Gift ideas for grads: An online travel registry

Courtesy millerbd/myBudgetTravel

The summer after college graduation is the perfect time to strap on a backpack, book a plane ticket to some far-flung destination, and go on a find-your-life's-purpose journey. But in an era when mounting student loans easily reach into the tens of thousands, student travel isn't as guilt-free as it once was. Every little penny of outside assistance helps. The best solution? Enlist the help of family and friends desperately trying to find you a great graduation gift!

Just in time for high school and college graduation season, discount student travel agency STA Travel has launched the Travel Registry. Like a bridal registry, this initiative allows users to create an online account and then populate their digital wish lists with all of the ingredients for the perfect dream vacation: flights, train tickets, bus passes, accommodations, tours, cruises, and nature treks.

Hankering for an Antarctic expedition or an Amazonian rainforest trek? How about a leisurely tour of London or Tokyo? With just a few clicks, you can add these tours to your customized list.

Jazz up your profile page with messages, photos, and videos to help encourage (read: beg) your relatives to donate to the cause. Put on a beret and speak in your best French accent to ask Aunt Ruth for that flight to Paris. Tug at Grandma's heartstrings by writing a heartfelt message about your desire to bring old children's books to an orphanage in Malawi. Family and friends can then sign on and buy any or all of your suggested gifts or donate part of the funds toward an expensive trip.

Grads, it's not too late to start making your wish list. Because we all know a Kenyan safari sure beats an engraved ballpoint pen or a smart wrist watch any day of the week.

FYI: Take a peek through Budget Travel's 2010 Dream Trips package for some exciting wish list ideas.

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