For the traveller who has everything, gift cards are the answer to all gifting opportunities.
No longer a sorry go-to for the last-minute shopper, gift cards and vouchers afford you the chance to help your loved one put money toward something they really want. It's particularly handy for big-ticket items such as travel.
For the gift giver, they're now even easier to gift with many travel agencies and airlines allowing you to purchase and email the voucher within seconds.
Where to buy travel gift vouchers and cards online:
Flight Centre travel Gift Cards
Flight Centre - International
Virgin Australia gift voucher
Virgin Australia - Deals
Redballoon gift voucher
Radisson Blu gift card
Oaks gift card
Oaks Hotels & Resorts
Hilton gift card
Crowne Plaza gift card
City Discovery gift cards
Adrenaline gift voucher
What types of gift vouchers are available?
- Hotel gift cards: Major hotel chains such as Crowne Plaza, Hilton and Radisson Blu offer gift cards. Give them to newlyweds for a honeymoon room upgrade or to a special someone you know who is overdue for a pamper staycation.
- Travel gift cards: Sometimes referred to as travel agency gift cards, this is the ultimate gift for any traveller and acts as a "down payment" or starting point for a new adventure. Whether they're still considering a trip or have booked their flight and nothing else, travel gift cards can be put towards their flight, accommodation, tours and more. Virgin Australia and Jetstar.
- Experience gift cards: For the traveller who's already booked the big stuff, buy an experience in their destination to give them memories they never knew they always wanted. This also works as a gift to friends in far places where a physical gift isn't possible or for minimalists who prefer experiences and discovery over physical items. Some experience experts that offer gift cards include Adrenaline and RedBalloon.
How do travel gift cards or vouchers work?
Essentially a travel gift card or voucher works like credit which you can redeem at specific stores or travel agencies. You'll have to read the terms and conditions, but for the most part, these should be able to be redeemed toward anything that specific store sells. Any left-over funds can typically be redeemed later on, though again, this depends on the terms and conditions.
Bear in mind that gift cards usually have an expiry date attached. So if you know your giftee isn't travelling for a while, it might be better to hold off until a later date to give them that gift of travel.
Things to consider when buying travel gift card
As a gift voucher for travel is often a substantial purchase, some things you may like to consider before choosing your gift are:
- Paper or plastic: Typically, gift cards and vouchers come in card or electronic format. Buying an electronic voucher online allows the recipient to store the voucher in their email instead of their wallet where it may get lost. It's also instantaneous, making for the perfect on-the-fly present. Physical cards purchased online need to be posted out, which can incur a postage cost. On the upside, your giftee will receive a nicely decorated card as opposed to a paper print out.
- Terms and conditions: Make a point to read the terms and conditions attached to the gift card and always check for an expiration date if the card has one. If you have questions call the customer support number, which is usually located on the back of the card.
- Travel agent or direct: Gift cards can be with the hotel/airline direct or with a travel agent such as Flight Centre. If they're loyal to an airline or hotel chain, you might prefer to purchase a gift card for that specific airline/hotel. If you're unsure, purchasing a voucher for an online travel agency enables the giftee the flexibility of booking anything from flights and hotels to cruises and experiences without having to commit to a certain airline, hotel or cruise line.
- How much to give: Ultimately this comes down to you, but be mindful of how much you're putting onto the gift card and how much the purchase price will actually cost, particularly for smaller price point items. For example, if you know that your giftee is going to use your voucher for a hotel stay but you only put $50 on it when the minimum room cost is $200. Depending on their plans and budget, it might not be worth it for them to use that voucher. On the other hand, for bigger ticket items like an international flight, it might be a nice part-payment toward a flight they're already planning to book.