Escape Monthly is a monthly “vacation in a box” subscription. Each box comes with food, beauty items, and other souvenirs from a new destination. There are three versions – the regular box (what I’m reviewing here), a mini version, and a luxe version. In the regular subscription, you get a tour guide book, which may be of use in planning your next vacation!
This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This box was heavy. And when I opened it, it was packed full. We’re off to a good start!
The Subscription Box: Escape Monthly
The Cost: $49.95
Ships to: US (free shipping)
The Products: Each box is a destination-inspired monthly delivery of luxury products to help you relax, renew, and escape.
They’re back to having the full-color trifold brochure with product and destination information this month, which I’m happy about. This month’s destination is India!
Rudy Maxa’s World: India – Value $9.79
This month, instead of a travel guide book, Escape Monthly sent a DVD. I think this is a nice change of pace, and it has some educational and entertainment value even if you aren’t planning a trip!
Diwali Diyas – Value $4 (?)
Diwali is an important Indian festival (although it is typically celebrated in November). Typically, clay lamps are filled with ghee or oil and lit on this holiday. Sometimes candles are used instead (I linked to a similar item). You can refill these with tea lights when the candles burn out.
Handmade Sheesham Box – Value $5 (?)
Sheesham is Indian rosewood. This box has a brass inlay on the lid (several designs were possible) and can be used for trinkets or as a display item. This will be going in my yoga/exercise room in the basement.
Shelly Mehandi Henna Kit – Value $4.95
This is a different twist on temporary tattoos. Henna tattoos are often worn by Indian brides and can really be quite beautiful, but I am rather unskilled at this art at present and not yet willing to share the results of my work…
Peek Freans Click Zeera – Value $1.50
These were unusual. They were like (sweet) butter cookies but with cumin in them. I don’t think I’ve had anything quite like these before, but that makes them a really good choice for this box.
United King Soan Papdi – Value $3.99
These are made from gram flour (very similar to chickpea flour but from a slightly different species) and wheat. This came in a single hunk that you cut into pieces. It kind of disintegrated upon cutting, but it did actually taste pretty good. (These are made in Pakistan but similar items are popular in northern India.) There were not as many almonds or pistachios in the actual treats as pictured on the box, but I guess that is typical of food photography…
Shashi Indian Spice Blend (3.2 oz) – Value $19.50
This can be used to make six different Indian dishes. Indian food is a big hit in my house because of all the vegetarian options. I am thinking this will make some nice Chana Masala. Shashi, who created this blend, is a Hindu widow who is teaching cooking classes to support herself and her family.
Song of India Handmade Herbal Soap (100 g) – Value $5.97
This is a vegetable-based soap. Multiple scents were sent out, I believe. I got neroli essence, which has a wonderful exotic scent that is really hard for me to describe.
Organic India Tulsi Tea – Value $4.03
The regular Escape Monthly box was packed so full they had to flatten the box and remove the tea bags to fit this tea in! It is a pretty standard tulsi tea (tulsi is also known as “holy basil” but doesn’t have quite the same flavor as regular basil). I’m a fan of tulsi tea and I drink a lot of tea, so this will disappear quickly. It’s supposed to reduce stress and it has a lot of antioxidants, both of which are always good!
Verdict: I calculated a value of about $59 for the January Escape Monthly box. That is above the cost of the box, which is great. More importantly, I think this was a very good month for Escape Monthly. I was happy at the variety of items (no seven chocolate bars like last month), including some interesting snacks, fewer beauty items than past months (and good choices at that), some traditional handicrafts, etc. Even though many of the individual items had values on the low side (some of those were sale prices, too), I feel like I was getting a lot out of this box.
What do you think of the January 2016 Escape Monthly Box? Do you subscribe?