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Travel Gift Cards and Other Last-Minute Gifts for People Who Hate Stuff

If you have any travel-lovers on your list this year, they most likely don’t want more things cluttering up their jet-setting life. Luckily, travel gift cards and experiences can be purchased last minute and are sure-to-please.

Here are the best travel gift cards to help fund their next vacation, and some other thoughtful ideas, because no matter how much they hate stuff, who wouldn’t want a four-course meal prepared by a chef on their next vacation?

All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

Airline Gift Cards

Airline tickets with a ribbon around it and on top of a passport
adragan | Adobe Stock

If your favorite traveler has a favorite airline, purchase an airline gift card to help them afford their next flight. You can purchase gift cards for major airlines like Delta, Southwest, and American Airlines, or purchase a general airfare gift card through a website like

Travel Gear Gift Cards

A person’s travel gear needs to match their particular travel style, making gifting gear an often disappointing challenge. Skip the guesswork and get the traveler on your list a gift card to their favorite store and let them pick out the gear they really want. Below are a few options for:

Outdoor Enthusiasts REI or Backcountry
Active Travelers Lululemon or adidas
Travel Vloggers and Photographers B&H Photo
Travelers Looking for Luggage Away, Monos, or Beis
Self-Care On-the-Go Sephora, Ulta, or Bed Bath & Beyond

Airbnb Gift Card

For a millennial traveler—or anyone who likes alternative accommodations—grab an Airbnb gift card.

Rideshare Gift Card

Rideshares are a convenient and quick way to get around a new city, plus they’re a simple way to save on airport transportation. Any traveler can make use of an Uber or Lyft travel gift card.

Amtrak Gift Card

Man sitting in empty Amtrak train car looking out on a desert landscape
Jacob | Adobe Stock

You can now purchase Amtrak train fare gift cards, making a weekend destination decision that much easier. Gift cards are available on Amtrak’s website in digital or physical form and at select retailers, and are redeemable online, on the app, and at Amtrak ticket offices.

LoungeBuddy Gift Card

Send your loved one off in style with a VIP airport lounge experience. LoungeBuddy is a platform that lets you book airport lounge access at almost any airport. While LoungeBuddy doesn’t offer traditional gift cards, you can book on behalf of the recipient up to two months in advance. Grab a travel postcard and write down your gifted reservation inside as a homemade alternative.

Eatwith Gift Card

Give an unforgettable meal for their next trip, with an Eatwith gift card. The platform offers dining experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Once you know your destination, you can search for locally-hosted culinary spectacles, like a private chef experience in London or watching a flamenco show with tapas in Chicago.


Woman taking a genetic test at home, placing a cotton swap in a test tube
Microgen | Adobe Stock

DNA and genetic testing kits are one of the hottest gifts to give this year. The results could even inspire the recipient to take a trip of a lifetime to discover more about their heritage and ancestors.

Kindle Unlimited Subscription

Travelers have a lot of downtime on the way to a destination, and many like to fill that time with reading. A Kindle Unlimited subscription gets you access to over one million titles and thousands of audio books for just $10 per month. With this gift, unlimited truly means unlimited.

Intrepid Foundation Global Gift

Donating to a charity on behalf of your recipient is truly a selfless gift. Intrepid Travel’s foundation partners with a variety of organizations to support goals such as reforestation, expanding access to education, and COVID-19 relief. Choose between a one-time or recurring monthly donation.

Game of Thrones Tour

Can’t wait for season two of House of Dragons? Gift your token GOT-lover an experience they won’t forget. Viator offers a variety of tours through filming locations across Europe in countries like Croatia, Ireland, and Spain.

Groupon Gift Card

Groupon is a frequently overlooked budget saver when it comes to travel, and a gift card lets the recipient browse dozens of deals on food, activities, and experiences in their chosen destination.

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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