when washing hands just isn’t an option. There are plenty of options for three-ounce-or-less hand sanitizers, but my favorite come from Bath and Body Works.
Compression Socks: While this may sound like a gift one may receive from an aunt who has forgotten her siblings’ children are now adults (you know the ones I’m talking about), this could actually be a very welcome gift for the frugal traveler. During the travel process, legs have the tendency to swell and become uncomfortable, while also creating a risk for deep vein thrombosis. Compression socks can help promote proper circulation and keep frugal travelers happy when they get to their final destination.
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Bluetooth Speaker: When very far away from home, sometimes it is the smallest comforts that provide the most joy. This can range from watching a favorite movie, to just having music available without wearing headphones every single time. A Bluetooth speaker is a cost-effective and efficient way for travelers to enjoy some of their favorite things in a hotel room or at home, all with the press of a button.
Surge Protector: This gift idea was actually not inspired from a “Weird Al” Yankovich music video, but from practical experiences every traveler has experienced at any given airport, fighting for the only access to the outlet. A travel surge protector ensures travelers stay charged as they hit the road and is a great way to make friends at the charging station. The surge protector I keep in my bag is the Bestek 200W International Travel Voltage Converter – which, entertainingly enough, was a gift from my own mother.
Carry-On Cocktail Kit: Yes, this is an actual thing that exists. In a world of declining amenities at the back of the plane, travelers can still enjoy their favorite cocktails by ordering the small, in-flight bottle of spirits and using the contents of the Carry-On Cocktail Kit. The Cocktail Kit comes in several flavors, including my favorite, the Moscow Mule. Travelers need not worry about the security complications of these kits – they contain no alcohol on their own and are TSA compliant!
Even though frugal travelers may be fickle to shop for, even these gifts will get to the heart of the frugal traveler. With a little creativity and shopping around, everyone can bring a smile to their favorite flyer’s face this holiday season. Don’t forget to reward yourself by earning points with a card that earns extra points on holiday shopping, like the Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express and Amex Offers!
Ed. Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, the article above reflects the opinions of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of FrugalTravelGuy or other writers. Neither the author nor FrugalTravelGuy received an incentive to mention the above items in this article.
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