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Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review – September 2014

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review - September 2014 Box

Escape Monthly is a monthly vacation-in-a-box subscription. Each box comes with food, beauty items, and other souvenirs from a new destination. You also get a tourist book – so this box might help you plan your next actual vacation too!

FYI – They recently introduced a mini-version of their box for $24.95 that doesn’t include the guide book, and is only 4-5 items. This review is of the full box.

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review - September 2014 Items

The Subscription Box: Escape Monthly

The Cost: $49.95 a month ($39.95 a month with coupon)

The Products: Each box is a destination-inspired monthly delivery of luxury products to help you relax, renew and escape.

Ships to: US only

Bonus Points:  Each month, one lucky member will be selected at random to win a vacation to the current month’s theme destination. Escape Monthly will pay for the winner’s airfare from a major US hub and two nights of accommodations, up to $1000. (They announce the winners publicly on Facebook).

Check out all of my Escape Monthly reviews and the complete Vacation Subscription Box List!

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review - September 2014 Info

Each box comes with a sheet detailing the items included and a brief description of your destination that month. The September destination is Puerto Rico.

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review - September 2014 Book

Moon Handbook for San Juan, Vieques & Culebra – Retail Value $16.99 (On Amazon for $13.22)

I have to admit – I’m pretty disappointed that this box is the most expensive item in the box.

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review - September 2014 Chips

Isleno Plantain Chips – Value $1.50

Yaucono Coffee – (4 oz) Value $2

The info sheet lists the value of this coffee as $10 – but I can’t figure out how they got that number if an 8 oz bag costs $3.75. (They also list the value of this 1.2 oz bag of chips as $3, but I think $1.50 is a more accurate price).

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review - September 2014 Candle

Authentic Puerto Rican Souvenir Hat – Value $7? (This is the price listed)

Coqui Frog Pin – Value $9

Caribbean Vela Coco Candle – Value $5

I feel like I’m tearing apart Escape Monthly’s pricing this month, but I can’t believe this souvenir hat would cost $7. (I also think the $9 price for this frog pin seems high too). If you’ve been Puerto Rico and the souvenirs are really expensive – let me know!

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review - September 2014 Sauce

Mi Madre Pique of Puerto Rico Hot Sauce – Value $2.99

Dulzura Coconut Pineapple Candy Bites – Value $5 (Found on Taste of Puerto Rico site for $1.85)

I expected this hot sauce to be blended – but it is actually made with whole peppers, garlic and herbs.

Verdict: I’m pretty disappointed with this box. Going by the retail values provided by Escape Monthly for items I couldn’t find online, this box has a retail value of $46.50. It doesn’t feel like it to me though. I also wish they would have sent more items that would be product discoveries from Puerto Rico instead of souvenir items. (AKA more beauty items please!)

What did you think of this Escape Monthly box this month? Am I being a little too preoccupied with value? Here’s hoping the October box delivers though:

Escape Monthly Subscription Box Review - September 2014 London

I’m looking forward to London!

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

Posted in Escape Monthly Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| 47 comments

Comments (47)

  1. This month sucked – I liked the Paris box and some of the past boxes were pretty good. I am not sure what to do with this sub because I like the concept. I also like the guidebooks.

    I think I will wait for London and then decide about cancelling, but this is really on the line for me.

  2. I cancelled this sub due to upcoming expenses. I don’t know if that removed me from their email list. I’m curious if there are spoilers for the London box. The box should be shipping soon. It’s quiet on their Facebook page with no spoilers or much promotion of the London box.

  3. I was really not pleased with this box. I wish I would have saved my Living Social voucher for London this month! 🙁

  4. This box is just horrible. This is the first, last and probably only Escape Monthly box I’ll ever get. My husband and I went to PR for our honeymoon and stayed in San Juan and on the insland of Vieques. Our anniversary is coming up, so when I learned of this box & found out it was going to be Puerto Rico, I was so excited. After receiving it I am just so disapointed. I urge everyone to not judge the beautiful islands of Puerto Rico and Vieques on the contents of this box. It is such a magical place with amazing food, cocktails, beaches, music, people and culture. This box had so much potential.

  5. Yes, the value of this box was a bit off but I love the coconut candies, the candle and the frog pin is adorable….BUT….that hot sauce….that is ridiculously hot! I know they warn it should be used in a blend but you’d think they could have opted for one that was a bit more palatable by most people.

  6. I’m from Puerto Rico. We don’t really have beauty items.. all our stuff is exactly what you’d buy in the US. Our things are the food and the snacks. Souvenirs are expensive depending if they’re handmade or not. This box made me happy because it’s home. No one else would understand it…

    • If you are looking for beauty products MADE in Puerto Rico, you should check out Komokoco products ( This is a family owned company that makes handmade/natural beauty products.

  7. Even with the Rue La La voucher, this was WAY overpriced. I’d bought it for a gift, but I’m glad it came to me – I would be embarrassed to give someone this crap. On the plus size, at least I didn’t get the little hat from the mini rum bottles. I did get the lavender eye pillow, which was a nice plus, I assume because I was a new member. I’m staying on only because the next month is London, but then I’m gone.

  8. I’ve really liked Escape Monthly. I enjoyed the anniversary box, and the Paris box! This one was a little on the let down side for me. One thing I wish they would quit doing is sending the travel books. Maybe include a voucher for you to buy one if you want but for it to be counted in the weight and value of the box is a waste. I’ve suggested they include a movie that takes place there or a cd of popular local music. I don’t care as much for the little souvenir trinkets but prefer the food items (not expired though) and items for your house or body. Their customer service has always been super friendly to me though. I do suggest you write them and offer specific feedback and suggestions. Maybe if enough of us reach out to them (ex. Ditch the book and give us something else!!), maybe they’ll listen. This box has great potential and could be totally awesome. They just need to work on it! So please write them!!

  9. I was SO disappointed in this box. The value was too low, the plantain chips expired 9/28/14 (two days after I got my box!). Cancelling.

    • Trust me you can eat those chips till December…

  10. I was very disappointed with the items and value of the box, I cancelled my subscription.

  11. I signed up with Living Social too when it was supposed to be the Paris box, and I verified that was the box that would be shipped. When it didn’t arrive and I contacted them, I was given the run-around also, told I signed up too late… that Puerto Rico was clearly stated on the website, etc. No, it wasn’t. It all gave me a bad feeling, and I cancelled it through Living Social. I’m really glad now that I did. I wish someone would put together a truly great travel/destination box… it seems like a lot of us would LOVE it!

  12. I was googling subscription boxes that shipped to Puerto Rico and this came up as a result. I’m from PR and this makes me angry and embarrassed. I worked a lot with tourists when I lived in the island and I always told them to steer clear of cheap souvenirs that said Puerto Rico on the top and “Made in China” on the bottom and directed them to real artisans. It’s incredibly disappointing seeing that is what you guys got. If you want information on where to get real Puerto Rican coffee of great quality, look up small haciendas that do it. This is just bumming me out.

    • I am also from Puerto Rico and I totally agree with your comment. There are SO many incredibly talented artesans in the island that is a real shame subscribers are getting these cheap “made in china” souvenirs. *shaking my head.

  13. I came this close to ordering this back when they had that deal. After seeing the contents In this latest box and reading the remarks (Erin, that is so horrible) I find their conduct is outrageous. I seriously think they should be reported to the Better Business Bureau.

  14. Liz, thanks for mentioning the low value. I’m guessing most of us hope to at least break even when it comes to the cost versus value of the box. I can’t believe they ascribed a value of $10 to the tiny bag of coffee or $7 to the small and completely random souvenir. In my case they also sent me a lavender eye pillow . I got the impression that they had sent them to everyone to make up for this junk box, but I guess I’m wrong. Also, I hate the new system for winning the vacation. Making it a popularity contest is just gross 🙁

    • I also got the eye pillow, I was thinking they send it because of the delayed in shipping. I agree with you on the vacation, I like it how it was before totally random and out for fate to decide.

      • After being ripped off on the Paris box (signed up before deadline but got put off to this month’s box), I actually asked for the eye pillow from customer service (super-politely!) – and got denied. So, if you didn’t use the coupon code but you still got the eye pillow, I think you have to chalk it up to a serendipitous mistake made in your favor.

        I’m worried that Escape Monthly’s boxes will stay low-value until the 3 month deal that many of us bought on a Living Social expires. The poorly made straw hat was ridiculous, and the chips were nearly Inedible. 🙁

      • Check if the chips were expired- a lot of people reported that.

      • Jenn,

        I did not use a coupon code, but it was my first box. I tend to believe you are right, that the values will be low now that they are offering deals through discount sites. I went through the same experience with TasteGuru, and it made me really hesitant to buy any future subscription boxes. I thought escape monthly was a safe bet, but now I’m beginning to wonder.

    • I’m not sure it’s supposed to be a popularity contest so much as a desperate attempt to get traffic on their facebook, but regardless it’s ridiculous. What is the point of calling it a contest when it really isn’t?

      • Yes, it’s definitely a ploy for advertising. And I do wonder what a $1,000 vacation credit is exactly? A thousand bucks cash, or credit with a resort, or a handful of bus tokens and a Burger King voucher?

    • They changed the trip. Giveaway?!? How us it done now? I skipped this box so I’m guessing I missed any explanation of a change.

  15. This box was horrible. It also arrived extremely late. Even worse than it being late is that while the people there are polite, they purposefully told us bad ship dates to keep people from complaining. I was told on two separate occasions untrue things. This was my first box with Escape. I sent another as a gift. Turns out I am embarrassed that this is the gift she received. I have a three month subscription. : (

  16. I am and live in Puerto Rico. So I was really looking fwd to this post. What a letdown and what a bad marketing for us. Also you are absolutely right! the prices are heavily taken out of proportion. Also we have so much better local brands. Those chips are from the cheapest brand and you can find them for .75 cents to 1.00. Yaucono coffee for 8oz is around $5.00 so the 4oz version equally out of proportion. The souvenirs, that hat is used to “top” rum bottles so I wonder were the rum went. Im so sad that neither of the persons who received this box got sent a box truly representative of our Island. At least the books shows Culebra which has some of the top 10 beaches of the World.

  17. I knew this box would be a disappointment. I enjoyed the Paris box. I am hopeful for the London box to be pretty good. But I requested for a cancellation. I know some boxes are about curation not value. But it feels a little like both are lacking.

  18. Ugh, so glad I canceled this way overpriced sub. Had 2 awful customer service experiences with them and was just DONE. I have seen them flat out lie and condescend to their customers on their FB page. I’m also having a hard time believing they actually give away a vacation, I have yet to see or hear anything posted on their FB (or anywhere else) about any winners … Has anyone ever seen or heard from a winner? Just feels shady all around …

  19. Worst box ever. Can’t even give this crap away. Or swap? HA! I didn’t like anything in the box! If this were indicative of Puerto Rico I will never go. I can’t believe they actually sent this box to paying customers.

  20. I enjoyed all my boxes until this one. My 6 year old likes the frog pin. The boys ate the chips that day with no complaints so I can’t comment on the expiration date. I cancelled Escape Monthly for now due to unexpected expenses and hope that when I am ready to resubscribe that the comments are reading much better. I love the concept and received some great products in the past.

  21. I’ve been to PR (going again in Feb), and this box was a huge letdown (especially considering the wait). This box did nothing to illustrate the colorful people and architecture, the tasty food and beautiful landscape. Essentially got a $40 travel book. Will stick it out for London, since that book will be used too. Gettin’ to be quite the expensive book sub 😉

  22. I wouldn’t get another Escape box if they gave it away for free. It’s a complete ripoff, generally filled with off-lot junk, and has multiple times included expired (and stale) food products. And for me the clincher is the dishonest, defensive “customer service.” I too have gotten items that had covered up retail price stickers and had them argue and condescend to me in response when I questioned it. They know they’re sending third rate crap and marking up values sometimes more than 300%. Having visited Puerto Rico many times, along with lots of their other destinations, I know what items and brands are really local. The things they send rarely are. I especially enjoyed getting a USED lollipop in the anniversary box, that had teeth marks in it (it had been slipped back into the wrapper, just beyond disgusting). They don’t abide by their own terms of sale and service. The anniversary box took 6 weeks to ship after payment and even then it only arrived after I threatened (and meant it) a credit card chargeback. The real value of the products I got in that one? Far from the claimed $100+. When I added it all up and was very generous in giving them credit for higher values than reality dictated, it came to a whopping $31. And I paid $50. The only things I discovered in that box were (1) check all food for prior signs of sampling (ew), (2) look for signs of mold in bags of loose leaf tea and (3) don’t subscribe to this service!

  23. beware those of you with “non auto-renewing vouchers” from Living Social. Mine renewed, I complained to Escape Monthly, and they wanted proof that I’d refused shipment (like I can keep track)! It was only when writing my review that I’d realized that I had received an extra box. I am disputing with Amex, and need to follow up with Living Social as well.

    • I was concern even before I received my box about it renewing I contacted LS and they said it shouldn’t, then I contacted EM and somebody from customer service told me it shouldn’t renew and if I wanted to just to contact them. I check my profile and sure thing it is inactive.

  24. Thank goodness I had a LivingSocial deal. This was my first box, and I hated it. Aside from the book, the value of this box is awful. It is just a bunch of touristy junk. The coffee is one of the cheapest you can find. Check the expiration dates. My plantain chips expired two days after I received the box, and the candy expires soon. I was hoping this subscription would introduce me to interesting places and things– there was nothing unique or interesting about this curation.

  25. Been getting Escape Monthly since Dec. but cancelled when I saw PR as the destination–just had a bad feeling… SO GLAD I DID! I agree that the value wasn’t there. I would not necessarily want more bath and body products but those are really inexpensive souvenirs…

    BTW I’ve seen others comment that the best by date on one of the snacks was two days after their box arrived!

  26. I am VERY disappointed with this box. I want to hold out cancelling to see what the London box has, but honestly, I don’t think the value is there. It is a shame because I think there is so much potential in a travel curated box, but I think I can put my $40 toward a different subscription box and be happier.

    • This box was awful. If I wanted to use everything the value would still be under what I paid, and really the only thing usable is the $5 candle. The travel book wasn’t even in color.

      What was worse was how hard it was to get them to agree to cancel! I had actually been thinking of having my husband subscribe to the London box, but after that experience I would NEVER!

      This box is way too expensive for junk. Buyer beware!

      • Yikes. I have gotten boxes from Escape since it began. I don’t really pay much attention to the values they put on things. I love the idea of a different place each month. I have not been to PR but this box could have easily been Costa Rica too with many of the items . I like to try different things so it was OK and I did use the 3 month Living Social so that brought down the price. I have to say that I have always found Rebecca at their customer service to be helpful and promptly answer questions. My daughter did cancel when she moved and sent an email and it was taken care of promptly. Rebecca said if she wanted to she could start up again anytime and get 50% so that was nice. I do look forward to each month’s box. The value may month to month but I still like it for the variety. It is the most expensive box @ $39.95 for me but it’s still fun for now.

      • They did respond promptly. Each time I said cancel. The first email was I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t like it, we’d like to hear why to see if we can fix it. Ok, here is why it was horrible, please cancel. Next email, I’m so sorry you didn’t like the box, you’ll like London better. No, cancel. Next email, I’m so sorry you didn’t like the large box, would you like to try the smaller box? We have a limited number, so you need to decide right away if you want it because we have so few. No, cancel. Next email, since you were unhappy with the box, we can offer you 15% off our next box. Then you wouldn’t have to miss out on the London box, which is going to be really great! Not only do I still want to cancel, offering me 15% off when you have 50% off offers right now is offensive. No, cancel. Next email, we don’t have any 50% off offers! our 15% offer is an amazing offer! I’d hate to see you miss out on our London box. Me, final email, this was a horrible box and the most difficult time I have ever had cancelling a subscription box. I’m going to detail in my review post just how difficult you are making it to unsubscribe. FINALLY, we had no idea you were a blogger, you’re unsubscibed.

      • My strategy was to detail my financial woes in the first e-mail and explain I was canceling for financial reasons. That worked without subjecting me to the follow-up selling, although I did have to pester them a few times until my subscription page said “inactive.”

  27. I cancelled after my first box from Hawaii. One of the products still had a price sticker of $0.89 but they disclosed the price 10 times higher. I emailed them and they responded with:

    Also, the Ola Body Butter did not have a price tag. What you’re describing is a SKU used by the company to keep track of inventory. These items retail at over $10 – not 89 cents.

    I clearly know what a $0.89 sticker means so the fact that they didn’t just fess up and admit to over valuing and aren’t credible is the reason I highly do not recommend this box.


  28. No, you’re absolutely right about the value. I canceled after I received this Puerto Rico box. I didn’t like the snacks they sent, or the random frog pin that I’ll never wear. I just seemed like a really crappy box of junk all thrown together. Not interested in London, either… I’m sure it will have tea, and I have enough to last me into the 50th century!

  29. I paid $4 for this box (yay, Rue La La credit). So I was happy with the contents. But I canceled. My CAR bit the dust yesterday — while I was driving — so I will need every spare bit of cash for awhile. I have to cancel most, if not all, of my boxes. =(

    • Oh no! You’ve been having a rough couple of weeks. I do hope that you continue to comment on the blogs. Here’s to a better month for you.

      • Living vicariously through blogs will be about all I have left! (Well, and Birchbox. Gotta keep something.)

        I’m lucky in a way, though. (1) I coasted through the intersection I was in and was able to stop safely, (2) I have AAA, and (3) my parents made a deal with a dealer in Missouri so I will be getting a new (2014) Hyundai for $260 a month. I just have to go to Kentucky to pick it up next weekend (meeting them halfway).

        (Never thought I would need the services of a “we pay cash for junk cars” company…but yeah. I cried when I was cleaning all my stuff out of it at the repair place.)

  30. I’m from Dominican Republic and I like this box because it felt like home, now in the other hand the value for some things looks extremely expensive.
    I’m glad I got this with the living social offer you posted and I only paid $24.95, the offer is not auto renewing but I kinda want London…

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