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11 Amazon Holiday Shopping Tips to Save You Time (and Money)

If you save your holiday shopping for the last minute or are looking for quick and easy gift ideas, then Amazon online shopping is your saving grace—these seven Amazon holiday shopping tips will help save you time and money this season.

All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

1) Easy Returns and Secure Package Deliveries

Amazon package on front stoop of house
Kits Pix | Adobe Stock

Amazon offers customers the option to have orders shipped to a self-service Hub Locker, available in over 900 cities in the U.S., including Whole Foods and partner locations like Rite Aid, GNC, and Stage stores, as well as at Health Mart independent pharmacies. Check out locations here. Prime members also have access to Key by Amazon, where members can choose to have packages delivered inside their home, car, or garage (in select areas only).

You can store your package at Hub Lockers for up to three days for no additional cost, which is convenient for hiding your Amazon holiday shopping gifts from curious eyes. Another option for gift hiding comes to Prime members with Amazon Day, which means you can have all of your orders arrive together on a specific day.

And when it comes time for returns, if you don’t want to mail your item back with a trip to the post office, you can return your online gift purchase in person at Whole Foods and select Kohl’s locations (where they’ll even package it for you) or at other Hub Locker and Hub Counter partner locations.

2) Last-Minute Travel Gifts 

Buy gift cards to travelers’ favorite services, like Southwest, or a VISA card they can spend on vacation, right on Amazon. The website offers virtual gift cards for tons of travel-related services, which make for a quick and easy gift. Another easy-to-give gift? A magazine subscription to their favorite publication.

3) Last-Minute Shipping

For Prime members (or at an extra cost for non-members) you can guarantee gift delivery within 48 hours for the majority of products offered on Amazon. Amazon is also offering Prime Free One-Day Delivery and millions of items are available for Same-Day Delivery. This means you can theoretically save your Amazon online shopping until just before the holidays—although I recommend getting a head start so you don’t miss out on top-selling travel products.

As an added bonus, Prime members get free Amazon Fresh food delivery, so you can avoid the grocery store for your holiday food shopping.

4) Amazon Lists

Person shopping on their laptop with their credit card
Konstantin Yuganov | Adobe Stock

Don’t forget about yourself! Amazon’s List function is ideal for saving gift ideas, for others and for yourself. Look under the drop-down menu labeled “Account & Lists” and click “Your Lists” to start adding products. Lists are a great way to see what your partner or kids want for the holidays: Just ask them to create their own and you can buy directly from their selections. 

5) Shop and Save with Curated Gift Guides

Check out lists like Mariah’s Must-Haves for curated gift guides handpicked by your favorite celebrities. And as an added bonus Amazon hosts dozens of other curated gift guides as well as staggered sales throughout the season.

6) Earn Points for Travel

Some travel businesses have partnerships with Amazon, like JetBlue, which allows you to earn points when you shop while connected to their in-flight wi-fi. Use your TrueBlue account to access your special link to earn points for holiday shopping on Amazon. Hilton also lets you shop on Amazon with points, so you can save on gifts thanks to any recent Hilton hotel stays.

7) Follow the Treasure Truck

Amazon’s Treasure Truck (a traveling pop-up shop that offers flash sales on specific items available that day) is hitting the road again this year. Sign up for text alerts, and you’ll get notifications on limited-time deals that can be shipped directly to you.

8) Voice-Enabled Shopping

Amazon Echo and smartphone on wooden table
Erkan | Adobe Stock

If you have an Alexa-enabled device like Amazon’s Echo products, Fire Tablets, or Fire Stick, you can order your holiday gifts via voice command. Simply say, “Alexa, order … on Amazon” and your Amazon holiday shopping can be done while you’re making dinner or watching TV. You can even ask Alexa to turn on your Christmas Tree lights with a smart light switch, play a game, or suggest a family-friendly conversation topic.

9) Turn Your Coins Into Amazon Cash

Gather all of the coins that have been collecting dust around your house and turn them into your local Coinstar. The minimum amount to cash in is only $5, but if you’ve really been saving your change you can cash in up to $1,000.

10) Keep Everyone Entertained with Prime Video

Get access to Amazon’s enormous catalog of shows and movies with Prime Video. Keep everyone entertained with holiday classics or catch up on the latest series everyone will be discussing around the dinner table.

11) Feel Good About Your Shopping

Amazon supports plenty of small- and mid-size businesses, and you can shop products from these types of business in the Storefronts portal.

Take your holiday gift-giving to another level by using AmazonSmile (a program which donates a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to a charity of your choice) and Charity Lists, which are lists created by charitable organizations of products that they need and purchased items are sent directly to the charity.

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