Last minute gift ideas for travel and adventure-loving friends

Last minute gift ideas for travel and adventure-loving friends

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Christmas is just days away, and you’re starting to panic because you still haven’t found the perfect gift for your best friend or that faithful colleague who always supports you just when you need it most. Should that special someone enjoy travel or days out on the town, here are some gifts that can easily be purchased — and oftentimes gifted — online. These gifts carry the assumption that by some point in 2021, our pandemic-upended lives will be somewhat back to normal, so these are not only presents, but a token of hope for the future, too.

Concert tickets: The anticipation of seeing a favorite performer grows ever greater as the date draws near. A few of the acts with European tours on the docket in 2021 include Sting, Pixies, Hollywood Vampires, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Foreigner, Kool & The Gang, The Temptations and Lenny Kravitz, among others. Adticket sells both tickets and vouchers in amounts of your own choosing.

Dining experiences: Does your friend have gourmet taste? Then he or she will certainly appreciate a meal at an upscale establishment. A voucher for lunch for two at the elegant Orangerie in the Nassauer Hof hotel complex in Wiesbaden comes in at 44 euros. Zur Linde in Stuttgart, with its excellent Swabian homestyle cooking, sells vouchers in the amounts of 50, 80, 100 or 150 euros.

Beer tasting sessions: Maisel & Friends in Bayreuth offers various beer-related tours and experiences; for example, two-hour tasting sessions of different styles of beers or pairings with cheese or chocolate. While it’s not possible to book a specific date at present, vouchers are available at a cost of 39 euros per participant.

Spa days: Friends who enjoy soaking their troubles away will no doubt appreciate a voucher to a day out at a “Therme,” where pools, saunas and hot tubs warm both body and soul. A voucher for a full day’s worth of the use of facilities at Monte Mare in Kaiserslautern goes for 33.50 euros.

Flights: Give the gift of flight with vouchers redeemable on certain airlines. Budget airline Ryanair sells themed gift cards in 25-euro increments online. New routes announced for the summer of 2021 include its twice-weekly connections between Frankfurt-Hahn and Venice-Treviso, Italy and between Cologne-Bonn and Lisbon, Portugal.

Beer and wine: Support local breweries and wineries with a purchase of their finest products. The Kuehn Kunz Rosen craft brewery in Mainz offers a large Christmas box of beer containing 10 beers and two glasses for approximately 30 euros plus additional shipping costs. Or choose a wine from one of Bad Duerkheim’s makers such as Karl Schaefer, which offers a set of three Rieslings from top locations for 42 euros.

Hotel stays: Plenty of hotels sell gift certificates easily redeemable within their own establishments, but to give your friend a little leeway, consider buying one from a chain with numerous types of hotels in various locations. The multinational hospitality company Accor Live Limitless, whose 39 brands include Ibis, Mercure, Novotel and Sofitel, sells gift certificates in customized amounts between 20 and 250 euros.

Online experiences: Airbnb sells gift cards redeemable for dozens of online experiences led by private hosts, from a ravioli and gnocchi cooking class based in Italy ($24) to a Harry Potter Magic in Edinburgh tour ($11). Do note, however, that these gift cards can only be purchased and redeemed by individuals in the United States with a payment method that was issued in the United States.

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