Editors' Picks: $10,000 Gift of Travel

'Tis the season for gift giving! And we're handing out a $10,000 gift to travel anywhere in the world. See how the TravelChannel.com staff would splurge on significant others, relatives and friends.

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I would gift my mother the $10,000, no hesitation. My mother went to Greece a very long time ago for a very short time — a few hours on a layover. Now that she’s a single mother and grandmother, I would accompany her back to Greece and hit all the must-see, off-the-beaten-path spots, including a stop at world-famous chef Lefteris Lazarou’s Varoulko restaurant in Athens. We’ll bypass the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum (she’s seen them) and board a 100-foot, 2-masted schooner to sail to the beautiful islands of Hydra, Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos, which is said to be the hometown of none other than Zeus, king of all the Greek gods. – Rani Robinson, Managing Producer

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One of my good friends got married this year and (being the amazing woman she is) spent her honeymoon volunteering in Haiti; she also spends half her year and all her extra money working toward improving Haitian education. So she's the person I'd give a $10,000 vacation, but a typical luxe beach retreat wouldn't be her and her new hubby's style. Instead, a high-adventure hiking and biking tour through Ecuador and the Galapagos would fit this couple’s outdoorsy personalities. From enjoying the snowcapped mountain views of the Andes to seeing wildlife up close in the Galapagos, this couple would deserve every unforgettable moment. – Kathleen Rellihan, Interactive Producer

I would give a gift of $10,000 to my parents, no question. They both just finished helping me plan my wedding, are nearing retirement and deserve every penny. They had to cancel a trip to Italy a couple of years ago because of an unexpected medical issue. They were heartbroken, and I know they would definitely use the money to finally take their much-deserved vacation to explore Italy. A stop in Venice would be a must for my mom so she could take a ride on a gondola, while the vineyards throughout Tuscany would be calling my dad’s name (although I’m sure there would be quite a few winery visits for them on this trip). They’ve done so much for their children and family, especially over these past couple of years, and they deserve their trip to Italy, plus so much more. – Kristen Kochanski, Photo Editor

I’d give $10,000 to my dad so he could go on the ultimate United States road trip. He’s already camped his way from Maryland to California, but the money would go a long way to ensure he could visit all 48 contiguous states. And maybe I could persuade him to upgrade his tent for a more luxurious camping experience. – Josh Levin, Digital Operations Manager

My dad would definitely be a deserving recipient of a $10,000 holiday gift for travel. He works long hours as a doctor and hardly ever gets to take a real vacation. I would send him on a trip to Lebanon, where he was born and raised. He hasn’t been back in more than 40 years, and I know it would mean a lot to him to return. With $10,000, our whole family could go and learn more about his roots, and our own. We’d explore the rebuilt city of Beirut, hike among the famous cedars of Lebanon, and meet relatives we never knew we had. My dad would especially love to visit the traditional souks (markets) and get some of his favorite authentic Arabic dishes — not to mention that oh-so-strong Lebanese coffee. – Hannah Prince, Digital Copy Editor

If I had $10,000 to give to 1 person for a trip of a lifetime, I would absolutely give that money to my wife. For years, she has talked about her time as a high school exchange student in Denmark (the food — the people — the fun!) and has never had the chance to go back. This gift would finally give her the opportunity she has waited decades for. Coincidentally, she has a surprising number of childhood friends who now live overseas. What a lucky problem to have for someone who likes to travel! With people to visit everywhere from Singapore to Prague, she could definitely put this money to good use. Oh, and let me be honest here: I selfishly hope to tag along on this European adventure! – Matt Dewhurst, Interactive Producer

I would definitely give my mom a $10,000 gift to travel on a luxury cruise ship. She would probably feel more comfortable visiting the Caribbean, but I would encourage her to expand her travel horizons and take an all-inclusive luxury cruise around the Mediterranean that would include stops at ports of call including Lisbon, Portugal; Costa del Sol, Spain; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Portofino, Italy; and Rome. Of course, I’d drop everything to travel with her. My dream would be to whisk her away and be her guide in some of my personal favorite places, such as Paris; Barcelona, Spain; and Salvador, Brazil. She rarely takes time to pamper herself, so a little forced rest and relaxation never hurt anyone, right? And honestly, she probably deserves more than a $10,000 gift. – Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer

If I HAD to give someone close to me (other than myself!) $10,000 to travel with, it would definitely be my brother. A yogi, my brother works tirelessly on his craft, teaching on an everyday, almost-every-hour basis, which leaves him with hardly any money and, even worse, hardly any time to travel. That would all change with this $10,000 gift of travel. The first place that comes to mind for someone like my brother — someone who loves yoga, music and adventure sports — is Hawaii during the Wanderlust O’ahu festival. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax, be of a peaceful mind, exercise and take in all the beautiful surroundings Hawaii has to offer. – Ben Breslerman, Interactive Producer

I would give a friend a $10,000 gift to travel so that he can join me on my round-the-world adventure trip. We would begin in London and continue on to Budapest, Hungary; Nairobi, Kenya; Bali, Indonesia; Brisbane, Australia; and Honolulu, HI, before heading home. While I’ll be sitting in business class, the $10,000 isn’t enough for an equivalent ticket, so he would be sitting in economy — but that would leave enough remaining money to enjoy some quality food, hotels and booze around the world. – Arthur Hsu, Video Project Manager

My younger brother is getting married in December, and I'd love to gift him and his fiancée a $10,000 honeymoon in romantic Italy. Whether they choose to do a cycling tour through the Tuscan countryside, complete with wine tastings and cooking classes, marvel at the Venetian architecture aboard a luxurious water taxi, or charter a yacht on the Italian Riviera — or, better yet, all 3 — it would surely be a trip to remember. After honing their culinary skills, I'd expect they'd show their appreciation stateside with a homemade pasta dinner. – Sara Gilliam, Senior Producer

My younger brother is getting married in December, and I'd love to gift him and his fiancée a $10,000 honeymoon in romantic Italy. Whether they choose to do a cycling tour through the Tuscan countryside, complete with wine tastings and cooking classes, marvel at the Venetian architecture aboard a luxurious water taxi, or charter a yacht on the Italian Riviera — or, better yet, all 3 — it would surely be a trip to remember. After honing their culinary skills, I'd expect they'd show their appreciation stateside with a homemade pasta dinner. – Sara Gilliam, Senior Producer

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