You can order a membership from AAA online and just tell them the actually card is in the mail. It’s thoughtful gift that may come in handy and may even save the day sometime in the future. As a AAA member they’ll get roadside service and other perks like discounts on all sorts of things related to automobiles, and even cheaper rates at some hotels.
If you’re out of ideas and out of time, there’s always the one thing that never rarely fails - booze. Run over to your local ABC store and grab something nice. Extra points if you can find a bottle as old as they are. One could argue that a cheap bottle of Aristocrat is actually more of a punishment than a gift, so keep your eyes off that bottom shelf.
Here’s a gift you can give at the very last minute that will leave them feeling like they owe you one. Offer to do someone’s chores or yard work for an entire work day. Go all out and let them see you bust your hump. They deserve it, and so do you - you almost forgot to get them a gift after all.
Back in the old days you were really rolling the dice when you chose a hotel. Either you called blindly after skimming the phone book or simply drove all night and hoped you saw a vacancy sign before you ran out of gas and got murdered by a vagrant. A hotels.com gift card is not just a way of picking up the tab for a night’s stay; it’s also the priceless gift of peace of mind.
Buy them a couple tickets to a great event or show as a little test. Will they give the extra ticket to you? You just gave them this very thoughtful gift, after all. Or do they keep them both. In which case, maybe they just get a box of chocolates from the drug store next time.
Leaving gift shopping till the last minute is part of human nature it seems. Everyone does it, so don’t feel bad. The trick is finding something that doesn’t look like a last minute attempt. Luckily there are a ton of great subscription services you can order online right now, like a weekly delivery of fresh, locally grown produce. You’ll be doing them a favor in more ways than one, and each time a new delivery arrives they’ll think of you, and how you always give the most amazing gifts. You’re welcome.
When traveling, some people really like an element of predictability to anchor their experience in an unfamiliar place. With a recognizable name like Hilton, you know exactly what to expect. Unfortunately, that name and that predictability come at a premium. You can help take the sting out of a vacation’s most expensive element by picking up the tab ahead of time.
Standard hotels are convenient and something of a social institution, but when it comes down to it they’re all the same, except that in the cheaper ones the desk clerks are a little creepier and the maids are drunker. Airbnb takes the predictability out of travel lodging and replaces it with an endless variety of unique experiences. For people who appreciate the human touch.
When you're down to the very last minute and considering just giving cash, consider a iStock gift card instead. You can buy them actual fractional shares of top companies like Apple, Google and Facebook. It may jumpstart them on a path to wise investment strategy. You can get iStock as an electronic gift card immediately (if you're actually down to the last seconds) or as a physical gift card if you have a couple days for shipping.