Travelling may be off-limits – but we can still give the gift of travel to family and friends!
Travel expert Lorraine Simpson shares how to enjoy the feeling of being away while at home.
Tip #1: Virtual Global Cooking Experience
Let’s start by bringing people together but virtually.
Culinary Adventure Co. is a food tourism company with tours in Toronto, Ottawa, and Winnipeg. When I last visited Toronto, I did the Food Tour in Little India with Kevin, the “Big Cheese”. It was so amazing that I want to gift a few of their “Food Tour in a Box” experiences to some loved ones this year. These have been created so that you can still have the food tour experience during this pandemic. Here I have the “Cheese and Cheers in a Box” as well as the “Little India and Gerrard East Food Tour in a Box”. They also offer Gift Certificates. I think this is a great way to support local and to experience a unique array of goodies right from the comfort and safety of your home.
There are other experience companies offering their live experiences virtual like Cozy Meal that offers live cooking classes with chefs all around the world including places like Spain and Italy. For example, you may want to take the World-Famous Spanish Tapas cooking class with Chef Carlos, who will cook with you live from Spain, or the Mexican-Italian fusion online cooking class taught live from Florence, Italy with Chef Stefano. You can gift it to family members and you can all join in together in real-time.
Tip #2: Books
I know so many people love giving books for the holidays, here are some suggestions for the travel lover especially foodies.
- Called “A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines” by Anthony Bourdain. This book is inspired by the question, “What would be the perfect meal?” Tony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail. He takes us on an adventure from California to Cambodia, and all the unpredictable adventures he has along the way.
- Let’s Eat France: Named a Best Food Book of the Year / Best Book to Gift by the New York Times Book Review, National Geographic, Houston Chronicle, The Guardian, Real Simple, and more a book that feels literally larger than life, it is a feast for food lovers travellers! A perfect gift and will keep you ready all day!
Tip #3: Buy Local-Global Travel Gifts
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So I’m from the UK and there we have the traditional Christmas Hamper. It’s not difficult however to put your own hamper together from your home country and to theme it depending on the person you are giving it to.
Here is a selection of British favourites and again you can always put a few things and combine them to make up a gift. I bought these for under $20 each at HomeSense, then went to LCBO to find some British Drinks and combined with a few other goodies. It’s a perfect gift for someone like me who will miss their family and friends from England over the holidays. This gift basket ships from Britain.
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This bracelet comes with a mission and a passion for wildlife. When you purchase one of their expedition bracelets it comes with a wild elephant that you can track.
Travel Themed Jewelry
Another local jewelry designer, Michele Maher, has a bracelet with a travel-themed design that showcases the charms of places from all over the world, like the Eiffel tower, and the leaning tower of Pisa. It’s beautiful, and it’s stainless steel so it will never tarnish. I’m really trying to support locals this year, as we know these small businesses have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. She makes all kinds of artisan jewelry but I love this one for the travel lover.
Tip #4: DIY Travel Box Ideas With Travel Gift Cards
You are supporting your favourite local travel agent who really needs all the support they can get now and you can go and shop for cool items that are travel related. So let’s say you are gifting a specific trip like a Christmas Markets River Cruise for next year you could source cool Christmas Market finds and put them all in a vintage suitcase with the voucher.
Or a Thailand Foodie Trip like we did with Massimo Capra last year you can put together some Thai cooking ingredients with some travel themed gifts like these I found in HomeSense and again put them in a suitcase-style gift box and add the voucher to the top.
I made this one up to send for someone coming on an Italy trip with me next year to see Andrea Bocelli sing in his own villa and it’s all about Music and Italy; a bottle of great Italian wine, truffle oil, Pasta and a CD of the maestro himself.
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