Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Pretty Presents + From the high-rollers

Money =/= love, but I would say you probably spend more on close friends and family than on an acquaintance at work, amirite? If you can afford it "in this economy", why not drop a few extra dollars on those you're thankful to be with?
via Pinterest

My brothers and I got our dad an iPad 2 for his 60th (!) birthday this year, and he brings it everywhere. I will admit that it's both useful and easy to use. Also, it has some beautiful apps, so this tablet is definitely not an overrated product.
Where: Apple
Price: $499 - $829
Alternatives: If you don't mind buying from a personal seller, Ebay or Craigslist has much cheaper options. Just be careful!

This is beautiful.
Where: Design within Reach
Price: $275
Alternatives: This one's pretty different.

Give someone special the gift of a fancy breakfast in bed. Comes with flowers and a basket of muffins. You know how Ross feels about that (Youtube).
Where: Alchemist & Co. 
Price: $150
Alternatives: The site has a lot of other overpriced sweets and goodness. Swoooon.

I've heard of the automatic vacuums, but this is just ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome.

Where: Thinkgeek
Price: $1,999.99
Alternatives: Hire someone.

And of my favorite topics: VACATIONS.
I honestly would rather get a great experience than a very expensive object (unless that object is a brand new car). It's something that your lucky recipient will be talking about for years after, and you get to have a lot of fun too.
Hong Kong
Where: Rent a villa in Cuximala (just a small private estate in Mexico) for the holidays, spend the night in a boat...on a the middle of London, frolic with tall friends at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, go crazy at a resort in Thailand, surf at private beaches in New Zealand by helicopter, experience life in a glass dome in Scotland, paraglide in Oman, go shopping in Hong Kong, help stimulate the economy in Greece, stop by that little-known Burj Al Arab in Dubai, escape the cold by living in a bungalow in Bora Bora, or embrace the cold by going skiing in the Alps.  
Price: $$$$$
Giraffe Manor
Alternatives: Okay, I'd say most of us shouldn't splurge on the dream places listed above. But there are still some very exotic places you can go on a budget. If you look carefully, you can get plane tickets to Europe for around $500. Stuff to do in Asia is usually cheaper, and there is A LOT of stuff to do. Seriously, I once rode on an ostrich for $10. I would also consider going on a cruise with trips starting at around just $300-400. I think cruises are worth it for what you're getting, which is a nice room, endless amounts of food (The ship doctor diagnosed me with eating-too-much-ice-cream sickness when I complained about a stomachache. With a 24 hour buffet at hand, I didn't even question it. True story.), a different place to visit almost everyday, a variety of entertainment onboard, and best of all, the service is wonderful. They treat you like a prince/ss. On a local scale, a skiing trip, would cost you around just $50+ a person. A weekend in Vegas is always exciting. A couple days spent roadtripping thru your neighboring states would cost you very little if you're careful, and those states have some pretty wonderful sights.

My point is that even if you have a budget, you can give your family and friends an unforgettable vacation with careful planning. If you do sleep on bags of money, even better. Finish it off by marking your visited destination on your scratch map.

Get creative!
Up next, something for the...I'll tell you later.

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