Give the gift of travel and experiences

Pali Mountain Retreat
Located just outside Running Springs, the Pali Mountain Retreat and Conference Center is set up to host gatherings of families and friends.
(Pali Retreat)
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Camp getaway

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Build in some family time at the Pali Mountain Retreat, which organizes getaways throughout the year. The three-day, two-night excursions include classic camp activities like archery and hiking and extend to karaoke and tomahawk-throwing. A cabin sleeps 12, package includes five meals per person and all activities.

Cabin and meal package: $1,688

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Safari close to home

Known as the Sonoma Serengeti, the Safari West wildlife preserve outside Santa Rosa is home to nearly 900 animals; stay overnight in tents brought in from Botswana after a day of watching antelopes, cheetahs and rhinos.

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Safari $83. One night accommodations $300. Purchase here→

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Budget no problem?
Experiences
 
(PrivateFly)

Cross this off your bucket list: Get on board the Falcon 7X — essentially, a hotel room in the sky — for the long flight to the Maldives where you will spend four nights at the Coco Residence at the Coco Bodu Hithi, featuring a multi-course dinner, a photography flyover in a chartered sea plane and a candlelit dinner on a sandbank over Labor Day Weekend 2020. Bucket list complete.

Starts at $275,000 for two. Purchase here→

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Volunteering abroad

Remote Lands, a tour operator that specializes in Asia, takes people traveling to Siem Reap in Cambodia to the Conservatoire of Apsara Dance, a traditional Khmer dance school, to volunteer, whether by teaching English or helping out in other ways. Your takeaway? You’ll learn a few moves and enjoy a ceremonial blessing after. Part of a minimum five-night stay.

Prices vary. Purchase here→

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Cooking classes

The budding cook might enjoy a few hours at Eatz LA, where hands-on cooking classes revolve around options like Thai cuisine (coconut soup with lemongrass) to homemade gnocchi (sweet potato with shallots). Each class includes a four- to five-course meal, plus cocktails and wine for the adults. 612 N La Brea Ave., Los Angeles.

$105 a class. Purchase here→

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History on a plate
Experiences
 
(Bob McClenahan)

In downtown Napa, the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) at Copia is offering its “Le Petit Chef” experience; the two-hour, six-course meal includes 3D animation that falls across diners’ plates as they eat, illustrating Marco Polo’s travels along the Silk Road.

Dinners $140 per person. Wine pairings $50. Purchase here→

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Luxe links

Hit a world-class golf course just across the border in La Paz, Baja, where the sun is said to shine 360 days a year. At the luxe Puerta Cortes (Bill Gates hangs out here), visitors can golf at the Gary Player Signature 18-hole course or go whale-watching in the Sea of Cortez. Your personal golf cart will get you around the 500-plus acre resort.

From $200 a night. Purchase here→

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Do it for the Gram

Yacht Yoga involves an hour of asanas aboard a 50-foot catamaran around scenic Dana Point Harbor, leaving from Dana Wharf. Lessons are led by a teacher from local studio, iHeartYoga. Expect to see some sea animals during that downward dog.

$485 for up to eight people. Purchase here→

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Hit the parks in style
Experiences
 
(Bailey Made)

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For those who crave the majesty of national parks but aren’t a fan of schlepping their stuff around; Under Canvas has created a “7 Parks in 7 Days” package, taking guests via private jet to glamp in noteworthy parks such as Yellowstone and Glacier in Montana and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The tents come with luxury bedding, furniture from West Elm and a wood burning stove. Package is for two people, including all flights (in and out of Denver), meals and lodging.

From $34,400 for two people. Purchase here→

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Best friends travel

The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, has long been a magnet for animal lovers, who visit to care for dogs, bunnies, horses, pigs, cats and birds. Now, volunteers can bring their own pets and stay over at the new Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile down the road; pets get their own welcome and can enjoy a fenced park area with splash features, regular walks, washing facilities and their own built-in cubbies and snuggle areas in each room.

$109 to $309 a night. Purchase here→

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Getting closer
Experiences
 
(InterContinental Hotels & Resort)

Couples needing alone time can book the Fiji Romance and Adventure Escape at the 35-acre Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa on the country’s Natadola Beach. A jetski safari allows for visitors to interact with marine life, sign up for a two-hour couple’s spa ritual or play like Cleopatra in a honey and milk bathing ceremony.

From $365 a night, five-night minimum. Purchase here→

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Kavita Daswani