Remember when you could give a small, but well thought out gift, and didnít have to rack up any credit card bills to do it. With the economy challenging all of us to, save more and spend less, maybe itís time to return to a more reasonable gift giving strategy. That doesnít mean you have to give up the gift-exchange, just give your gifts a more personal touch. Youíll have fun putting your creativity to work and the recipients will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
**Make a travel journal
Buy an inexpensive composition or spiral bound notebook and recover the outside with nice scrapbooking paper or a piece of wallpaper. Decorate the outside by adding their name, photos, or pretty pictures. Glue sturdy pockets to the inside covers. Include a nice pen, tuck some inspirational notes, between the pages, and attach a calendar inside the back cover.
**Travel Gift Basket
Find a gently used gift basket thatís been stashed in one of your closets or in the basement. Buy a selection of travel size toiletries; add some home baked cookies, or a few decadent chocolates, some fancy tea bags or a pack of flavored coffee. For a really special gift basket, add one of your homemade journals and a nice ink pen.
**Travel Organizer Bags
When I pack my suitcase I can never have enough little bags to keep things organized. You can sew up your own organizer bags and fill them with inexpensive goodies. If you donít have time to sew, hit the local discount store and try to find several different sized bags. Use your imagination and fill them with special little goodies like a small bottle of hand lotion, sunscreen, a cute pair of earrings, a pretty scarf, or some other homemade items you've made.
The digital age has made taking pictures so easy but if youíre like me I take hundreds of pictures but rarely print any of them off. If youíve traveled with family or friends and have great pictures of the trip take a few minutes to visit your local digital photo kiosk and print some pictures. You can put them in an album, send them along in a Christmas card, or enlarge one and frame it.
If someone on your list loves to cook and has either visited a place they fell in love with, or would love to visit there, but havenít had the chance, give them a food themed gift basket. Find cultural recipes for that special place, write them on nice recipe cards, add a few key ingredients along with some pretty napkins, a tablecloth or a nice kitchen towel.
**Travel Companion IOU
There's nothing better than a good travel companion. Give a travel companion IOU that includes a day trip itinerary with lots of freebies like a trip to a park, museum, or local event you know your recipient would like. Pack a nice lunch, take along the camera and get some great shots of your day. Nothing shows someone you care more than a gift of your time.
I like having my own refillable water bottle when I travel. There are dozens of types of water bottles on the market now. Some come with nifty little carriers so they're easy to keep track of. Most are light and easy to stash in a suitcase empty, or a daypack full and ready to rehydrate you on the go.
**Travel jewelry organizer
These little bags or pouches are great for safely storing those items of jewelry the traveler wants to take along on that next trip. If sewing is one of your talents you can piece one of these bags together with several little pockets and tie straps so it can be rolled up and tucked into luggage. If sewing isn't your forte you can find these handy little organizers for a few dollars and up depending on how fancy you want it to be.
For more ideas on journal making and other homemade gift ideas visit: http://www.homemadegiftguru.com/homemade-journal.html