The benefits of travel are impossible to wrap up in a gift — taking in the splendor of an impossibly beautiful view, touching down on a new continent, or having a life-changing conversation with a local who lives oceans away from you.
But if you want to encourage the budding jet-setter in your life or help your frequent-flier best friend add to that passport stamp collection, travel gift cards absolutely can be wrapped (or sent quickly via email when it’s down to the wire).
Related: The Best Gift Ideas for Travelers
You can select gift cards that will make getting to and from destinations easier or enrich the experience on the ground. From language classes to a few nights at a hotel, there are a myriad of gift card options for travel lovers.
And, hey, if you have a birthday coming up yourself, don’t be shy. Forward this link to your friends and family to treat you to what you actually want: a ticket out of here!
Southwest Airlines Gift Card
Southwest is known for offering booking flexibility with no hidden costs, and the airline consistently ranks on our World’s Best domestic airlines list. So if you’ve got a friend or family member who's been pining for a weekend getaway, you’ll be their new favorite person with this pick.
To buy: amazon.com
Hotels.com Gift Card
Expedia’s hotel arm, Hotels.com, is one of the best places to score hotel bookings and packages for less. The site is always offering savings at some of the top spots to stay around the world, from Paris to Cabo San Lucas. You’ll effectively be gifting a discount and taking care of the bill, too.
To buy: hotels.com
Restaurant.com Gift Card
Are your parents finally doing that cross-country RV trip they’ve been talking about since, well, forever? Make sure they’re well fed with a Restaurant.com gift card. With hundreds of dining options to choose from, they can book reservations across every state border they attempt to take a selfie on.
To buy: restaurant.com
ClassPass Gift Card
Staying active while traveling is always a tricky situation: you want that last mug of beer at a local pub in London, but you also want to wake up early enough to work out. Encourage healthy habits with a gift card to ClassPass. Thanks to the “Flex” feature, your business-traveling friend can toggle her gyms between New York and Los Angeles, or London and Sydney. You can select any amount to give, from a single fitness class to a 10-pack, in more than 50 locations around the globe.
To buy: classpass.com
Some folks travel for food and sights, while others chase their favorite musicians, comedians, and athletic teams across the country and the world. For the superfan in your life, consider a gift card to StubHub, where they’ll be pumped to spend less on pricey tickets and still get that seat in the stadium.
To buy: stubhub.com
Airbnb Gift Card
For someone you know who values a truly local experience when they travel, an Airbnb gift card is a no-brainer. Now they can use it to either book a unique space to sleep or an experience with a local, like blending their own wine in the vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-Pape or learning the ritual of cigar making in Cuba.
To buy: amazon.com
Away Luggage Gift Card
Did your little brother finally graduate college and decide to test his adulting capabilities with a year abroad? Celebrate his success and sense of adventure with this smart piece of luggage from Away. Through the gift section of their website, he’ll be able to pick the color and the size, but each can come with a built-in portable charger. That way, when he’s racing through security and somehow manages to lose his credit card, you’re only a phone call away.
To buy: awaytravel.com
eBags Gift Card
So your friend’s already loyal to a few other luggage brands? We get it. We have our favorites, too. With an eBags.com gift card, they’ll be able to save on travel brands like Tumi, Travelpro, Samsonite, and hundreds more. And if they’re not quite ready to give up their trusty carry-on — even though it’s looking a little worse for wear — they can pick up a few accessories like travel pillows and even Bose headphones for less.
To buy: ebags.com
Zappos Gift Card
When you're traveling, there are few things more important than having comfortable shoes. A a gift card to this online store will help your friend find exactly what they're looking for — from winter boots for a trip to the mountains to sandals for an upcoming beach vacation.
To buy: zappos.com
Apple Gift Card
Have a digitally nomadic friend who you constantly have to locate via Facebook? They’ve mastered the skill of booking a flight at the drop of a hat and finding the cheapest last-minute hostel or hotel deal, but they could always use a little insurance for their most valuable asset: their technology. With an Apple gift card, they’ll be able to buy the accessories they need or enjoy a little discount if their laptop or iPhone bites the dust on the road.
To buy: apple.com
Amazon Gift Card
When you think of traveling, your first instinct might not be to shop online, but if your friend is heading for a long trek overseas? There’s nothing quite as addicting as reading every last review on Amazon for suitcases, packing cubes, outlet converters, and portable chargers. Especially if your pal is already subscribed to Amazon Prime, a gift card to this marketplace will help them keep their bags stocked with all the travel essentials.
To buy: amazon.com
CheapoAir Gift Card
Is there anything more tempting than getting a travel alert that your saved search for Lisbon is having a major last-minute sale? We think not. Arm your friend with another excuse to “call in sick” on Monday with a gift card to CheapoAir.com. Here, she can search for the least expensive routes and book without thinking twice about when her next paycheck hits.
To buy: cheapoair.com
Columbia Gift Card
After months of training, your sister is finally setting out to hike the Appalachian Trail all by her bad self. Express your support and encouragement with a gift card to Columbia, one of the leading trusted brands in outdoor wear. Depending on how generous you’re feeling, you can outfit her with a tent, an insulated jacket, a backpack, and much more.
To buy: columbia.com
Uber Gift Card
Navigating a new city can be stressful, especially with language barriers and signs you can’t understand. Uber is now available in many parts of the world, making a gift certificate not only a smart idea, but one that will help you rest easy, knowing your friend can make it from point A to point B safely.
To buy: amazon.com
Rail Europe Gift Card
After months of talking about it, your friend who has been itching for a change finally booked that one-way ticket to London. As they prepare to try their hand at crossing borders and checking off that 40-before-40 country bucket list, send them packing with a Rail Europe gift card. As one of the most seamless ways to get from Paris and Amsterdam to Madrid and Berlin, you’ll help them to not only save money, but also get a glimpse into the countryside between cities.
To buy: raileurope.com
Fluent City Gift Card
If being able to speak another language comfortably has always been a goal for your mom and now she’s heading to Italy post-retirement, consider giving the gift of spoken word. Fluent City offers in-person language classes in New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston, and also has pay-per-lesson online video classes. Being conversational in Italian will help her navigate the many cities and seaside towns she’s touring, and more importantly, give her an entryway into true local immersions, since she’ll be able to ask deeper questions and understand the greater impact of living — albeit, briefly — in another land.
To buy: fluentcity.com
Starbucks Gift Card
Ok, trying the local coffee concoctions in every country is an important experience. But real talk? Sometimes travelers crave a venti iced coffee instead of a mini shot of espresso that you can’t take to go. For when the caffeine fix hits your globetrotting pal, a Starbucks gift card will come the rescue.
To buy: amazon.com