So you procrastinated. If you’ve missed the shipping deadlines to order gifts online and have them arrive in time for the holidays, all is not lost. There are still plenty of last-minute travel gift ideas for the travelers in your life. Thankfully, many of our favorite brands offer digital travel gift cards that are made to use for future trips. From photo books designed to be customized online by the recipient to Airbnb gift cards and airport security memberships, nobody will be any the wiser that you didn’t shop early this year.
1. National Parks Pass
- Buy now: $80, usgs.gov
Give the gift of the great outdoors with a National Parks Pass. Even if your outdoorsy friend already has one, the annual pass has to be renewed each year. Although physical passes have to be shipped, simply send them an IOU to renew their annual pass, which covers entrance fees at national parks and many other national public land sites. If you’re getting this for anyone age 62 or older, keep in mind Annual Senior Passes are only $20, while a Lifetime Senior Pass is $80.
2. Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) membership
- Buy now: From $39 (was $49) for a one-year Premium membership, going.com
For travelers who spend hours poking around Google Flights for fun to find flight deals to inspire their next trip, give them an upgraded membership to Going. Originally founded as Scott’s Cheap Flights by former journalist Scott Keyes in 2015, the subscription-based service delivers cheap flight deals from your airports of choice by email as they are rolled out by airlines.
Digital gift cards are available for one, two, or five years of Going Premium or Elite membership and can be sent by email or printed out. A Premium membership allows users to follow deals from up to 10 airports, with alerts for economy-class deals, weekend getaways, and mistake fares. An Elite membership—currently on sale for $159 for one year (normally $199)—includes all of the previously mentioned perks, as well as deals for premium economy, business-, and first-class tickets for an unlimited number of departure airports.
3. Airbnb gift card
- Buy now: Various, airbnb.com
Whether they’re looking to book a cozy cabin in Vermont or a beach house in Hawai‘i, travelers will be thrilled to receive an Airbnb gift card to use toward accommodations on their next trip. Airbnb offers digital gift cards that can be used for any of its vacation rentals or experiences around the world. If you want to give a physical Airbnb gift card, you can find them at stores, including Target, CVS, and Walgreens, plus grocery chains like Safeway and Kroger.
4. Airline gift card
The jet-setters in your life will love a gift card to their favorite airline to help offset the cost of their next flight. Several domestic airlines offer gift cards, including American Airlines ($50–$1,500, via email or FedEx), Delta ($50–$2,000, via email or UPS), Southwest ($50–$1,000, via email, USPS, or FedEx), and Alaska Airlines ($25–$500, via email or printed).
5. Hipcamp or Tentrr gift card
For those who love to camp, give them a digital gift card to the campsite booking platforms Hipcamp or Tentrr. Tentrr offers fully equipped campsites—complete with already-pitched safari tents and other camping essentials—on both private and public land, including many New York State Parks. On the other hand, Hipcamp is a peer-to-peer booking platform for campsites on privately owned land with sites that range from simple, bring-your-own-tent spaces to rustic cabins in the woods.
6. Flytographer vacation photo shoot
- Buy now: From $285 for a 30-minute session, flytographer.com
Do you always end up playing Instagram photographer for your family on vacation? Give them a digital gift card to Flytographer, a company that connects travelers with local photographers for photo shoots in cities around the world from New York to Tokyo. Sessions can be booked via Flytographer for as short as 30 minutes (great for families with small children) and up to two hours. A 30-minute session comes with 15 prints plus the digital files and one location that the travelers can choose themselves. Longer sessions include multiple locations and up to 60 prints, including digital files.
7. Artifact Uprising gift card
- Buy now: Various, artifactuprising.com
Nudge your favorite travel photographer to finally turn their memory cards full of jpegs into actual prints with a digital gift card from Artifact Uprising sent via email. The high-quality online printing service offers everything from small Instagram-friendly print sets to framed photographs to hardcover photo books.
8. Martha Stoumen Wine Club membership
- Buy now: From $240 per shipment, marthastoumen.com
Instead of giving a natural wine lover a single bottle as gift, give them a membership to Sonoma County–based winemaker Martha Stoumen’s wine club, which offers first and exclusive access to new releases. Choose between a 6- or 12-bottle membership, arriving in two shipments a year, in the spring and fall. To give this as a gift, just select “give this membership as a gift” on the join page to fill in the recipient’s name and email.
9. Rosetta Stone language classes
- Buy now: From $48 for three months, rosettastone.com
Those planning a milestone trip in 2024 can give their family the gift of online language classes—delivered as a digital gift card via email—to prepare for going abroad. Rosetta Stone is known for teaching dozens of languages quickly through immersive classes that are available now on both desktop and mobile apps.
10. Clear membership
- Buy now: From $89 for a six-month membership, clearme.com
Even if they already have TSA PreCheck, a Clear membership will help frequent travelers get through airport security even faster by bringing them to the front of the security line. Digital gift cards are available for either a six-month membership ($89) or a full-year membership ($189) and can be emailed or texted directly to the recipient or printed out to deliver in person.
11. Away luggage gift card
- Buy now: From $25, awaytravel.com
Choosing your own luggage is an entirely personal affair. Even more so with Away suitcases, which come in nearly a dozen different colors. A digital gift card will let the recipient take full control of their own design online. The AFAR-favorite Bigger Carry-On starts at $295.
12. Atlas Coffee Subscription
- Buy now: From $50, atlascoffeeclub.com
For the adventurous coffee drinkers in your life, give them the gift of freshly roasted beans from around the world with a 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscription with Atlas Coffee Club. Each month, the company will send freshly roasted micro-lot coffees from more than 50 countries around the world. In addition to a rotating selection of rare coffees sourced from Kenya, Tanzania, Colombia, Brazil, Indonesia, and beyond, each shipment includes a suggested brewing method, plus an informative postcard explaining more about the region where the coffee beans were cultivated.
13. Goldbelly delivery
- Buy now: Various, goldbelly.com
For the travelers who plan entire vacations around a destination’s food, give them the gift of Goldbelly. This online marketplace ships iconic regional foods from around the United States via UPS and FedEx so ice cream arrives intact and meat arrives unspoiled. Get some inspiration from AFAR editor favorites, browse Goldbelly’s curated Christmas collection, or search by region to see if their favorite bakery or barbecue spot is on there.
This article was originally published in 2021; it was most recently updated with new information on December 19, 2023.