If you are sorely missing the joy/pain that is airplane delays and coach class right now, I hear you loud and clear! Here’s a sampling of products (and virtual experiences) to transport you from your Ikea couch to places like Tahiti, Savannah, and the Adirondacks.
The below features hotel, small businesses, and initiatives that benefit from travel and tourism.
Tahiti! A place I frequently Google and *will* visit someday. In the meantime, may I suggest we all participate in the Adopt a Coral program? It’s an initiative established by young people who live on the island of Mo’orea that lets you “adopt” a coral and give it a name and customized card.
Take a peek at this New Orleans holiday guide and drool over several curated products from small businesses ~by the bayou~. While the options seem endless, my heart certainly pitter-pattered when I saw Loretta’s NOLA gift basket: 12 pralines, 12 cookies, a jar of praline sauce, a bag of coffee, and one bag of flavored pecans.
Master your favorite brunch beverage with a cocktail kit from Young & Yonder Spirits. This Cali-based artisan distillery delivers everything you’ll need on your quest to a perfect Bloody Mary: bitters, syrup, a glass, and their very own vodka.
Adopt a maple tree with Kettle Ridge Farm! You’ll receive an e-certificate and an official certificate (one that includes the coordinates *and* a photo of your new tree child). And drumroll please, because here’s what else you’ll get: a flask of pure maple syrup, coffee-infused maple syrup, and a bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup
Discover Puerto Rico is working in partnership with Brands of Puerto Rico, meaning this online shop is a delightful way to support businesses in the area — and get some *chef’s kiss* products as well.
Schedule a virtual tour of Las Pumas Rescue Center! You’ll come face-to-screen with jaguars, sloths, monkeys, macaws, and more — all while knowing your tour is helping fund the preservation of Costa Rica’s vibrant wildlife.
Pretend you’re waltzing in and out of local Savannah shops by scoping out their small business directory. My eyes are already lighting up at the options I can purchase from the comfort of my dingy NYC bedroom: vintage threads, records, books — E.Shaver, a local and independent Savannah bookstore opened in 1975, even offers virtual book festival events.
Want to satisfy your sweet tooth? Look no further than Crank & Boom, a Lexington, Kentucky-based ice cream shop started by a husband-and-wife duo. This spot ~churns~ out decadent handcrafted ice cream in ultra unique flavors — think blackberry and buttermilk, Bourbon and honey, and strawberry balsamic sorbet.
In partnership with Local Purse, book private experiences with Intrepid Travel to explore Morocco through your laptop — join Abdeljalil Raqas, a Marrakech native and owner of Koutoubia Herbal that sells spices and Argan-based products, or ~visit~ Aziz Mejbar’s rug store and learn about the traditions and history behind the rugs you purchase.
Treat yourself to a lovely embroidered satchet from Eko Kreations, based just north of Lake Tahoe. It can be embroidered with one of six different patterns, plus it’s filled with organic lavender flowers which means *inhales* I am already feeling relaxed.
Behold the fun products you can scrounge up at Newport, Rhode Island-based Bohemian Bias: cicada earrings, band tees, moon notebooks, candles for the soul, and more!
Put on your pajamas because you’re about to trot through the lush greenery that is Finger Lakes — by way of wine, of course. Their ~Imagination Vacation~ package includes a glass, a corkscrew, sommelier-curated wines, plus a virtual tour and breakdown of each vino sip.
Sign up for an Airbnb online experience, that way you can support local communities and travel the 🌎 without having to wade past first class and into your coach seat. Here’s a small sampling of the available classes:
Cook a delicious Kenyan meal with Josephine! Between byriani with kachumbari or curry with ugali, you’ll make an authentic, mouthwatering meal you’ll be proud to have mastered.
Perfect the traditional caipirinha (a blend of muddled lime, sugar, ice, and the Brazilian spirit, cachaça). You’ll also get a ton of suggestions for visiting Rio, which you’ll want to keep in your back pocket until you can safely travel again.
A coffee farm in the Colombian mountains? Sounds like bliss. You’ll encounter coffee trees, cherry harvesting, and — best of all — be shown how to roast and grind beans to make the perfect cup of coffee at home.
If you miss the thrill of fancy accommodations (cc: Nespresso machines that made me feel #fancy for a morrow), consider treating yourself to The W Hotel merch! They offer decorative pillows exclusive to each of their locations — the one below is featured in their French Quarter rooms, for example.
Let’s take a virtual trip to the iconic Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona — and throw ourselves a spa day in the process. Their online store offers spa robes, Red Flower bath and body products, and a ~wine club~ membership that, I mean, yes please.
And in conclusion, don’t sleep on the fact that many hotels and local shops offer gift cards you can use in the future! Investing in gift cards *now* is a wonderful way to help businesses stay afloat and cement their future success.