Airline, Airbnb gift cards take hold of wedding registries
Paul Ringon and her husband had only one request at the opening their wedding list in 2019: Delta Air Lines gift cards.
Both are avid travelers and tend to fly overseas at least twice a year. For Ringon and Wesley DeShaw, creating memories through travel is more appealing than a KitchenAid stand mixer or other material gift.
“We had already bought a place, we kind of had everything we needed,” said Ringon, 37, founder and CEO of South Florida-based real estate company Ringon Homes. “Overall, we were like, if you are going to bring us somethingget us a gift card for the airline we are staying with.
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A recent online wedding market report The Knot found virtual experiences and gifts like gift cards to 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’re seeing the demand for travel is high, and the desire for those megamoons — those beautiful, lavish honeymoons — is on the rise,” Lee said. “And part of that includes asking for airline gift cards. (The couples) want the funds to be able to reach their destination.”
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The Knot found that 7 in 10 couples in 2021 signed 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.
About 80% of the gift cards couples signed up for on Knot’s register Last year are for travel or home related retailers. Airbnb accounted for 17% of gift cards on the 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 wonderful memories just stuff in my closet.
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