More Consumers Want the Gift of Travel This Holiday Season, Say America’s Travel Leaders

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U.S. consumers are expected to spend more during the 2016 holiday season compared to last year, and, with travel on their list, Travel Leaders suggests giving the gift of travel.

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"The gift of travel will inspire the recipient to cross a trip or destination off their wish list."

Gift-giving remains a large part of the holiday season. Deciding what to give a close friend, colleague or family member is not always easy. One gift someone can never receive too often, in terms of the reward of memories and experiences, is the gift of travel. Travel Leaders – America’s largest retail travel agency brand with thousands of travel agents across the United States – are seeing an uptick in the number of clients adding a travel component to their gift-giving list. Whether it is as a multigenerational family trip, a gift card toward a cruise experience, or simply covering the cost of a passport or TSA Precheck, Travel Leaders offers practical tips on giving the gift of travel.

“Many people procrastinate in making travel plans because they aren’t certain where and when to go, or even with whom to travel. That’s why the gift of travel is a perfect solution to give to family, friends or even colleagues,” said Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network. “The gift will inspire the recipient by providing the emotional impetus and financial incentive to cross a trip or destination off their wish list. And our Travel Leaders travel agents can provide their expert advice on the best destinations for any occasion and personality.”

Studies show that the holidays spur thoughts of travel into action. U.S. consumers are expected to spend 10% more during the 2016 holiday season compared to last year, with almost half of the total holiday budget (42%) going to travel and entertainment, according to PwC’s 2016 Holiday Outlook. As for their wish list of what they’d like to receive, 31% said experiential gifts of travel and entertainment.

There are many ways to give the gift of travel that will enhance an experience or spark an opportunity for the recipient that does not necessarily involve planning a surprise trip. Here are some of Travel Leaders recommendations for giving the gift of travel:

  • Purchase TSA Precheck or Global Entry. If a traveler has not yet signed up for expedited service at security checkpoints, offer to pay for the service. It’s a gesture that shows consideration for their time. TSA Precheck for domestic travel costs $80 for a 5-year clearance and Global Entry for International travel costs $100 for 5-years and includes TSA Precheck.
  • Pay for a Passport. If the traveler has not yet been overseas or has a passport that will soon expire, encourage them to expand their travel horizons by offering to pay the $110 cost of a new passport. The forms can be downloaded from http://www.travel.state.gov. Since a passport for an adult is good for 10 years, it is essentially an amazing gift that keeps on giving.
  • Airline Ticket. Whether it is to encourage someone to come for a visit or to tag-along for a vacation, it is simple to cover the airfare for someone. Most major airlines, including Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, offer gift cards that can be sent to the recipient or delivered via email with a personal message. Carriers will have different terms and conditions for their use, so be sure to check the fine print. Generally, airline gift cards can only be used to pay for transportation, not for services such as baggage fees. A Travel Leaders travel agent can offer a voucher for the recipient to use that can cover more than just the flight.
  • Airport Lounge Pass. For the business traveler, frequent traveler, or just those who like extra perks when they travel, an airport lounge pass could make any recipient feel extra special. Since most lounges offer complimentary food and beverages, along with free wi-fi, it can quickly pay itself off for the most frequent flyer.
  • Set Sail on a Cruise. For the person whose ideal vacation is spending time at sea, gift cards can be purchased for many cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line. In addition to helping pay for the trip, they can be redeemed for a variety of onboard purchases, including spa treatments, at the gift shop, dining at a specialty restaurant or, in some cases, for shore excursions.
  • All-Inclusive Family Resorts. Spending the holidays with family is always special. But that together time can easily be accomplished away from home. Save time for the matriarch or patriarch who often hosts and spends as much time cleaning and prepping as entertaining, by suggesting next year’s holiday family gathering be at an all-inclusive resort. One person doesn’t have to pay for the whole family, but a contribution toward the cost or an added amenity, is still a gift of travel, as is no clean-up.
  • Destinations to Choose From. For those who want to give an actual travel package, that’s possible too, with the help of a Travel Leaders travel agent. They are skilled specialists who can discuss with the gift-giver what destination might be ideal for the recipient based on the individual’s interests and previous travel experience – whether it’s active and adventure travel; romance; experiential and luxury travel; history and culture, culinary exploration; or simply a relaxing sunny and warm destination. And many provide gift certificates for those last minute shoppers.

“Travel Better” with Travel Leaders. Travel Leaders has thousands of travel agent specialists who provide expert advice on the perfect vacation, whether domestic or international. Travel promotions are always available. To find a qualified travel agent or to find the nearest Travel Leaders location, visit TravelLeaders.com or call 800-335-TRIP (8747). #iTravel Better with @TravelLeaders.

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Travel Leaders is transforming travel with a name that boldly embodies our commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. As one of America’s top ten-ranked travel companies, Travel Leaders has assisted millions of travelers through our strong roots – the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group joined together in 2008 to form one of the industry’s fastest-growing and robust networks of travel agents. Travel Leaders Franchise Group can trace its beginnings to 1984 as the franchise system “Ask Mr. Foster Travel,” which itself was North America’s first travel agency chain established in 1888.

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Sheree Curry
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