Sometimes it’s not always possible to travel. Perhaps because of financial barriers, health issues, or even a global pandemic where borders are shut and people have to remain at home rather than venturing off to exotic shores. Whilst nothing can replace the feeling of walking barefoot on secluded sandy beaches, or hiking through the snowline of majestic Alpine peaks, there are a few things you can do to recreate that holiday feeling at home.
As travellers, we found that the poignant online #GetawaysReimagined campaign really resonated, with lots of super ideas on how to have a holiday at home. You might have tried some already, if so let us know how it went in the comments below. We particularly loved the city break idea, where you can enjoy virtual museum visits in historical sites all around the world, from Rome to London. And buying tropical scented candles to remind you of exotic beach holidays is inspired too. Our house smells amazing as a result!
Here are some of our suggestions about how you too can recreate your favourite getaway from the comfort of your own four walls.
Online Cooking Lessons
One of our favourite things to do on holiday is to take a cooking lesson, so we can learn about the food we’re eating and about the local culture. We always discover a new culinary trick when we go to Marrakech in Morocco, whether that’s learning how to cook tagines in under an hour, or how to craft the delicate pastry briouat parcels that are often filled with cheese and a real hit when it comes to starters.
Several hoteliers around the world have started offering their cooking classes online, meaning you can tap into this local expertise right from your own kitchen. You’ll receive a list of ingredients beforehand, so make sure you have them all ready for the big day.
Then tune in and follow the instructions from a professional chef as they guide you visually though the different stages. We love La Maison Arabe online cooking workshop which is presented from the famous kitchens in this renowned Marrakech hotel. Find out how to bake Berber Tafernout flat bread, spicy couscous and delicious Moroccan salads – and of course you get to eat your creations afterwards!
If you don’t fancy an online workshop, just buy a recipe book for a particular destination or region and try to recreate some of your favourite dishes from scratch.
Play That Tune
Jump on your go-to music platform and search for songs from some of the places you’ve visited around the world in the past. Perhaps you’re into Ethiopian jazz and Japanese folk tunes, or maybe Goan trance music and Caribbean calypso is more your thing. Whatever world music floats your boat, turn the volume up load and pretend, just for a moment, that you’re far away from home.
Take it up a notch and get those hips moving with a bit of salsa or flamenco, or hop online for some virtual dance classes to show you how it’s done. Of course there’s nothing stopping you from dressing up so you can really feel the part.
Learn a Language
One of the joys of foreign travel is having a go at a new language as you try to order food, book day trips and navigate your way around a new place. But often we don’t have time to learn much beyond the standard phrases of hello, please and thank you. So whilst you’re stuck at home, why not try and pick up a new language, to help you imagine that you’re away on holiday, and to stand you in good stead for your next trip away.
There are several free language learning apps offering everything from Spanish to Russian, and even virtual tutoring if you really want to get into it. Once you have a few words under your belt, you could chat to people online to improve your skills and to learn about a new culture at the same time.
We love camping, whether it’s in the high fells in the Lake District where we live, or on a remote tropical island right on the beach. But this is something that’s actually relatively simple to recreate at home, if you have a garden of course. Pick a sunny weekend, pitch that tent next to the flower beds, and set up your camp. Don’t forget picnic blankets and sleeping bags to make it feel authentic, although if you want to throw in a pillow or two for extra comfort we won’t hold it against you.
String up those fairy lights, fill the cool box with some beer, and throw some sausages on the barbeque. Or dust off that gas stove that’s been lurking in the back of your garage for years and heat up a can of meatballs. Of course one of the benefits of camping at home is having all the facilities you need right on your doorstep, so no grubby communal showers or blocked toilets for you! When night falls don’t forget to look up at the stars, and maybe toast some marshmallows over the slowly dying embers of your fire. Who says you can’t have a holiday at home!