Another birthday has come and gone. I celebrated it by staying at home all day, since I’ve been traveling on and off since October. There wasn’t much fuss about the day itself because I felt I already celebrated it in Morocco. You see, before I left, I asked my friends and family to give their birthday (slash-Christmas) gifts early through a travel registry.
Much like the gift registries malls offer, the travel registry gave them the option to gift me with tours, accommodation, meals, train tickets — the things I would need for my trip to Morocco. The great thing about the registry is that both parties are happy: they know I’ll enjoy their gift and I’m getting something that I need.
Thank you Rotch and Rael!
Actually, the reason why I came up with this travel registry is so that I can have a working example of one. The first time I wrote about this was back in 2008, when a newlywed couple created their online travel registry and gave a talk about it. The website is not accessible anymore, so I thought I’d put something up that would remain up as long as this blog is. Getting gifts out of it is just a happy side effect, really.
Thank you Karla!
This is one way for you to raise money if you are planning a big trip. Not a lot might understand why you’re doing this, but those who know your love for travel will surely be delighted to be contributing and somehow being a part of your epic journey. Making one is actually quite easy: Paypal supplies the codes needed, including the shopping cart. No coding knowledge necessary. It’s as simple as putting that Paypal donate button, but instead you’re setting an amount for items in your inventory (which Paypal can also keep track of). The big difference from a donate button though is that Paypal charges a fee for each transaction, so you won’t be getting the full amount. Since not everybody has Paypal, you can also offer alternative ways of getting the money, like bank deposits or just plain cash.
Thank you Sha!
Some tips when setting up a travel registry:
- Be specific about things you really want. If there is an activity you really want to do like a hot air balloon ride or a trek in the desert, highlight it.
- Be general about certain things. One mistake I made with my registry was that I specified different food items that we find cumbersome when we were actually in Morocco. It’s not that we didn’t enjoy those meals — it’s just that we don’t want our food orders to be dictated by a list.
- Keep the prices reasonable. The common comment we got from friends was that the prices we set aren’t too bad — it’s almost like buying us a meal in Manila. Watch out though because when you get to your destination, the prices would vary depending on where you eat.
- Offer something in return. People love to receive as much as they love to give. Offer to give something for high ticket items or be open to accept requests from your sponsors. That’s how I ended up with a Ziplock bag full of Saharan sand.
- Continue saving up. Just because you set up your registry, it doesn’t mean that you can start shopping again. Unless you’re celebrating something big (like a wedding or a graduation) or you’re insanely popular and lovable, there’s a chance you’ll only be getting a 30% response rate.