Did I just read that right? “Travelling during quarantine”? That’s kind of impossible, right? Wrong! While you may not be able to physically travel and visit other countries while in quarantine, you can definitely explore your favourite destinations. Experiencing the excitement that comes from visiting other countries just takes a little bit of imagination, optimism, and a perspective. This post will give you tips and tricks for exploring other countries and cultures all from the comfort of your couch.
1. Grab a travel guide.
Stuck on where to travel for the day? Grab a travel guide! Travel guides are a great way to figure out where to “travel” next. These handy tools are not just for identifying hotspots in your country of choice. Travel guides also mention where the best food joints are, what popular activities you can do to pass the time and even some of the cultural traditions that locals usually participate in. These are all ideas that you can use to plan the perfect staycation.
If you are unable to find a travel guide in person, look for one online. The tourism boards for most countries create websites that indicate key attractions, provide a history of the country, and list other important facts about the country.
2. Watch travel vlogs.
Watching travel vlogs is one of the easiest ways to get a quick tour of the country that you are interested in “visiting”. Most travel vlogs show viewers the most popular destinations within the countries they visit. This, of course, is ideal if you would like to gain ideas on how to transform your personal space into your vacation home.
In addition to watching travel vlogs, you can also watch destination guide videos like the one above. These videos provide an overview of the country, it’s top attractions, as well as places to eat, sleep, and have fun. These videos are a bit more descriptive than travel blogs. They describe the vibe and environment of each city in the country, which can give you a better idea of what you would like to include in planning your staycation.
3. Watch virtual tours.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourist attractions around the world have closed their doors to the public. However, lucky for us, they have posted virtual tours of these attractions online for the public to see. The best part is these tours are free! All you need is a strong Wi-Fi connection and you can be instantly transported to places like Paris, Egypt, the San Diego Zoo, and even Sea World. Some of these virtual tours can be connected to virtual reality glasses to maximize the most out of your experience. Most of these virtual reality-based tours can be found at en.360tourist.net.
4. Creating quality cuisine.
Depending on where you live, purchasing dishes from authentic international-inspired restaurants may be difficult. The good news is that the internet is littered with step-by-step recipes that can help you to create tasty national dishes from wherever you choose. If you took note of the earlier tips, you should have an idea of the kinds of foods and drinks that are commonly served in your country of interest. YouTube also has visual tutorials on how to make the foods and drinks that you may be interested in eating. This video provides an example of a visual cooking tutorial.
There are various international food-based websites that you can visit to help you to create the meals that you may be interested in making. Here is a list of websites that have authentic international recipes from various parts of the world. There are recipes inspired by Japan, Italy, Mexico and more wonderful countries. You may find this list useful in creating your menu for the day.
- All Recipes World Cuisine
- Taste of Home Around the World in 80 Meals List
- Ricardo Cuisine International Recipes
- Real Simple International Recipes
5. Creating the ambience.
This is probably the most important step in creating your staycation. It is simple enough to cook an international dish or watch a few videos on the beaches in Bermuda. To really feel like you are on “vacation” you have to create the atmosphere. How do you do that, you ask?
First: visit Pinterest
Pinterest is filled with creative ideas for any project. If you are “visiting” China and would like to make your own paper lanterns, Pinterest has the tips to do so. Want to go camping under the stars in Australia? Pinterest has ideas on how to create the perfect indoor, starry-night atmosphere. Even if you want to create your own props to make your experience as creative as possible, like a passport or menu for the day, Pinterest has the ideas and instructions on how to do so.
Second: Play some music
Music has the power to turn a good vibe into a great one. Spotify is free and has a playlist for every activity and mood imaginable. Want to hear traditional African music but don’t know which song to play? Spotify has a playlist for that. Want to play some romantic Mandarin instrumental music for your dinner? Spotify has a playlist for that. Want to play sounds of nature for your “campout under the stars”? Spotify has a playlist for that.
Of course, if you would like, you can also play the music of your choice from YouTube. They not only have songs but they also have videos that you can use to help set the ambience for your day, whether it be a backdrop of a sunset, the sounds of waves crashing against the shore, or a fireplace for your quiet evening in.
Third: Set the atmosphere
This is the part that will probably take the most creativity. Ideally, you would want your space to be as identical to your desired physical environment as possible. For example, if you are going to “travel” to the Caribbean, then you might want to turn the heating in your home a little higher. If you have plants, then you may want to bring them inside your house or reposition them to create a tropical or outdoor environment. Maybe you want to consider making fake sand to have a “walk along the beach”. You would be surprised by the things that you can make with the things you already have in your home.
6. “Purchasing” your souvenirs.
Finally, you’ve come to the end of your “vacation,” and you want to get a souvenir to remember your fun times. How do you get one when all you’ve done is travel from the bedroom to the living room? Well, the most obvious souvenir is taking pictures. You can even create your very own postcards if you choose to use Photoshop or any other photo editing program.
If you rather have a more authentic souvenir, then you can also order one online. Stores like Amazon have vendors from all over the world that you can shop from to gain the goodies that you want to make your “trip” the most perfect one yet.
Did you create your very own quarantine “vacation”?
If you did, we want to see it! Post your pictures on Twitter and mention us at @SeriesMelanin.