When one of your top clients is planning a resort vacation or cruise, you might want to surprise her with an unexpected gift. Here are some high-impact ideas for a lasting impression.

Low impact, high cost
$725 ($15 each)

Branded luggage tags and luggage locks are safe, practical gifts. But chances are your high-flying client already has co-ordinated tags and doesn’t want one of yours.

In Montreal, luggage tag-and-lock sets will cost $14.58 each, with a minimum order of 50 ($729). In Saskatoon, a similar set will cost $11.90 a piece, with a minimum 50-piece order, and a $58.85 set-up fee for the brand engraving ($653.85).

In Mississauga, a set costs $20.50 per piece, again with a minimum 50-piece order ($1,025).

There are better options.

High impact, low cost

Why not send your client a travel book about her destination? Lonely Planet guidebooks cover 500 destinations in 195 countries, and include phrase books, e-books and activity books. Lonely Planet PDFs and ebooks cost approximately $12 to $19. Books average $15 for city guides, and $27 for countries.

Fodors offers free mobile apps with city guides for popular destinations, and hard copies average $15 to $25. So you can send a well-regarded resource for the same cost as a set of luggage tags your clients will likely toss in the trash.

Alternatively, most popular destinations have tourism websites. Find your client some cool activities that match her interests.

High impact, high cost

You can arrange a surprise for your clients at most resorts or cruise lines, but you’ll need a reservation number, exact travel dates, the name of the resort or cruise ship and name of the travel agent.

For example, Crystal Cruises, a luxury all-inclusive cruise line, offers add-ons that include a selection of connoisseur wines for $450, gourmet truffles for $20, or shipboard, spa and excursion credits in $50 increments. Travel agents warn that more economical cruise lines or resorts may not honour gift requests in a timely manner.

And before you send personalized bathrobes, make sure the travelling companion is the person you think he is. Many agents have accidentally put co-workers in a single room.

Lisa MacColl is an Ontario-based financial writer.