As a van-lifer, I’ve learned to value experiences over material goods. If you’re looking for a way to delight your loved ones without adding to their amount of “stuff,” consider giving the gift of travel. Need some ideas? I’ve got you covered! I’ve put together six fun ideas for how to gift a Maryland road trip, whether you’re shopping for a little kid, friend, or aging parent. The holidays are for creating and enjoying traditions. Why not reflect these values in the gifts we give?
Entrance Passes and Reservations
Gifting someone an entrance pass can be the start of a wonderful memory. For adventurous friends, consider gifting a pass to iFly in Nottingham, an indoor skydiving simulator, or to Go Ape, an outdoor zipline adventure in Rockville.
For family fun, gift a road trip to Baltimore via tickets to the National Aquarium, Port Discovery Children’s Museum, and the Science Center. Some attractions also offer year-long memberships that make great gifts for frequent attendees. For friends and date nights, reserve a hitting bay at Top Golf in Oxon Hill or a wine tasting in Linganore Winecellars in Frederick.
Or, purchase passes to multiple attractions and put it together as a “coupon book” or date night catalog for your loved one to pick from throughout the year!
Gifting a spa getaway is also gifting long-term relaxation and pain relief for those we love. You can give a spa experience via a gift card or by booking a session directly. I recommend choosing the Spa on West Main in Westminster as it has earned its title as the best spa in Carroll County for 11 years straight. This full-service spa offers a hair salon, nail lounge, and both skin and massage therapy. If you can’t choose just one service, you can conveniently purchase a spa package. (Read here to learn about how the drive and the rest of your time in Carroll County can offer a restorative retreat.)
If you’re looking for a more unique spa experience, Paradise Float Spa and FLOAT bring the healing of the Dead Sea right to Annapolis. The high concentration of relaxing salts in the water helps you float with ease and provides the peace of weightlessness and sensory deprivation.
Concert & Theatre Tickets
Give the gift of the Maryland arts scene by grabbing tickets to a show. The 40-acre outdoor venue Merriweather Post Pavilion is a must-visit for any concert lover, and you can take the gift one step further by booking an overnight stay at the nearby Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel. For the Broadway fans in your life, check out the touring line up at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore for tickets.
Weekend in the City
Gifting a planned city weekend trip for you and someone special to enjoy not only shows thoughtful initiative, it’s also a great way to explore places you’ve always wanted to visit. Consider Frederick, Baltimore, and Annapolis for your weekend trip destinations. Frederick has something for everyone—eclectic shops, international eateries, and a smattering of breweries within walking distance of one another. Make sure to include strolling picturesque Carol Creek Park and if you visit before March you can see the Sailing through the Winter Solstice display.
For a luxury hotel stay, consider a high-rise hotel on the Baltimore Inner Harbor or at the historic remodeled Sagamore Pendry. Staple Baltimore activities to enjoy include a harbor cruise and an evening out in Fells Point. Lastly, Annapolis makes a memorable weekend for your favorite history (and seafood!) fans.
Road Trip Safety Kit
In addition to gifting things to do and places to stay in Maryland, you can also use holiday gifting to help ensure road trip safety. Purchase already assembled roadside assistance kits with flares, jumper cables, flashlights, and more.
Consider including a car blanket, non-perishable snacks, a first aid kit, and a power station to charge devices. After over two years as a van lifer, I have loved the peace of mind of a cell booster, which ensures you have a signal even in more remote areas (great for hikers), and an electric tire pump.
Gift Cards for Travel
Jazz up your usual gift card gifting by purchasing them around the theme of Maryland travel. Giving gift cards for gas stations, oil changes, and car washes can help keep vehicles in top shape for road trips. Provide local homes as accommodations for your favorite traveler via an AirBnB gift card.
You can also give a gift certificate to a hotel or bed and breakfast. Gift cards also work great for a central experience or theme. For example, if you love wineries, you can gift everyone gift cards to different wineries in Maryland and then go to those multiple wineries together throughout the year.
Lead Photo: The outdoor pool at Sagamore Pendry overlooks the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD. Credit: Sagamore Pendry