Travelers value experiences over stuff, but there are cases for exceptions—especially during the holidays. For those looking for the best gifts for travelers — specifically culture carnivores — here are 12 suggestions providing meaningful tokens to bring your giftee closer to another destination.
1. National Geographic Books – DESTINATIONS OF A LIFETIME: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places. Any book from National Geographic would make a reader want to jump inside its pages, and this latest release goes on a photographic journey to more than 200 locations around the world. Images trek from well-known sites such as the Sistine Chapel to neat discoveries like a holy city in Ethiopia completely carved from rock. Price: $22.72+.
2. Lonely Planet – Wine Trails: Plan 52 Perfect Weekends in Wine Country. Wine experts and fans will literally trek on a grand tasting tour of 327 wineries in 20 countries. Pages will turn to scenes from winemaking regions such as California, Italy, and Australia and pair them with maps and solid advice on where to stay and what to do, eat, and, of course, drink! Price: $22.49+.
3. All Across Africa – Handcrafted Baskets. All Across Africa works with more than 3,000 artisans throughout East Africa– specifically Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda–to promote traditionally handweaven baskets, vases and wall-décor. Sales provide these craftspeople with a steady income and buyers with a meaningful showpiece. Baskets of various shapes and sizes can start at $35 and up, while items like table runners are $20 and placemats and coasters are $35.
4. International Folk Art Market | Online – Handmade Pieces. This virtual wholesale marketplace serves as a training program to teach folk artists from Cambodia to Uzbekistan how to market and make income on more than 175 one-of-a-kind, handmade objects. For example, find delicate angel ornaments produced in Kyrgyzstan at prices such as $20 and $35.
5. Try the World – Food Box Subscription. Every two months, this subscription company packs up and ships out curated boxes with gourmet foods from different countries right to your doorstep. A culture guide with recipes and event ideas is also included, and once the box is empty, subscribers can restock up on their favorites through an online shop. Subscriptions vary from a two-month commitment for $39, to a six-month for $105, and a year at $198.
6. FareTrade – Curated Culinary Gift Boxes. This monthly series takes subscribers on a culinary journey across the US of A with a box of five full-sized American-made artisan ingredients selected by different chefs, plus signature recipe cards. Recipients can go online for access step-by-step cooking video tutorials by chefs who put everything together. Boxes go for $65 per month.
7. BonAppetour – E-Gift Cards. Similar to other marketplaces promoting community eating, this vendor goes a step further for the holidays by putting out gift cards. The cards are valid in any city where BonAppetour is offered, including in Europe, Asia, North America and South America, and good for up to two years. Though any amount can be applied, denominations can go as far as from $10 to even up to $500.
8. Outstanding in the Field – Farm-to-Table Dinners. From May to November, this annual farm feast travels across and outside of America to hold open-air dining experiences. Its 2016 calendar is out, with table settings coming to Hawaii, Florida and Mexico and featuring a four-course family style dinner and a tour of the host site. The cost of a seating ranges from $180 to $245.
9. Heifer International – Beaded Bracelets from India. This nonprofit connects with and brings training in various trades to rural communities, particularly to empower women. This year, among other items, Heifer International is offering these special bracelets made in India, in turquoise and brown that both men and women can wear. They are at $16 and proceeds from sales go to the foundation’s gender and family focus initiative.
10. Harkiss Designs – Accessories. A Fair Trade-certified company, its founder, a native Ugandan, brings the traditional skills from artisans and materials of East Africa to any shopper with specialty fashion accessories. Find unique jewelry, footwear and handbags, such as a Burlap & Kikoy Fabric Clutch ($33.60) along with home goods and textiles.
11. Queen Sheba Winery – Big Tree Ethiopian Honey Wine. A Northern Californian winery produces this traditional Ethiopian beverage by fermenting local orange blossom honey with the bark of gesho, a species of buckthorn, for a golden drink with notes of jasmine, pineapple and herbs – sans added sulfites. Every month, the winery donates 10 percent of its sales to a nonprofit organization. Price: $18+.
12. Zouq – South Asian Snacks. This line of gluten-free snacks is packed full of flavors and textures, thanks to ingredients found in South Asia: lentils, chiles, chickpeas, mung beans and spices. Four diverse tastes are available in can and pouch-sized servings. Get started with a mixed case of four cans for $15.96.
What are you getting your favorite culture carnivore this holiday? Please share in the comments below.
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