Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Homebound Traveler

Andrea SzyperSubmitted by

You’re stuck at home, right? No romantic getaways or imminent departures in sight. No one feels your pain more than we do. (Trust me on this one.)

While we are all in a holding pattern for a return to Europe and some of the most romantic places in the world, we have some Valentine’s Day gift ideas to tide you over.

Fado

Date Night in Portugal (via Zoom), February 13
Our favorite Fado singer is back for a live, interactive performance of song and conversation about Portugal’s passionate and plaintive vocal tradition. She has adapted her performance to Zoom and has a gift for connecting with her audience. Pair that with a presentation on Portuguese wines, and you have all the makings of a romantic evening (or afternoon on the West Coast). Wine not included, but see our next suggestion. Read more about it here.

wine

A Delivery of European Wine
We have a vast network of smart connections all over Europe. Among our staff are trained wine experts and sommeliers! We have tapped our colleagues in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal to recommend their favorite local wines. Fancy a splurge from France or a nice Portugese port? Our friends at Wine.com can deliver many of them to your door. Take a look at our recommendations.

madrid

A Virtual Weekend Away
Until we can pack our bags and fly, we have worked to offer an at-home alternative that brings Europe into your living room. Our virtual weekends unfold over two or three days on Zoom, with a collection of talks, tours, performances, and classes meant to immerse you in the culture of a place. Our next group experience, a Virtual Weekend in Barcelona and Madrid, will feature a classical guitar concert, a tour of the Prado, and a lesson in tapas making. You can also schedule your own, private weekend away. See more at www.untours.com/untours-at-home.

Cheese

A Selection of Cheeses from Europe
Did someone say cheese? Whether it is the pungent tang of an Emmentaler or the satisfying mouthfeel of a good brie, the carmel richness of an aged Gouda or the creamy tang of chevre, there is something so sensual about cheese. How about a Swiss fondue or some raclette by the fire? Check out the broad selection of real European cheeses that can be delivered to your door! (None of that shrink-wrapped, smoked cheese food, we promise.)

Divine chocolate

Fair Trade Chocolate
The Untours Foundation is a big supporter of the Fair Trade movement, which certifies that everything from chocolate and coffee to wine and soccer balls are made with fairly paid labor. Few industries are more exploitive than the chocolate trade, but buying Fair Trade-certified chocolate guarantees that the farmers who grew the cocoa were well paid for their labor. Divine Chocolate and Equal Exchange are two of the companies the Untours Foundation has supported; their chocolate is sublime. (Guilt free chocolate? You’re welcome.)

Vienna for free

Something to Look Forward To
Of course the best gift for a grounded traveler is the promise of future travel. While the future is uncertain, we are accepting bookings for fall of 2021 and all of 2022. Based on vaccine development and advances in testing, we hope for a return to travel later this year. Why not get an Untour trip on the calendar? Our policies for changes and rescheduling are flexible, evolving as the situation warrants. We expect “pent up demand” so why not plan ahead?

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day, we wish you and yours all the best. Stay healthy and positive, and keep the faith, friends! We love you.

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