We are officially one month and 23 days away from Christmas! Now is definitely the best time to start looking at what gifts to buy loved ones, as Black Friday and other special discount days are coming soon. Thankfully, aviation enthusiasts can be the easiest people to shop for if you know where to look. I would like to share some of the best aviation gift ideas I have come across thus far, including an option for every budget. After all, most pilots spend all their money on airplane fuel and being budget conscious is important!
$10 or Less
Finding a great aviation gift for under $10 is usually more a matter of keeping your eyes peeled during the year for items that are branded in such a way that it appeals to aviators. For example, Starbucks had a gift card design that featured a small white airplane and "Let’s Fly Away" in a fancy font for several months last year. Buying one of those and loading up $10 for your gift recipient is the perfect way to show you were thinking of them when you saw it. I have seen makeup and body wash products that were branded with airplanes or aviation themes as well. Don’t be afraid to browse and wait for the item to present itself!
This price range includes the majority of aviation-themed t-shirts, airplane jewelry, and hats. These are great options if you really understand the recipient’s personal style and aircraft preferences. Would they rather have an "Eat, Sleep, Fly" t-shirt or one of these neat Airport Identifier t-shirts? Aligning the gift to their taste is important, and thankfully there are hundreds of styles of aviation apparel to choose from.
Etsy.com is a goldmine of unique and memorable aviation-themed gifts in this price range. They have an option on the left sidebar to search by price brackets as well, to ensure you don’t fall in love with an item only to realize it is hundreds of dollars.
Getting a little more on the expensive side, there are still very nice gift options under $100. For example, this gorgeous laser engraved genuine leather logbook is $65. (I can vouch for the quality of that particular item because I purchased one for my husband a few years back and we both love it.) Sporty’s has a nice selection of home décor items with an aviation theme. This is also typically the range of home study materials for ratings or add-ons. You may consider giving them the gift of knowledge by helping them achieve their next rating sooner!
When you get up into $100 or more, the pieces of serious aviation memorabilia and antiques that you could buy skyrocket. These wooden airplane propellers from A Simpler Time would look amazing in any home. Watches from Abingdon Co. are gorgeous and functional for all lady pilots. You could get the recipient a customized model of their personal aircraft to put on their desk. On the more practical side, you could get them a handheld radio, headset, kneeboard, or gadget for mounting their iPad inside the cockpit. Another option is to buy them a plane ride in an aircraft they've never been in before. Seaplane? Warbird? Helicopter? Having an experience in a new plane will be unforgettable.
At the end of the day, it does not matter how much you spend on the gift. All that matters is your love for the other person and celebrating your special friendship and passion for aviation. Don’t stress too much over if the gift is the perfect one, because when it comes from you it definitely will be.
Do you have a favorite aviation-themed gift that you’ve received? A gift that you were proud to have found for someone else? Let me know in the comments below!