12 Retirement Gift Ideas to Celebrate the Next Adventure
After decades (and decades!) of working, hitting the retirement milestone is a privilege and success that fewer and fewer workers are achieving.
But if plenty of overtime, smart saving tactics, and a stroke of good luck has one of your family members or friends hitting the Golden Age of Free Time, you'll want to give them a proper send-off into the next chapter.
A travel-inspired gift will help them put those airlines miles and credit card points to good use, whether it's something small or if you're pitching in for a present they'd be unlikely to treat themselves to otherwise.
From sentimental, personalized gifts that help them keep track of their once-in-a-lifetime memories to luxury technology items they’ll blush over, consider these smart buys. Even if you might not be able to join them quite yet, maybe your generous gift just might make it onto their Facebook profile.
Orvis World Travel Journal
While you type and text without a second thought, your parents might not have lost their lust for pen and paper. For a not-so-big gift that’ll fit in their carry-ons or find its home in their RV, consider this classic travel journal. It includes 82 full-color maps and 240 pages for reminiscing about adventures, and the leather cover means it’ll endure many generations.
To buy: orvis.com, $59
Voyage Mapper Scratch-off World Map
You never have to wonder where you got your brave, spontaneous nature from — your dad was taking you backpacking long before you could walk. And your mom? She couldn’t wait to meet you in Spain when you studied abroad. Encourage your parents’ lifelong travel bug with this scratch-off map, giving them the chance to proudly display all the places they’ve been — and the ones they’re going. As they chip away at the gold covering, they’ll reveal a myriad of colors, eventually showing a bold rainbow of their journeys together around the globe.
To buy: amazon.com, $33
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
When your dad retired, did he head straight from the office to the airport to board a flight to anywhere warmer and slower? Now that he’s up for wherever his margarita and bottle of sunscreen take him, arm him with the right equipment to document every single moment. This entry-level mirrorless Olympus model (one of our picks in this year’s Ultimate Travel Essentials) offers lots of creative control, but it’s easy to use for island hoppers like Dad who can’t stop snapping photos of the beach.
To buy: amazon.com, $799
Personalized Passport Cover
In search of a simple and inexpensive, but meaningful retirement gift idea? This leather passport cover is the perfect pick for your favorite retiree. It might not seem like such a big gesture, but each and every time they open their passport to go through security or cross a border, they’ll be thinking of you.
To buy: thingsremembered.com, $42
Southwest Airlines Gift Card
You don’t know how they did it, but somehow, your parents managed to wrangle three kiddos under the age of 10 through check-in, airport security, boarding, an overnight red-eye, and the coolest corners of the world. Whew. Now that you and your siblings are grown, send your parents on vacation in style. Southwest is consistently ranked one of the best airlines by our World’s Best Awards voters, for its excellent in-flight service and reputation for no hidden fees.
To buy: amazon.com, from $50
Wine.com Gift Certificate
It doesn’t have to be five o’ clock anywhere to start sipping on some red, red wine when you’re retired. Though you may be envious of your parents sending you a Snapchat of their vineyard pick of the evening when you’re pulling an all-nighter at the end of the quarter, a gift certificate to Wine.com reminds them that while working days might be a thing of the past, happy hour is forever.
To buy: wine.com, from $25
A new bucket list of retirement destinations calls for a new set of luggage (especially if pops is still using his duffel from 1983!). Go big with this gift and opt for one of the best brands available: Zero Halliburton. This aluminum spinner is super-durable, offering four wheels for easy airport wheeling and added safety measures approved by the TSA.
To buy: ebags.com, $1,150
Glerups Natural Wool Slipper Boots
As the dress shoes shift to the back of the closet post-retirement, there’s room for a cozy new pair of slippers. This unisex pair from Glerups has a leather sole and an upper made from a 100% blend of merino and Gotland wool that’s warm but breathable.
To buy: amazon.com, from $105
Canon 10x30 Image Stabilization II Binoculars
Your parents couldn’t be more excited about their upcoming safari trip to Africa. They'll want the best possible view during this once-in-a-lifetime experience spotting incredible wildlife out on the Masai Mara. With this binocular set's image stabilization and 10x magnification, they’ll be able to see clearly far out into the bush from their vehicle.
To buy: amazon.com, $535
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband
With time for those less crowded lunch-hour fitness classes and midmorning runs, retirees often find it a lot easier to focus on their health. The Fitbit Charge 2 is the perfect companion for tracking steps, calories, heart rate, and more health stats throughout the day.
To buy: amazon.com, $149
Chasseur Leather-lined Boot
Can you even remember how many times your aunt took you back-to-school shopping? Carefully helping you pick out the most fashionable styles and encouraging mismatched styles your mom would never go for, she was your first teacher of self-expression. Give her a pair of iconic, timeless Le Chameau boots — Kate Middleton's been wearing them for years — to motivate her to keep on following her free spirit, no matter how many candles are on her birthday cake.
To buy: 6pm.com, $267
Yunnec Breeze Drone
Your uncle’s cool, laid-back mindset makes it hard to believe he ever worked long enough to retire, but now that he’s liberated from his 9-to-5, encourage his childlike attitude with a drone. This bad boy takes 4K video and 13.0-MP photos from hundreds of feet in the air, letting him capture just about anything that piques his curiosity around the world.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, $450