Win Christmas with these festive AvGeek tree decorating ideas

Dec 6, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It’s time to wrestle a Christmas tree into a stand again and dust off boxes of decorations from Christmas past. For ‘travel-tree’ people, those boxes are filled with souvenirs from around the world.

I used to collect fridge magnets on my travels. Then I bought a Christmas decoration at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood. When each December rolled around, that twinkly gold decoration brought back a flood of memories — but I realized had stopped noticing that Dollywood magnet months earlier. Just like that I had a new favorite thing to collect and decorate my travel tree.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel tips!

Christmas shops are open year-round for people like me. Usually the shop will have a variety of items on theme for the destination; others will have the year painted on or will invite you to add a message so you can remember where you were and who you were with.

Photo by Amanda Woods
(Photo by Amanda Woods.)

Sometimes a travel-tree collector has to be creative: The right souvenir luggage tag or key ring can easily be given a new purpose if you can’t find the right decoration in a shop. Any cute souvenir that’s small enough to tie a ribbon around and hang on a tree will do the trick.

Your travel tree can also celebrate the fun of getting to your destination. If you want a New York-JFK, Atlanta Airport (ATL) or London Heathrow (LHR) ornament on your tree, companies like Airporttag have Christmas decorations featuring airports and airline codes.

20 great holiday gifts for travelers

Red ‘Remove Before Flight’ ribbons can be purchased as a key chain (rather than actually removed from an aircraft) to add an extra AvGeek pop of color to your tree, and tiny airplane ornaments are easily found on Amazon, Etsy and Ebay.

One way to get your friends interested in your travel tree is to invite them over to “drink the tree.”

Photo by Amanda Woods.
(Photo by Amanda Woods.)

First you’ll need to get your hands on lots of those tiny bottles of alcohol you usually only find on airplanes or hotel minibars. These nip-size bottles are so light (when they are empty) they can be attached with colorful pieces of curling ribbon.

Tie a piece of the ribbon around the bottle cap, leaving enough room on either side for attaching and curling. Then take your scissors and curl one side in the direction of its natural curl, and tie the other side to the tree. Voila!

You can invite your friends to bring their own tiny bottles to a tree-trimming party. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can keep the empty miniatures to create your own string of Christmas lights next year.

According to Martha Stewart, there’s no wrong way to trim a tree so why not have a little fun with it? Forget the boring baubles and make your next tree one that takes you on a happy trip down memory lane.

Featured photo by aaron007/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.