Embarking on a trip might not be on the cards right now, but you can still be virtually transported via these subscriptions that bring indigenous ingredients, travel-related titles, locally-created artisanal goods and more directly to your door.
When Cindy Nichols couldn’t find a subscription box combining her love of literature and travel, she launched Wordy Traveler. Her Luxury Quarterly Book Club includes three books, ethically-sourced tea evocative of the featured region and a custom art print; the Backpacking Edition is designed for less voracious readers with just one book along with the other inclusions.
Recent boxes highlighted Nepal, Greece and Nordic countries, while the next journey takes subscribers through the US National Parks System. Every box aims to show different viewpoints, spark the desire to travel and break down barriers, and a portion of the proceeds helps fund global education for girls and women. Subscriptions start at $49.99/month-to-month.
Kind of like StitchFix for travel lovers, Globein delivers unique, ethically sourced, full-sized goods from around the world. Before a box arrives subscribers have the chance to preview its theme and keep it, swap it or skip it. An Herbal Box includes a hand-painted white blossom teacup from Vietnam, olivewood honey dripper from Tunisia, silver Moroccan tray and peppermint detox tea and spoon from Kenya, while the Cold Brew Box features a stainless steel cold brew maker from India, Moroccan amira mug and Peruvian coffee beans.
The company’s fair-trade mission helps alleviate global poverty and provides tools of empowerment for women. Subscriptions start at $40/month-to-month.
Explore Local Box
From wild huckleberry jam made in Bozeman, Montana, to maple syrup tapped in Burlington, Vermont, the Explore Local Box is designed for would-be road trippers who want to explore US cities through their gourmet goods. Founder Jessica Larrabee only includes places that she has visited and seeks out small businesses and hard-to-find surprises. Included every month are locally-made products and food items, facts about each city and descriptions of each item and its producer.
Philadelphia; Richmond, Virginia; and Portland, Oregon, have recently been featured; future themes remain a secret until shipping. Prices start at $39.99/month-to-month.
Life’s a Wave
It’s endless surf, sand and summer with Life's a Wave, an ocean-themed subscription that brings the beach to your doorstep, launched by Santa Barbara natives who were inspired by during a trip to the biodiverse jungles and beaches of Costa Rica. Inside the eco-friendly packaging you might find artisanal chocolate sprinkled with sea salt, flavored culinary salts or bath salts, seaspray-scented candles, beach-themed jewelry and info on the current non-profit they are supporting.
A recent box included sea glass, a shell wine stopper and shell cheese spreader, citrus sunset bath bomb, head wrap, “life’s a wave” balance bar necklace, beachy socks and sea salt candle. Subscriptions start at $49.95/month-to-month.
The monthly boxes from Little Passports appeal to curious junior adventurers aged three through 12. Preschoolers can learn about the world’s oceans and marine life or global celebrations from India’s Holi festival and Día de los Muertos in Mexico with the Early Explorers subscription. The World Edition subscription immerses school-aged children in the culture and geography of a country with hands-on activities like molding Costa Rica’s sea turtles from sand or crafting a 3D puzzle of Venice’s Rialto Bridge. And kids can "visit” two states per month with crafts, puzzles and games in the USA Edition. The welcome kit includes a suitcase, map and more, and subscriptions start at $15.95/month-to-month.
Perfect for dinner clubs, family meals or home-schooling, the monthly boxes from Spice Madam include spices, recipes, music and factoids about a different global destination and support youth education nonprofits. Three to four spice packets is enough to make four to six servings of the dishes included on the recipe cards, which provide vegetarian and gluten-free adjustments.
Read up on the featured country via the welcome postcard, consult the shopping list and menu guide, then listen to the playlist. You'll be inspired to prepare braised lamb, muhammara dip and barazek cookies as part of the Syrian box, which contains packets of aleppo pepper, dried mint and da’ah, a cardamom- and cinnamon-based spice blend. Subscriptions start at $20/month-to-month.
Families who like finding their way out of escape rooms and solving puzzles will love Finders Seekers, a monthly mystery box recommended for players aged ten and up. Experience the underground culture and traditions of an exotic locale (called a “Find”) while relying on research, online tools and savviness to solve the puzzles and cryptic clues.
Locations have included Toronto, San Francisco and Athens; each adventure takes two to four hours to solve and after you complete the mission you can enter to win prizes. Subscriptions start at $30/month-to-month and a free mini-mission online lets you try before you buy.
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