Just as travel has always been a great way to escape, travel jigsaw puzzles have become the escape of choice during the pandemic.
Jigsaw puzzles, in general, have become the activity for the pandemic, with sales doubling and tripling as people have found it a relaxing and satisfying way to escape the news, de-stress and create beautiful pieces of art in the process.
New puzzle companies are thriving, thanks to vibrant, unexpected images that transport you somewhere else, literally leave those boring old landscapes in the dust. They’re creating puzzles that will let you experience some of your favorite destinations in a whole new way.
“I asked myself what people were fantasizing about and realized it was travel: being far away in space and time from where we all were,” said Mia Galison, founder of Piece & Love by eeBoo. “The smell of food not cooked by you, the sounds of crowds, airplane solitude, sleepy taxi rides to unexplored destinations. It was all about traveling somewhere while staying put, disconnecting from the now for a little while, absorbed in the calm, pleasing act of putting together a beautiful jigsaw puzzle.”
Eric Dowdle, who’s been creating travel puzzles for more than two decades, agrees. “Unlike a picture that hangs on your wall, puzzles keep you engaged. For hours, you examine and study each piece and every detail. I’ve found that people love art that exposes them to new beauty, new feelings and even great memories. What better way to relive that fabulous vacation or time spent in a different part of the world? If it’s a place you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet, spending hours assembling a puzzle of that location can transport your imagination into the image and allow you to connect in memorable ways.”
Here are some of the best travel puzzles and puzzle companies out there. All of these puzzles will become treasured gifts, and you may want to pick up a couple for yourself to get you through this time of staying home without going stir crazy.
Botany from Cloudberries
This gorgeous 1000-piece puzzle will send visions of flowers and mountains and piazzas dancing through your head. Featuring art by Japanese painter, Naomi Okubo, its strong linen-coated pieces have a premium matte finish that looks great and feels good as you snap them together. The UK-based Cloudberries puts an emphasis on design, and plants a tree for every puzzle sold. Price: $24.95
Roadtrip from Wander Puzzle Co.
This woman-owned business supports international female artists, like Ana Hard from Bilbao, Spain, who created this girl-powered puzzle that will bring a smile to the face of any woman who has ever gone on a music- and snack-filled road trip with her BFF. In fact, it’s such a fun puzzle, it just may inspire another trip.