I already know what you’re thinking: staycation at home?
First off, how am I supposed to pretend I’m on vacation while I’m wedged in between the same four walls, staring down my unpaid electric bills?
I could almost hear your eyes rolling into the back of your head.
Trust me, I get it. I was like you once.
Similarly, I also believed leaving my home was the only way to experience new things, create great blog content, and essentially do anything worthwhile.
Now, don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing quite like traditional traveling. Nothing beats that rush of excitement you get from discovering an epic new view, trying different cuisine for the first time, or getting delightfully lost in a beautifully unfamiliar city.
However, it’s not always possible to hop on a plane to somewhere exotic every time the travel bug bites. Whether it’s a pandemic or an empty bank account, sometimes life just gets in the way.
Fortunately, I do have some good (and potentially surprising) news.
You don’t need to travel to enjoy new and novel experiences.
In fact, with minimal supplies and maximum creativity, you can transport yourself anywhere you want right from the comfort of your own home.
Actually, one of the quickest ways to take that journey is by using something you already have in your possession. You may not think about this thing much at all – in fact, you probably take it for granted – but it has provided you with countless rich experiences since the day you were born….
That’s right, you can quite literally taste your way to your next adventure just by working with what you already have at home (and perhaps picking up an indulgence or two at your local grocery/wine store).
So if you’re tired of staring longingly at your passport, experiencing soul-sucking FOMO from mindlessly scrolling Instagram, or painstakingly counting the days until your next trip, I invite you to whet your appetite with these deliciously irresistible ideas for a staycation at home.
You know those days when you just want to stay in bed? Perhaps there’s a good thunderstorm brewing and you’re purely contented with burrowing under the covers, curling up with a good book, and binging your favorite show on Netflix?
Although it may sound relaxing, at some point, your hunger will get the better of you and you’ll start fantasizing about some magical bedside delivery service…
Well, if you live with a significant other/roommate/family member, why not take turns serving each other breakfast in bed?
Alternatively, if you don’t have a living partner, why not pamper yourself?
After all, let’s face it, nothing says “hotel life” quite like a luxurious breakfast in bed.
Just imagine starting your day with the breakfast of champions right from your very own sleeping pod (which, for the record, is the most comfortable spot to sleep in the entire world, regardless of where you travel).
And if you do have a living partner, maybe he or she can indulge you with some housekeeping services as well. (Clean towels and chocolates on the pillow, anyone?)
Just be sure to take turns so that you can each enjoy a taste of the good life on your staycation at home!
Spring is finally here, which means it’s perfect picnic weather!
Regardless of whether you have a sprawling lawn or a small apartment balcony to work with, you can enjoy the novelty of a picnic just outside your home.
To create an “exotic” picnic spread, incorporate foods from your favorite travel destination.
For instance, we went with a French theme.
Our basket included light fare such as croissants, brie, fresh fruit, and plenty of wine, of course!
Who doesn’t love a good boozy brunch?
I don’t know about you, but brunch always makes me feel like I’m on vacation (I suspect it’s all the alcohol).
Plus, the best part about enjoying this indulgence while you staycation at home is that there won’t be a fat check waiting for you at the bottom of those bottomless mimosas.
Need some boozy inspiration?
Here are some popular brunch cocktail ideas to get you started:
- Classic Mimosa (1 part champagne, 1 part orange juice)
- Bellini (4 oz prosecco, 2 oz peach purée)
- Screwdriver (1 part vodka, 2 parts orange juice)
- Fuzzy Navel (1.5 oz peach schnapps, 4.5 oz orange juice)
- Bloody Mary (3 parts vodka, 6 parts tomato juice, 1 part lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, to taste)
In addition, check out this great list of brunch cocktails for more ideas.
Above all, one of the best ways to relive your travels on your staycation at home is to cook your favorite international dishes.
The sky is truly the limit here, as there are so many delicious options to explore!
Even if you’re not blessed with culinary skills like my husband is, there are still plenty of easy-to-follow recipes you can start with to get your feet wet.
Together, we’ve made everything from fava, to traditional Greek salad, to pastitsio, to Kefalonian meat pie, to spinach pie, to domatokeftedes.
In fact, we’ve enjoyed the dishes so much that some of them have made it into our regular dinner rotation.
As I result, I thought I’d provide you with an easy-to-follow recipe for one of our favorite Greek delights, domatokeftedes, as inspiration for your own culinary escapades.
I’m sharing this one in particular because the ingredients are inexpensive, it’s quick to make, and it’s vegetarian.
While my husband and I are not vegetarian, I figure this will appeal to a wider audience.
In addition, we’ve also grown quite fond of the classic Greek salad, which we prepare fairly often. Similarly, it’s another easy-to-make option for vegetarians.
So, if you’re interested in making this delicious and colorful salad for yourself, I’ve included the recipe below.
One of my absolute favorite things about traveling is tasting the local wine. In fact, most of our trips involve wine tastings.
Most recently, we enjoyed a tasting in Chania, Crete.
If you’re also a wine lover, why not set up an international tasting right in your home?
For instance, you can purchase a few favorites and then experiment with some newer varieties from different countries to transport your taste buds.
If you could use some wine-spiration, here are a few of our favorite foreign varieties:
- Assyrtiko (Greek, white, Santo Wines brand)
- Bordeaux (French, red)
- Montepulciano Trebbiano (Italian, red)
I first discovered the magic of high tea in my home state of Connecticut a few years back, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
For me, tea is more than a drink, it’s an experience.
Above all, tea time is a reminder to unwind, savor, and appreciate – all of which are essential elements of traveling.
As it turns out, a staycation at home is the perfect excuse to put each of these into action.
So, why not put the kettle on and kick back right at your kitchen table?
I personally like pretending I’m attending high tea in England by using our finest dishes and treating myself to delicious scones or tea biscuits.
Above all, no matter what your personal style, just use this tea time to unwind!
For all of the travel couples out there: Have you ever looked across the table at your partner in front of an epic view and thought: “Is this real life?”
I hope that every single one of you reading this gets to experience that one day.
In any case, how amazing would it be to create that magic at home?
Even if your home arrangement is a far cry from a romantic Parisian balcony, you’d be surprised what a magical setting you can create with just a few simple items and the right lighting.
In fact, I felt a romantic spark just setting up the above photo with my guy, let alone enjoying a candelight dinner!
Here are my top recommendations for a romantic dinner at home:
If you’re usually the one hunting down and rating the best patisseries, gelato shops, and cafés on your travels, why not do a bake-off at home?
In fact, you can hold this friendly competition right in your own kitchen with your partner/roommate/family member. Think “Cake Boss,” but less intense.
It’s your home, so you make the rules, but if you want some inspiration, here are two different ideas:
- Competitive Version: Decide on one dessert with your living partner that you will each bake on your own. When you’re both done, taste each other’s and pick a winner.
- Non-Competitive Version: Bake two different desserts (each of you will make one) and then indulge in a whole bunch of deliciousness together afterward. I prefer this version myself!
Whatever you choose, make sure to save plenty of room for dessert!
Are you looking to travel right from your living room couch? If so, it’s time to start poppin’ some popcorn for a true Netflix and chill, wanderlust edition!
If you’d like to get a bit more creative in the kitchen than nuking some “Pop Secret” and calling it a day, I have just the thing: toppings!
In fact, you can easily create gourmet-style popcorn right from home in just a few quick minutes!
Here are some of our favorite topping ideas:
- Classically Indulgent: Extra butter
- Savory: Buffalo Wild Wings “Desert Heat” seasoning
- Sweet & Salty: Salted dark chocolate
Alternatively, if you can’t decide on just one topping, create a “popcorn bar” instead.
For instance, you can set aside some tasty toppings (we used nuts, chocolate chips, and sprinkles) and mix it up to your liking, ice-cream-sundae style!
Next, once you have your tasty snack ready to go, it’s time to fuel your wanderlust with the click of your remote.
Here are some of my favorite travel-themed movies and foreign films:
- Midnight in Paris
- Vicky Christina Barcelona
- The Talented Mr. Ripley
- In Bruges
- Murder on the Orient Express (1974 original and/or 2017 remake)
- Lost in Translation
- Life Is Beautiful
- Little Miss Sunshine
- National Lampoon’s Vacation
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
- Crazy Rich Asians
- Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Sometimes your friend/family member/significant other/loved one is miles away, but you still want to enjoy a meal with them.
Fortunately, modern technology affords us all the luxury of staying connected.
For instance, you can set up a virtual dinner date with FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc. and share good food and a stimulating conversation.
In addition, as a bonus, you can each give each other a virtual tour of where you are when you’re done eating.
This could be a fun way to experience a totally new living environment (or reminisce on a beloved one) from the comfort of your dining table, couch, or bed (no judgements).
As you can see, traveling doesn’t have to mean spending boatloads of money, taking multiple forms of transportation, and putting together a jam-packed itinerary.
On the other hand, something as simple as cooking a favorite meal, indulging with a drink, or reimagining your living environment can transport you to another place.
In short, if you’ve got that travel itch, consider how you can scratch it with a staycation at home. All it takes is just a few simple items and imagination, above all. I bet you’ll be surprised by what you find!