For seniors, especially those lonely ones who’ve seen their families grow up and move too many miles away, holiday gifts from thoughtful friends or loved ones can help make their year-end holiday season a bit brighter. Consider these options, most under $100., a few among the thousands of other inexpensive gifts you can find in stores and on the internet that are perfect for seniors who travel around the neighborhood or around the world.
1. Carry-on roller bag: Buy your traveling senior a lightweight, wheeled rolling bag that glides through airports and lifts easily up and into the overhead racks on airplanes. Get one with lots of inside and outside pockets. A great example we like: Tpro Xtreme Lite 22″ Expandable Rollaboard, $80 available at online retailers like ebags.com
2. Hand-held GPS (global positioning system) unit: Your on-the-go senior, whether in Indianapolis, Ireland or Istanbul, can use this little wonder to wander through city tourist sites, choose restaurants, ride public transport and be electronically guided all the way back to the hotel like a homing pigeon. The portable units have become very intuitive and easy to use and now include additional data like restaurants, hotels, gas stations and points of interest, in addition to maps and directions. They can be mounted in a car or carried in a pocket or purse. We can recommend the TomTom One XL 330 GPS, which sells for about $90 at major retailers including TigerDirect.com
3. Why not consider a gift card or certificate for the senior’s favorite restaurant: Depending on how the senior wants to dine and the restaurant certificate you buy, your $100 gift can get one super meal at the most expensive cafe in town or 20 Subway Foot Long specials. Also most national chain restaurants offer gift cards, available online or at any location, and good for use at any location. Many large grocery stores have a wide selection of gift cards for major restaurants and retailers offering you one stop shopping. We checked our local Ralph’s here in Los Angeles and they offer gift cards from Applebees, Olive Garden, PF Changs, Subway, TGI Fridays and more. Through their corporate site, kroger.com you can buy gift cards easily online.
4. Holiday basket: Some fancy fruits, snacks and candies, all stacked in a stylish basket or box always make great holiday gifts for seniors. Baskets range from fresh fruit, to wines, to chocolates, virtually any type of food or goodies are available. Most also offer a monthly program, where the gift is a shipment every month, not just a single gift basket. One of the best is Harry amp; David Founder’s Favorites Banquet. It contains fresh and chocolate-filled pears, apples, cheeses, sausage, crackers and all other kinds of delicious goodies, all for $60. Go to HarryandDavid.com.
5. Why not give a portable video player and some vintage TV comedy on DVD or an ipad which offers an all-in-one media system. To many seniors, the gripe about today’s TV is: they surely don’t make ’em like they used to. For the senior who’s tired of unreal reality shows and untalented talent shows, this makes a great gift. Example: VCR and DVD Player and 4 Head Hi-Fi Stereo VCR $80 available at Juggle.com. This unit plays both VHS tapes and DVDs, so they can play tapes they may have in their library. For another $20, you can buy The Sid Caesar Collection (and hundreds of other good old shows) at Amazon.com. Or take them to the next level and get them an Apple ipad with a subscription to Netflix. This allows them to watch an enormous library of programming through Netflix streaming, along with the ipad’s other features. The Apple ipad starts at $499. and is available at Apple.com and other authorized Apple retailers. A subscription to Netflix starts at $8.99 a month for one physical DVD a month and unlimited streaming. Seniors can also watch hours of vintage TV shows and movies through TV sites like hulu.com, as well as educational programming on pbs.org, all on the ipad. They can also communicate with friends and family thru email and chat.
6. As a holiday gift trips for seniors as well as families and adults is one of the popular and safe option. You can gift your loved ones a safe and fun trip that they will enjoy and remember for a long period of time. You can consult or hire a travel agency to do all the planning on your behalf as well.
While all these gifts for traveling seniors are handy and helpful, most seniors would prefer to receive your time and attention, so maybe start with a phone call and a visit.