Be the best gift-giver ever.
Struggling to find the perfect gift for the person who thinks jaunting off to Morocco or India for a week is no big deal? Channeling Barkbox and Birchbox—where a box of curated goodies delivered monthly ties under one theme, like pets and beauty in the former and latter—veteran travelers and culture-seekers have launched their own spin. Each of these 9 subscriptions educates about travel spots through sensory devices (like coffee, candy, souvenirs, and books). Other than actually going to these locales, what could be better?
INSIDER TIPYou don’t have to sign up for a year. Many offer trial subscriptions of less than three or four months.
Top Picks for You
Atlas Coffee Club
Easing the daily grind until the next global adventure might be a cup of coffee brewed from Atlas Coffee Club beans. Included with each pound of coffee (culled from a different country each month), are tips about the best brewing method for that country’s coffee and a postcard filled with facts about region’s coffee-growing culture.
Try the World
Got a friend or family member who constantly talks about that amazing dish they had in…um, Reykjavik? Try the World pulls together culinary ingredients—like spices and sauces—from a different country every month. Drinks and snacks folded into a separate Try the World subscription make meal-prep time even more fun.
Sweet tooths, this is your vice. For those who love dropping by supermarkets overseas, this makes the collecting much easier. Each month, Bocandy mails subscribers a box of imported candy or snacks that highlights a different country, from Japanese ramune-flavored treats to wine gums from Great Britain.
Price: from $9.99/month
For beauty and wellness junkies, The Wanderlust—from Bikini.com—is a veritable apothecary. Designed to evoke the beach lifestyle, each box (selections change a few times throughout the year) is filled with $250 worth of products from brands not sold in the U.S. For example, The Santorini Edition packs in lip rouge, aloe-based sunscreen, and leave-in conditioner. Up next: Havana and Maui.
Price: $75/box or $250/year
Appealing to avid readers, BookVoyage sends out a book a month. A work of fiction originally published in a foreign language by a local author is translated into English, folding in tea or coffee and a snack into the shipment. Is there a better way to spend a wintry or rainy day than engaging in virtual travel to a far-off place?
If only the beach could come to us. Oh, wait, it can! Shore Bliss is a Savannah, Georgia.-based company totally focused on shoreline lifestyle. Each box features fun trinkets one might find or use on the beach, such as seashells, a drink container resembling a shiny disco ball, or beauty products to protect from or soothe sunburn.
Take Your Vacations
Essentially armchair travel, Take Your Vacations is great for workaholics who didn’t get to use up all their vacation days. Souvenirs—focused on local merchants, not big-box stores—are assembled into a box, celebrating a different locale each month. Destinations tend to be off-the-beaten-path and the items luxurious.
What’s different about these two subscription boxes from Neko Box (Neko is solely homewares while Zakka is all about stationary) are their devotion to one country: Japan. Sent all the way from Tokyo, a box spans cat motifs and Zen color hues, all part of the surprise.
Think of this as a sampler, not to mention a cheaper way to experience a destination rich in culture. Spotlighting a different country or theme in each box—such as, in recent boxes, Portugal, Vietnam, and Travel Inspiration—Wander Away curates finds from local artisans and owners of small businesses. This might be a leather-bound journal, hot sauce, eye pillow, tea bags, or a bar of soap.
Price: $44.97/every other month