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Subscription Boxes and Membership Gifts That Are Perfect for Travelers

By Dana Brindle

Nov 10, 2020

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Bring the world to your loved’s one front door with these subscription boxes.

Design by Emily Blevins

Bring the world to your loved’s one front door with these subscription boxes.

Open your world with these monthly subscription boxes that keep on giving.

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With holiday shopping on the horizon, it’s time to start brainstorming a list of goodies for your loved ones. But there are gifts, and then there are gifts that keep on giving. Whether the traveler on your list is a vinyl aficionado with eclectic tastes or a former New Yorker jonesing for proper pastrami, there’s a subscription box or membership gift that will last long after the celebration is over. 

We’ll take a scoop of peaches and vanilla. Hold the sprinkles.

Food and snack subscription boxes

Many of us travel to try new foods, but these boxes let hungry adventurers explore flavors from around the world without leaving home.

Try the World

Buy Now: from $19/month, trytheworld.com

Gourmands will go ga-ga for Try the World box’s chef-curated collection of snacks and cultured ingredients; they include a backstory and recipes to help them shine.

Universal Yums

Buy Now: from $14/month, universalyums.com

The Universal Yums monthly subscription box is packed with sweet and savory snacks and candies from grocery stores around the globe, and each box is typically tied to a particular country. 

Mouth

Buy Now: from $54/month, mouth.com

Mouth is a more gourmet snack option, whose Indie States of America box entails goodies from a different U.S. region every month.

Salt & Straw

Buy Now: from $65/month, saltandstraw.com

Keep your favorite sweet-lover’s freezer stocked with ice cream delivery from their favorite scoop shop: West Coast fave Salt & Straw sends five (oh yes, five) pints per month of the latest seasonal flavors—say, peach and vanilla bean in September or gingerbread cookie dough in December.

Katz’s Delicatessen

Buy Now: $450 for a three-month subscription, katzsdelicatessen.com

For something more substantial, New York’s iconic Katz’s Delicatessen drops a multipound box of cured meats, pickles, sweets, and breads on members each month, like manna from deli heaven.

You Can Get America’s Most Iconic Foods Shipped to You, Wherever You Are

Coffee subscription boxes

For that special caffeine-fueled someone, a coffee subscription box is the holiday gift of dreams. (Do your loved ones opt for tea time? We’re fans of Teabox, which delivers fresh varieties handpicked in India and Nepal.) 

Driftaway Coffee

Buy Now: from $15/shipment, driftaway.coffee

We’re particularly excited about Driftaway Coffee, whose personalized boxes connect you with farmers from all over the world (and you can even send them thank-you messages!). For that service, you can choose to receive your coffee weekly, biweekly, or monthly. 

Atlas Coffee Club

Buy Now: from $9/shipment, atlascoffeeclub.com

Atlas Coffee Club is another winner, which sends freshly roasted micro-lot coffees from more than 50 countries around the world.

9 Coffee Subscriptions and Boxes for Beans From Around the World

Beer, wine, and spirits subscription boxes

For the people on your list who prefer their drinks a bit harder, a subscription to a beer-, spirit-, or wine-delivery service is sure to bring them holiday cheer.

Wine Awesomeness

Buy Now: from $59/month, wineawesomeness.com

Wine Awesomeness sends out regular three- or six-bottle packs each month along with tasting notes and recipes. Shipments are red, white, or mixed from South America, Europe, and beyond.

Craft Beer Club

Buy Now: from $44/month, craftbeerclub.com

Beer fanatics can enjoy cold one after cold one with subscription boxes of craft brews from all over the world, too. Craft Beer Club sends 12 beers per month from two two different breweries. Past breweries featured include Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company and California’s Lost Coast Brewery. 

Taster’s Club

Buy Now: from $44/month, tastersclub.com

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Looking for something harder still? Taster’s Club sends spirit lovers a world-class variety of whiskey, tequila, rum, gin, or vodka monthly (from $44/month).

9 Gifts for Wine Lovers in Your Life

TV and movie memberships

Netflix has reached its zenith of influence, producing captivating original series and constantly refreshing its library of great movies and TV shows. Binge-watchers will appreciate your covering these monthly fees, especially when it helps them pass the time in lockdown—and on international flights in the future. In addition to Netflix, two other popular services include Hulu and HBO Max. Want to be a hero? Give your TV nerd a subscription to them all. Subscriptions start at $9, $6, and $15/month, respectively. 

Grow that vinyl collection with records by global musicians.

Reading and music subscriptions

Book subscription services are a great way to please travelers—because few things are more soul-soothing than a flight or a train ride with a good book in hand. We also have ideas for those who miss listening to live music on their trips around the world.

Book of the Month

Buy Now: from $15/month, bookofthemonth.com

Book of the Month lets members choose from one of five hard copies each month from a variety of genres including historical fiction, thrillers, fantasy and sci-fi, or contemporary fiction.

Call Number

Buy Now: from $22/quarter, cratejoy.com

For those looking to diversify their bookshelves, Call Number is a quarterly book subscription box curated by Jamillah R. Gabriel, an academic librarian, featuring newly released works by Black authors. Choose from either fiction or nonfiction, as well as book-only boxes or ones that also include two or three small items like bookmarks and notecards related to the book’s theme.

Vinyl Me, Please

Buy Now: from $33/month, vinylmeplease.com

Vinyl Me, Please delivers all the thrill of a vinyl store, without the legwork. Every month, members receive an album from an international artist, such as Japanese American singer-songwriter Mitski and the late Ethiopian funk musician Ayalew Mesfin. Each album is pressed on colored or patterned vinyl and is paired with a cocktail recipe inspired by the music.

Little travelers like subscription gifts, too.

Educational memberships

Multilingualism has incredibly far-reaching benefits, and in our minds, is one of the best ways to travel deeper wherever you roam. It also never hurts to start a child’s love of travel early.

Rosetta Stone

Buy Now: from $12/month, rosettastone.com

Rosetta Stone is a tried-and-true method of learning a new language that’s been inspiring cross-cultural communication for 25 years and counting.

Kiwi Co. Atlas Crate

Buy Now: from $20/month, kiwico.com

Help kids explore the world via hands-on, travel-inspired projects with KiwiCo.’s Atlas Crate. It starts broad—little ones can build their own globe—and then narrows to country-specific crates. The Japan box features a traditional game and a recipe for onigiri rice balls, and the Peru box includes a DIY antara flute and an introduction to textile weaving.

Can’t go wrong with monthly French jewelry from Emma & Chloé.

Clothing and jewelry subscription boxes

Avid travelers, whether for business or pleasure, may not have time to go shopping and refresh their wardrobe for their next trip. That’s where these styling subscriptions come in.

SprezzaBox

Buy Now: from $28/month, sprezzabox.com

Gentlemen will swoon for SprezzaBox, which for $28/month turns them “dapper or stylish, without [seemingly] trying,” as the Italian slang translation for sprezza dictates.

Stitch Fix

Buy Now: price is determined based on how many items are kept, stitchfix.com

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Stitch Fix appeals to both men and women in a highly personalized fashion. After completing a style profile, clients receive five items to try, with the option to keep what they like and send back what they don’t.

Emma & Chloé

Buy Now: from $35/month, us.emma-chloe.com

Is an outfit really complete without the jewelry on top? One of our favorite luxurious bauble subscriptions comes from Emma & Chloé—a French brand that delivers a monthly piece that’s typically 14k-gold plated or dipped in a silver bath. Sound très magnifique? We think so, too.

How Rent the Runway Changed the Way I Pack

Beauty and skincare subscription boxes

The beauty market is booming with subscription boxes of makeup and skincare goodies galore. These are a few of our favorites.

Glossybox

Buy Now: from $21/month, glossybox.com

Berlin-based Glossybox offers a mix of sample- and full-sized products from unique European and Japanese brands.

Ipsy

Buy Now: from $12/month, ipsy.com

We’re also fond of Ipsy, which ships recipients five sample-sized products each month (carry-on friendly goodies, anyone?).

Maskbox

Buy Now: from $10/month, maskboxbeauty.com

The spa lovers in your life will go wild for Maskbox, which offers customizable facial masks to help keep them glowing on the road.

Dollar Shave Club

Buy Now: from $2/month, dollarshaveclub.com

Lastly, we haven’t forgotten about the guys! Keep your traveling men looking fresh with a subscription to Dollar Shave Club, which ships new razors along with optional extras like hair gel and body wash.

18 Travel-Size Toiletries AFAR Staffers Always Pack

Stationery subscription boxes

If your loved one considers a travel journal and a stack of postcards an essential part of any packing list, these boxes are for them.

Studio Calico

Buy Now: from $29/month, studiocalico.com

Help crafty friends beautify their travel memories with the Traveler’s Notebook Kit from Studio Calico that comes with new stickers, washi tape, and notebook inserts each month. 

Cloth & Paper

Buy Now: from $18/month, clothandpaper.com

Cloth & Paper’s monthly boxes will keep them well-stocked with stylish pens, postcards, sticky notes, and notebooks.

Frequent flyers will love all the perks of Priority Pass.

Travel memberships

In our opinion, anything that encourages exploration is an ideal gift. Some of these might be better post-pandemic options, but more accessible options include local memberships to museums, zoos, theaters, or botanical gardens—because, as our cofounder Joe Diaz says, travel begins when you leave your doorstep.

America the Beautiful Passes

Buy Now: $80/year, nps.gov

America the Beautiful passes grant access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites and national parks, from an annual fee of just $80.

Priority Pass

Buy Now: from $99/year, prioritypass.com

Give the gift of airport ease: Priority Pass operates more than 1,200 lounges in airports around the world. Members get free Wi-Fi, food, and beverages, as well as around-the-clock access to support services.

Clear

Buy Now: $149 for 12 months with promo code “AFF149” (Was $179), clearme.com

Even if your travel partner has TSA PreCheck, a Clear membership can help them get through airport security even faster. After verifying their identity, travelers can walk up to a Clear kiosk at any of the 35 airport it currently serves and scan their fingerprints or eyes. Then a Clear representative will escort them straight to the security checkpoint, bypassing the regular line.

This article was originally published in November 2017; it was updated on November 10, 2020, to include current information. Products we write about are independently vetted and recommended by our editors. AFAR may earn a commission if you buy through our links, which helps support our independent publication.

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