Not enjoy our time off work because of corona? Not on our watch! Vacation at home can be just as enjoyable (unpopular opinion: if not more enjoyable!) as a destination holiday. Read on for tips and tricks on how to bring distant lands right into your own four walls and enjoy your staycation to the max!
Limited transport, closed borders and social distancing are everywhere we look. The times are not great ones for dedicated globetrotters like ourselves. It seems to be dawning on all of us lately that maybe this year the long distance summer travel plans won’t go ahead. House-tralia is in. Vacation on the balcony is happening. A day trip to Lake My Garden is on the cards.
And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that! In the age of the internet, it’s not that hard anymore to bring the travel vibes to you. You can do all kinds of things with virtual travel, from visiting nice beaches to touring the most famous museums in the world and more.
Check out our hidden tips for a vacation at home that’s actually worth the time off!
Step #1: Choose your virtual staycation destination
Just like any vacation, your staycation starts with your choice of destination. And as everyone knows, planning is half the fun anyway!
So firstly, choose your town, region or city. The great thing about a virtual trip is you get to travel a whole continent or undertake a grand world trip – and your wallet will stay just as full as it started! So go crazy!
If you’re not entirely sure where to start, then start using the tech you have to hand. Google Earth lets you fly around the world (bonus point – carbon neutrally!), see the planet from above or take a sneaky look inside people’s houses at street view.
Step #2: Music makes everything better
Next up – setting the scene! Try making a playlist on Spotify full of local music for your chosen virtual destination. Dance music for a mini kids’ disco… Soft background music for a romantic candlelit dinner in the evening… Upbeat hits for a motivational workout… Everything’s possible and the internet is bursting full of local music from every corner of the Earth.
Curious to find out what kind of music people in different parts of the world are listening to? Try ‘Better go now’ – a website with an impressive collection of traditional and modern music from 100 different countries.
Step #3: Take a culinary journey – staycation or no staycation!
Since we now know where we’re going and we can set the scene with the right atmosphere, the next thing on the list is fooooood. We don’t know about you, but our favorite part of travel is discovering the place by its local cuisine.
Well there’s a silver lining to every cloud, and this is it; our chance to try cooking the food we love trying abroad! Thankfully there’s plenty of help waiting for us on the internet to guide us towards making something that the whole family will be demanding more of.
So, long shot, but anyone who loves Thai food especially or has chosen Thailand for their virtual travel destination, look no further! Try this amazing ‘Pad Thai’ recipe, one of the most famous Thai dishes, and surprisingly easy.
Collect a few different recipes for the country’s typical snacks, dishes, desserts and drinks and prepare a few different courses straight off. That way, you’ll have a whole load of delicious meals prepared for the whole day and can just enjoy it like you’re at a hotel all-you-can-eat.
And when we can travel again, make sure to check these 9 cities for foodies out!
Step #4: Arrange a video chat with a friend abroad
Chances are you have a friend abroad – maybe even in your chosen virtual destination..? They’re probably suffering under the same pangs of wanderlust that you are!
Why not meet with them virtually and organize some games. They might even be able to show you some of the local customs or games from where they live! Have fun!
In fact if you’re looking for ways to stay social – despite the social distancing – take a look at our 14 very easy ideas on the topic!
Step #5: Make your vacation at home an educational journey
Since we don’t want to be sitting around lazily the whole holiday, how about a museum trip?
Whether you decide to go to the Stätel Museum in Frankfurt, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam or the State Heritage Museum in St. Petersburg doesn’t matter. Tons of museums have had to rethink in the last few weeks – the result being that many have placed parts of their exhibitions online.
So… waiting in queues? Overly expensive ticket prices? Too many people? Annoyances of yesterday! Today, you can go on a virtual museum tour and take all the time you like – and often pay nothing for it!
Do make a donation if you’re able to though – let’s support our local and worldwide culture spots! 💪
Step #6: Broaden your linguistic horizons
Sure, you could order a beer in English in Mallorca, Prague, Hong Kong or pretty much anywhere in the world. You’ll probably be successful. But wouldn’t it be much nicer, as a guest in the country, to respectfully order your drink in the waiter’s own language?
It’s fun to learn a new language and can be entertaining in large groups. (If you don’t believe it, try getting English language beginners to pronounce words like ‘colonel’, ‘squirrel’ or virtually anything beginning with the ‘th’ sounds.)
There’s tons of options online to help you start learning a language for no or very little money. There’s even loads of apps to download on your smartphone to help with casual learning. In other words, you’ve got tons of options!
By the way this tip combines very well with step #4. Got a friend in Thailand? Ask them to teach you ten phrases that every tourist needs to know there. In return, you could help them learn the phrases in one of your languages.
Step #7: People watch on the beach (despite the staycation)
Okay, so the beach is wonderful, there’s no denying it. But sometimes it can be a little annoying. Maybe the wind is too strong to read our magazine. Maybe the sand is sitting uncomfortably in places it doesn’t belong. Or maybe it’s simply getting to the beach which is a struggle.
You could almost say one of the best parts of sitting on the beach is the people watching. Finding a comfortable spot, tasty drink in hand and sun on your face – and watching all the people furtively from your spot, while they learn (hilariously) to paddle board.
But there’s actually no reason to sit in traffic for hours or give out tons of money for this. Do it at home. On many beaches all over the world, you can access 24-hour webcams with live videos on the internet.
Really, all you need to do is prepare a picnic, sit in the garden, put on some music and log on. The perfect day on the beach, minus the overly sandy shoes!
Want to see how the world-famous Bondi Beach in Australia looks? Here you go…
Step #8: Wind down in your very own home spa
When was the last time you really got to relax? Like, let your mind wander away and just have some ‘me’ time? A staycation gives you enough time for the things that you usually never get around to in the day. And we’re talking about a bubble bath, candles, romantic music and essential oils – not an extra load of washing.
Use your time off to turn your bathroom into a home spa, close the door and escape reality while you just take care of you for a couple of hours.
The vacation atmosphere could do with some help? These travel books are almost as good as travelling yourself…
Step #9: Discover the local film scene
Thanks to the countless streaming services out there, your vacation at home is guaranteed to be entertaining. Whether its a local production or an international classic – you can bring the cinema home to you.
If you like more of an informative take, how about travel documentaries about a place you want to visit someday?
But otherwise, these travel films will help cure your wanderlust!
Step #10: Prepare your next adventure
Even the corona crisis will come to an end. Soon, restrictions will be lifted and we will be able to travel instead of vacationing at home.
So why shouldn’t we use our staycation to plan our next travel destination in an unfamiliar place? Take a look at hotels and tourist options that really interest you in peace and quiet. Once you’ve read reviews from other travelers and have planned everything down to a T, you can stop planning and start anticipating.
Start with the 20 (+20) places you should visit this year.
Fact: Vacation at home doesn’t have to be boring
Vacation at home isn’t boring. With the help of the internet and a little creativity, you can have an amazing time inside your own four walls – and make your time off work or school worth it!
And if it does get a little too much being at home, then enjoy a walk in the park through the local nature, or try these 14 ideas out to help you stay close from afar. Soon the world will be back to normal and you can use your new-found virtual travel knowledge to impress the socks off of your friends.
In the meantime, if you’re still looking for ways to fill your staycation, try out these fun photoshoot ideas for indoors.