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Travel Gifts for an Unusual Year


I bought an ornament for my Christmas tree that says “2020, the year I stayed home.” I’m sure many of you found yourself in the same situation as did your family and friends.  

This year, as I offer ideas for the traveler on your gift list, I certainly kept 2020 in mind with a positive outlook for 2021.

Staying close to home

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Staycations became very popular this year. Arcadia Publishing offers excellent books about local destinations. They offer a huge selection of 11,450 books, each composed in a pictorial format with more than 200 vintage photos and postcards along with captions. They are indexed by ZIP Code for easy shopping.

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Is someone on your list planning a big city visit or overseas adventure when travel opens up again? Jonglez Publishing is famous for its “secret” books including Secret Bali, Secret New Orleans, Secret Liverpool and Secret Mexico City and “soul of” guidebooks including Soul of Los Angeles, A Guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences. Both series offer new insights into major city destinations.


DK Publishing offers a broad selection of books including more than 300 travel titles. “Get closer to your destination with our expert advice, beautiful photographs and detailed illustrations,” is how the publisher describes its guidebook and coffee table titles. Among their offerings are “top 10” titles including domestic and international destinations including Top 10 Boston, Top 10 New York and Top 10 Paris. One example of a coffee table book is USA National Parks. Guidebooks also vary from destination to region and experience.

Planning Ahead

Nothing helps fill that ache of wanting to explore the world than planning a trip. Why not give a future trip this year?

Exodus Travels 1Many tour companies are offering very flexible planning including Exodus Travels. They are encouraging clients to plan for 2021. According to the website, “Not only does creating an Exodus Wish List put your travel plans in motion for next year, but it also means that you’ll be the first to know when the countries you want to visit reopen for travel again, so you can book a spot on that trip you’ve always been meaning to take.”

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With their enhanced safety measures and book with confidence program, you can give the dream of world-wide travel. Exodus Travels offers more than 600 different itineraries across more than 100 countries.

Road Trips

As much as I love foreign travel, I also thrive on road trips; connecting the dots between destinations. I’m sure there are people on your gift list who love to road trip too.

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Natural Life, known for its Bohemian style and positive messaging, offers several great car accessories including steering wheel covers, air fresheners, pop-up trash bins, car coasters, tissues that fit in cup holders and key fobs.

One item that is especially clever is the car cup organizer. It fits into most standard cup holders and features compartments for all your basic needs like your phone and sunglasses and even an opening on one side to pull through a phone charger.

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Remembering past adventures

Another great way to help those on your gift list is to give them something that will remind them of a previous trip or hint at a destination on their wish list.

Atlas Coffee offers coffee from more than 50 countries. From Brazil and Guatemala to Uganda, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea, each bag of coffee comes with information about the coffee’s country of origin.

What a wonderful way to give a memory of a past adventure or perhaps the dream of a future trip.

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Food helps invoke the same memories. Comté Cheese is made in the Jura Massif of France. The thousand-year-old recipe calls for raw milk from Montbéliarde and French Simmental cows that graze in the mountains.

Comte CheeseThere are about 2,500 small dairy farms that produce Comté milk. The cheese is handmade every day by artisans in about 150 small village cheesemaking facilities, known as fruitières. The cheese is then aged.

If there is a vacationer or armchair traveler on your gift list, there are many ways to help them spark wanderlust again even if 2020 was a stay at home year.


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