If there was any subscription box I was looking forward to receiving it was Escape Monthly. If I could get paid to travel I would spend all of my time traveling the globe. There’s literally nothing I enjoy more than traveling, so Escape Monthly seemed like a natural fit.
While I didn’t have time to write some of my reviews last month, I purposefully put off writing about Escape Monthly, as I kind of hoped that I would change my mind about the contents of the Ireland Escape Monthly box. “It wasn’t that bad,” I’d think to myself before looking at the contents again and then sighing as I tried to think of something positive to say.
There are two things I feel like I should point out before reviewing the Ireland Escape Monthly box:
- This box is expensive. Escape Monthly costs $49.95 per month, which makes it one of the most expensive boxes on the market. For $49.95, I expect to receive a box that blows me away.
- I studied abroad in Ireland, and while I am by no means an Ireland expert, I had REALLY high hopes for this box. There are so many amazing things that could have been included.
Here’s what I received in the Ireland Escape Monthly box:
Human + Kind Family Remedy Cream ($31.49) – This cream was the largest product included in the box. It’s an all-natural cream that allegedly soothes and reduces common skin irritations. I’m not going to lie to you: I will not be using this cream. The scent is so strong and medicinal that I almost gagged. Human + Kind looks like a great brand, and I really wish another slightly less pungent item had been included so I could really get a sense for their products!
Moon Living Abroad in Ireland Guide ($19.99) – I believe most of the Escape Monthly boxes include a travel guide, which can be nice if you’re planning on visiting a country or location, but those books can also add up over the course of a year!
It seems like a lot of the value of this box is spent on a book that probably isn’t particularly useful unless you actually plan on visiting (or living in!) a destination.
Bewley’s Irish Cream Coffee
Auld Sod Shamrock Seeds
Hogan’s Brown Irish Soda Bread
Bewley’s Gift of the Gab Irish Tea
O’Neills Shamrock Shortbread Cookies
Butlers Mint Truffle Bar
I cannot say I was particularly impressed with the final six items that were included in the Ireland Escape Monthly box. The choices just seemed kind of … lazy. I’m a little surprised that nothing I received had a leprechaun on it.
The problem is, I think, that these items aren’t particularly nuanced. If you were looking for stereotypical “hey, I went to Ireland” gifts, these might be the items you pick up for people. (And in fact, I’m sure I picked up souvenirs that were very similar to these in the cheap tchotchke-filled shops that are all over Dublin!) The items included in this box don’t really represent the tremendous history of Ireland, or the artisan craft products you an find there, or even any of the amazing designers that call Ireland home. In my opinion the Ireland Escape Monthly box was really just an expensive box of junk.
Am I being an Ireland snob? Yes. When I found out Ireland was going to be the destination of the March box I was hoping for something much closer to what I received from My Ireland Box last year (check out my reviews here and here). My Ireland Box costs less than Escape Monthly and the quality of products was 100% better.
Now I know that I’ve only seen one box from Escape Monthly, but I already canceled my subscription. The box is too expensive to risk receiving another box of generic products. (If you’re interested in subscribing, the April box will focus on Mexico.)
I hope I’m not being unfair in this review, but part of the reason I was so disappointed in the box I received is that Escape Monthly is an awesome idea. They can take people to different spots around the world, and the higher price point means that they can actually send some quality items so that one can actually get a feel for the intended destination. They could send a smaller and cheaper travel guide if they feel that’s a necessity (I don’t think it is), and then really focus on sending out great products. Maybe they could have sent out an Orla Kiely notebook ($11), Waterford Crystal votive ($29), some Irish breakfast tea, and something from Guinness. Instead, if I’m being blunt (and I obviously am), I feel like this box was thrown together without much thought as to what one will actually find in Ireland beyond the very obvious.
Every once in a while a subscription box irks my ire, and this time it was Escape Monthly. I really wanted to love this box, but if I had to sum up why it didn’t work for me I’d say this: It just didn’t go deep enough.
Escape Monthly costs $49.99 per month, and each month they focus on a new country or city. Both U.S. destinations and international locations have been featured in the past.
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