While we like getting gifts, giving them, including what to buy and whom to tip, can be the gremlin that steals a big chunk of our seasonal joy. Some 30% of Americans prefer doing household chores than hitting the stores to find holiday gifts, according to a recent survey by Travelzoo, an online travel site. The worst gift received, the survey found, was socks and the best gift was a trip or gift card. People want experiences.
Travelzoo’s Gift Findings (see infographic below):
• 80% of people would rather get an experience instead of a physical gift.
• 81% would rather receive concert tickets than an iTunes gift card.
• 78% would rather go on a weekend getaway then receive 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets.
• 72% opted for a romantic dinner over a Cuisinart Mixer.
• 67% would rather receive a round of golf instead of a golf driver.
Let’s apply these guidelines to the list of people we tip for the holidays. Seventy percent of families will tip this holiday season and 18% plan to tip more this season than last year, according to Care.com, an online site that assists people with finding and managing family care.
How much do we tip? One in five families, according to Care.com, will spend more than $250 in holiday tips. Eight percent of families will spend more than $400 in tips.
Care.com’s Holiday Tip Findings:
• 85% tip to say thank you for a job well done.
• 21% tip because it is expected.
• 49% tip up to three people.
• 60% prioritize tips for babysitters, nannies, and daycare workers.
• 42% tip those who regularly interact with their children such as coaches, tutors, and teachers.
• 47% tip personal care contacts such as hairstylists, manicurists, and personal trainers.
Apply the gift findings to the tip findings and we come up with gifts that encourage experiences. That’s something travel gifts do.
Travel and Experiential Gift Options:
• Call the hotel or resort that your tip receiver will be staying at and give the gift of a special dinner.
• Give the football or soccer coach tickets to a local football or soccer game. Organize your kid’s team to pool their cash gifts to purchase tickets to a game within an easy drive of home plus a weekend away.
• Buy your nanny concert tickets to a group she or he loves.
• Purchase smart luggage tags for frequent flyers. The tags feature barcodes or microchips that identify your luggage. You add your itinerary online. If your luggage is lost, that tags make is easier for airlines to find your bag, find you and update you on the bag’s status. Consider SuperSmartTag.com or ReboundTag.com.
• More useful travel items include: compact umbrellas ($30); waterproof phone protectors for those headed to the beach ($19); world travel alarm clocks and flashlights ($26); folding backpacks ($40); and world travel adapters with four plugs ($40). All of these are available through Magellan’s.
Would you rather receive an experience or an item? What are your favorite experiential gifts? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.