Traveling has lots of benefits, and it makes our lives more exciting. After March 2020, many of us have been affected by lockdowns and travel restrictions. We can’t travel as much as we used to. If at all. Since we are bound to our homes until further authorization, we go on staycations instead of vacations. A staycation stands for a vacation you spend by staying home. Even so, we all miss traveling. I wrote about seven reasons why it has such an impact on us. For this post, I listed alternative ideas on how you can enjoy the benefits of traveling on your staycation.
Expand your perspective virtually
When you miss all the excitement of the unknown that traveling offers to us, start exploring the wonders of the world virtually. There are loads of documentaries about different places and cultures. Search them from streaming services or on Youtube. You can also watch travel movies and foreign films. Films made in other countries often give you a better picture of the country and its culture. Do google searches of places you don’t know anything about. Read travel blogs and other people’s travel stories.
Here are 10 travel documentaries listed by The Guardian.
Check Rotten tomatoes’s virtual cinema of 23 fresh foreign movies.
Read BucketListly blog’s article about 20 beautiful travel blogs.
Begin online learning
Even though we can’t find new learning opportunities by traveling, we don’t have to miss our chance to learn something new. Thankfully, we have the internet these days! Take an online course or download a language learning app. There are many affordable options to start learning new skills online or on an app.
You can find over 130 000 online courses on Udemy.
Domestika is an online course community for creative people.
The Oprah magazine listed 11 language apps.
Explore your inner world
When we don’t have many external activities, it’s a great moment to shift the focus on our inner world. Traveling helps us to know ourselves better. But we can do self-search in other ways, too. The depths of our mind and soul are unlimited. Getting to know yourself is actually easier without external distractions. Read books and watch Youtube videos about self-development and inner growth.
PsychAlive and PositivePsychology.com are blogs and science based online resourced about mental growth.
For more spiritual approach on the topic you can check OSHO, and especially his book The magic of self respect.
On Youtube you can find for an example Sadhguru’s speech about Inner management.
Okay, you probably think that lockdown gives you nothing else as much as me-time. But I dare to challenge the idea. If you’re not living by yourself, you’re probably interacting with your housemates constantly. We are glued to our phones, tablets, and laptops now more than ever. And when the boredom hits, we start checking social media and reading the news. Consumption of social media and online services grew massive in 2020.
Social media does mean interaction with other people, even if you think you’re only watching what’s happening online. We become exposed to other people’s influence. So when you start to miss the magically relaxing impact of traveling, take an hour or two only for yourself. Turn off the distracting technology around you or at least mute message notifications. Take a long bath or do a calming yoga flow. Play an instrument, start painting or tackle a puzzle. Whatever makes you relaxed and separates you from other people, at least on a mental level.
Check Career girl’s ideas for a relaxing bath.
Search free yoga sequences on Youtube. Here’s a 30-minute video for beginners.
Combine traveling with puzzles, check World traveler’s puzzles.
Invest in small indulgences
If you miss the glamorous and luxurious feeling of traveling, improve your quality of life by investing in small indulgences at home. If you’re on a budget, then do this only once a week or a month. Get takeaway food from a fancy restaurant or buy a bottle of high-quality champagne (consume reasonably!). There are also many affordable ways to make your bedroom feel like a luxury hotel room.
See some tips for a bedroom makeover here and here.
With these tips you can create a restaurant experience at home.
Town&Country listed 13 best Champagne brands here.
Make a day trip locally or virtually
Are you into adventure travels? It’s time to find new outdoor activities locally. Plan out a day in nature close to your home. Try to find a place you haven’t visited yet. If there are no suitable places for adventures nearby or you’re in a complete lockdown, go on a virtual trip. You can also start planning your future trips! Make a Pinterest board of all the places you would like to visit. Spend your staycation collecting ideas for the future.
Travel+leisure listed 12 famous museums worldwide that offer virtual tours.
See Lonely Planet’s article about the best virtual tours to explore from home.
Boat International made a long article about virtual travel experiences.
Check my Pinterest board about travel plans I have made and get inspired!
Have quality time with loved ones
Relationships became challenging when the pandemic started. Some of us suffer from loneliness, and others are locked in their houses with a partner or whole family. Long-distance relationships feel tougher. Some relationships are tested in a different way when couples stay together 24/7. Many family events and reunions got canceled. We needed to stop visiting elderly family members. People came to realize how delicate human life is.
The best way to take care of your relationships depends on your personal situation. If you’re lonely, or you know an isolated family member, jump on video calls with them. Drink coffee and have a long chat. Book a time from your calendar for spending time with people (virtually) and allow no distractions. In case you’re in quarantine with family or a spouse, try a new approach. Start a new hobby, cook a new recipe or create a new tradition together. When we face new challenges together, we can learn to know each other in a better way.
Travel+Leisure listed 100 staycation ideas of things to do at home solo or with family.
Read Business Insiders article about how to strengthen relationships during quarantine.