Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Traveler’s Advisory

Everyone knows the classic idea of bringing home gifts for the family, when you have to go out of town on a business trip. Tourist traps and especially airport shops depend on this; knowing that business travelers who are going away can be expected to be a little freer with their gift buying money than they would be otherwise. So, they jack their prices up to take advantage of that feeling of moment’s desperation when we say “oh no, I’m heading home and I don’t have anything for my family.”

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be willing to buy nice gifts for the kiddies and especially that you shouldn’t be willing to buy a nice gift for your wife. After all, she’s had to put up with the kids and the problems all by herself while you were gone. She’s definitely worth whatever you’re going to spend.
I just came home from a 10 day trip out of the country. In the airport I bought my wife a piece of jewelry (always a good gift idea). It was a rather unique necklace, in a Victorian filigree flower design, which definitely spoke of her personality. Not only was it a nice gift, but it was something that was definitely made for her. Had it not been so special, I probably wouldn’t have been willing to pay airport prices for it.

On the other hand, remember the scoring rules for this game; if you buy your wife an expensive gift, you get one point and if you buy her an inexpensive gift you get one point. Of course, if your gift is too cheap or not a romantic gift, you’re not going to get any points at all.

Let’s apply a little strategy to this gift-giving issue and see if we can maybe come up with a way of getting a little more bang for our buck.

First of all, I’d suggest avoiding all those cute little trinkets that they sell in the tourist traps which say “Miami” or “San Francisco.” Not only are they really cheesy gifts, but they’ll serve as a constant reminder that you went someplace interesting without her. Not a good plan. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy her something with a regional flavor, especially if it’s something that you can’t get at home.

It helps to make sure you put shopping time in your schedule. Now, that’s really easy for women to do, but rather hard for us guys. We’re missing that shopping gene, which automatically attracts us to stores. However, you’re going to spend much less money in a regular store, than you are in the airport.

It always helps to keep a list of romantic gift ideas in your personal organizer. That way, when you’ve got to find a gift in a hurry, you don’t have to worry about your brain lock. Little things that your wife has mentioned she’d like, things that you’d spotted before and know she likes, and classes of gifts which have received really good “reviews” from her in the past are all good candidates for this list.

Another way that you can save yourself time and money on this gift buying spree is to pre-buy your gifts. Now, I realize that some women might consider this cheating, but who says she ever has to know? I’m a big fan of shopping on the Internet. Not only does it save me time in the stores, it saves me money as well. So, all I have to do is pre-select the gift I want to buy for my wife (and even for the kiddies), and have it shipped to the hotel where I will be staying. That way, when I get there, it’s waiting for me.

I suppose an alternative to having the gift shipped to your hotel would be to have it shipped to the office and pack it in your bags. That would save the same amount of time and still insure that you have a gift ready when you come back. Just make sure that she isn’t packing your bag for you.

Remember, this is supposed to be about thinking about her. So, it’s important that you choose a gift that shows that you’re thinking about her; otherwise, you’re not going to get any points in the romance department. 

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