Airline, Airbnb gift cards take hold of wedding registries

Paul Ringon and her husband had just one request when they opened 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, creating memories through travel is much 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 real estate agent said. “Overall, we were like, if you’re going to get us something, get us a gift card to whatever airline we’re staying with.”

From DoorDash to egg donation:Couples do extra work to pay 2022 wedding expenses

Cost to attend a wedding:Why 2022 is ‘a very expensive year’ for customers

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.”

Airbnb gift cards are increasingly popular on wedding registries.

Airbnb:Do Airbnb and Vrbo back up their vacation rental guarantees? Here’s what you need to know.

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.

Paul Ringon, right, and husband, Wesley DeShaw, at their four-day wedding in Italy.

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.”

Are airplane seats too small? :FAA invites public comment on minimum dimensions

You can follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter @bailey_schulz and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter here for personal finance advice and business news Monday through Friday.

Comments are closed.