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Christmas Parades

Getaways Can Make Unique Holiday Gifts

November 21, 2012
By SCOTT McCLOSKEY - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Whether it's a ski-weekend or cruise to the Caribbean, getaway weekends and vacations can be a unique holiday gift, according to one local travel agency owner.

Bill Bryson, co-owner of Uni Globe travel agency in downtown Wheeling, along with his wife Sally Bryson, said his agency will often "custom make" getaway weekends or vacations for their customers.

Bryson said he likes the idea of travel as a unique holiday gift because it's "an experience," and something you can share with a family member or friend.

Article Photos

File Photo by Scott McCloskey
Located in Pennsylvania, Seven Springs Mountain Resort is a popular vacation destination each year for many area residents.

"It's certainly something that is looked forward to, and what we try to do is make sure that we help you market whatever gift you have decided on," said Bryson. He said people can make the gift anything from a one-day experience to a more lengthy vacation.

"The thing is marketing what you are giving to your loved one," said Bryson.

He said they try and devise cleaver ways of packaging the vacation gift, rather than just a simple certificate. An example Bryson cited is the customer who might be looking to give a family member or friend a weekend trip to a Broadway Musical in New York City. He said they might package the vacation certificate along with something like a CD or sheet music relating to the Broadway show. He said his employees are really good at coming up with special marketing ideas for gifts.

Bryson said the nice thing about giving a trip of some sort as a gift is it can be tailored to the customer's tastes and it can be arranged for any time of the year. "It doesn't have to expire at the end of the year," he said.

"The gift is dictated by the time of year - so if it is an Alaskan cruise then it's got to be somewhere between the end of May or September. ... there's a lot of different ways to package it. We've had posters rolled up in big containers and then all of the sudden your unwrapping this big container and you pull it out and it is a picture of Alaska or a picture of some beach some place," Bryson added.

Bryson said his agency tends to see a spike in the number of people ordering special gift certificates throughout the months of November and December. He said many times they will see spouses buy each other that special weekend getaway trip over the holidays. He said those sorts of gifts always seem to be "well received."

He added that there is really not a set price - as packages can range anywhere from a one day bus trip for about $100 to much more elaborate vacations.