Choosing the perfect gift for a birthday, Christmas or other special occasion can sometimes be quite difficult. Many times in these situations, it seems simple to resort to gift cards, but the last thing you want to happen when the recipient opens the gift card you so carefully (or perhaps quickly) picked out is a moment of disappointment. Although gift card exchange services are available when the recipient gets a gift card they won't use, choosing the perfect gift card will make the gift great. Gift cards are an excellent gift for just about any occasion, but only if you choose the right one, which ultimately will make or break the gift. The wrong gift card could even land you in the doghouse.

It's understandable that someone may be disappointed in the gift card you selected because not everyone likes to shop at the same retailers or eat at the same restaurants   everyone is different and enjoys different things. So here are a few tips for choosing the perfect gift card.

1. Lifestyle. Think about their lifestyle. Is your recipient a student, parent, workhorse, traveler, fashionista or movie buff? The list could go on and on, but a gift card that would fit right into their lifestyle is sure to go over well. For instance, for the parent   perhaps a busy mom   a spa or getaway type of gift card would give them a day or night to themselves. For the movie buff, a gift card to the nearest movie theater would be fantastic. A gift card that compliments someone's lifestyle is sure to bring a smile to their face when they open the gift.

2. Location. Where the recipient lives can make a big difference in the gift card that they would probably use. Giving a gift card to a restaurant lover for a restaurant that doesn't exist where they reside is pointless and not well thought out. If you have a friend who enjoys eating out, take a few minutes and research what restaurants are in the surrounding area so you can purchase a gift card that they would actually be able to use.

3. Hobbies. Think of activities the recipient enjoys and is often doing. For instance, a gift card for a bookstore probably isn't going to have them jumping with joy if they don't like to read. But for the bookworm, that gift card would be superb. Bottom line: if you know they love doing it, they'll love a gift card to be able to do it.

4. Age. Gift cards can be great gifts for many ages, but depending on the recipient's age, the gift card you choose may not be fitting. A gift card to a large toy store would be especially fitting for a kid, but probably not so much for a teenager or older young adult. However, a gift card to an entertainment superstore would fit many types of ages, specifically those individuals who love games, movies, books and other types of entertainment.

Opening a gift card and seeing that it's to a store you love, your favorite restaurant or that online retailer you love is always a joyous moment. This is the reaction you want to your gift card gift. Making sure you carefully select the gift card depending on the recipient is the key to choosing the perfect one. You'll be the one they remember as the best gift card giver ever.

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