12 Holiday Gift Ideas That Bring the World to Your Doorstep

From flavors to smells, these presents promise to transport your loved ones to places far away.

In 2021, we saw the world of travel triumphantly begin to open back up after a year of bans, restrictions, and lockdowns. As COVID vaccines jabbed arms and travel bookings rose exponentially, people were eager to return to globetrotting. Yet despite the progress we’ve made, with the rise of new variants and limited access to the vaccine in various countries, the pandemic continues to rage on. For the loved ones in your life who are not yet ready or comfortable to travel just yet, we’ve got the perfect gift ideas. The following presents promise to bring the traditions of China, the smells of Scandinavia, the taste of Japan, and the feel of Guatemala to your doorstep this holiday season—all without boarding a plane.

16 Resorts That Are Perfect for Family ReunionsEven During COVID

From resorts that promise adventure at every turn to a few laid-back beach options, these hotels have something that everyone can get excited about.

It’s been a long time since people could see their extended family. In fact, some are still waiting for that epic reunion. Now that COVID travel restrictions are easing up, it can be easier for families to come back together again. And when they do, it should be an experience that should be remembered and cherished. Looking into holding a family reunion may get overwhelming, too. Not everyone has the same interests, and not every family likes to vacation the same way. However, some places will be able to meet your family’s needs no matter how varied they are. Here, we’ve put together a list of excellent resorts and hotels that promise to cater to your family’s needs—all while helping you feel COVID safe.

11 Vegan Travel Companies That Curate Cruelty-Free Tours

A better way to travel.

A recent study has found that meat is responsible for 57% of greenhouse gases from food production. Plant-based food production is much better for the planet. For years, meat consumption has been steadily rising, but this year, it’s being reported that sales of meat are down in the U.S., Europe, and Argentina.  While the trend definitely corresponds to the economic downturn, the world has been turning to vegetarian options recently. From climate crisis to animal cruelty to health concerns, many factors have driven populations around the world to rely on plant-based diets. In the U.S., around 3% of Americans identify as vegan. Mock meat companies Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have become extremely popular, and more and more celebrities are turning vegan and advocating this lifestyle. There’s definitely a new taste for veganism, and the travel industry is responding to it. With this shift, vegan restaurants and hotels are popping up around the world, and now there are vegan tour operators and travel companies that help you plan a trip that matches your lifestyle. Food, of course, is a big part of it, but they also focus on experiences that are non-exploitative for animals and humans. (For example, they will make sure that the hotels don’t have leather furniture or toiletries with animal products.) Years ago, a vegan trip was a daunting task, but with these players catering to a new set of travelers, there’s no need to survive on fries and sides! You don’t need to be vegan to go on these tours, but you will experience the lifestyle if you decide to embark on a new adventure.

The Single Best Spot to See Holiday Lights in All 50 States

The holidays are lit at these renowned holiday light displays, drive-thrus, and festivals around the U.S.

The holidays are here again and if you’re feeling grinchy, there are literally hundreds of places around the country where you can see colorful lights and soak in the spirit of the season. We’ve rounded up the best of the best spots to visit this holiday season, so gather your crew, make some hot cocoa (don’t forget the marshmallows!), and get in the car for these holly jolly holiday displays.

Wander Through These 10 Magical Mural Alleys Across the U.S.

Don't be afraid to take a stroll down "Freak Alley" or one of these other splashy, colorful mural walks.

Spend time in any major U.S. city that celebrates the arts and you’ll likely see a few splashy murals as you drive or walk the streets—nods to the local culture and history, no doubt. The newest incarnations of street art are alleys—costing nothing to enter and entirely outdoors—exploding with bright paint, a montage of several different artists contributing to the effort. Because these are in urban areas, this represents a total transformation of tight, cramped spaces formerly clouded in grit and darkness. From Buffalo, New York, to sunny Los Angeles, here are 10 art alleys you must check out on your next urban trip. Pro tip: charge up your phone or camera because you’ll definitely be snap and click-happy once you arrive. And if this isn’t your first trip to one of these alleys, don’t expect to see the art you saw before. Murals rotate as frequently as the local art museum’s shows, bringing in new perspectives.

The 8 Best American Cities for Book Lovers

This one’s for you, reader.

America is a land of storytellers, writers, and poets. It celebrates literature in its libraries, bookstores, cafes, and lit festivals. For bibliophiles, it means that you can fill your travel days walking in the footsteps of your favorite authors, discover new books at independent bookstores, and meet interesting authors–or simply find a quiet place to read.  This is a list of cities that are perfect for book lovers: places known for the authors who produced their best works here; destinations immortalized in books; communities with a deep love for literature. So, pick up the torch you carry for the written word and take it to some of these corners of the U.S.—these cities will illuminate your world.