Paul Ringon and her husband had just one request when opening their wedding registry in 2019: Delta Air Lines gift cards.
Both are avid travelers and tend to fly overseas at least twice a year. For Ringon, 37, and Wesley DeShaw, making memories while traveling is far more appealing than a KitchenAid stand mixer or any other material gift.
“We had already bought a house, we kind of had everything we needed,” the Fort Lauderdale-based realtor said. “Overall we were like, if you’re going to get us something, get us a gift card to the airline we’re staying with.”
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A recent report from online wedding market The Knot found that virtual experiences and gifts like gift cards for Airbnb and Delta were among the most popular registry gifts in 2021.
Esther Lee, associate editor of The Knot, said pent-up travel demand among couples who had to postpone their honeymoons due to COVID-19 has helped boost the popularity of such gifts.
“We are seeing that the demand for travel is high and the desire for these mega-moons – these beautiful, lavish honeymoons – is on the rise. And part of that includes asking for airline gift cards,” Lee said. “(The couples) want the funds to be able to reach their destination.”
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The Knot found that seven out of 10 couples in 2021 are signing up for cash gifts, up 10% from the previous year. These freebies include gift cards or destination-specific experiences, like a snorkeling excursion in Hawaii or a private gondola ride in Venice.
Around 80% of gift cards couples signed up for on The Knot’s registry last year are for travel or home related retailers. Airbnb accounted for 17% of gift cards on registers, while 20.4% were Home Depot gift cards and 7.6% were Delta Air Lines gift cards.
Ringon, who married DeShaw in Italy in 2019, said he and her husband ended up with about $5,000 in Delta gift cards and are still planning a trip to use the funds.
“I think the best thing about these types of giveaways is that you allow people to create an experience,” he said. “I’d rather die with amazing memories than stuff in my closet.”
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