I love to travel. I actually like it so much I created a profession out of it for myself. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, now it’s not the time to travel. Most of us are in some kind of quarantine or self-isolation in a moment. But, to both stay safe and SANE, it’s nice to create some fun to yourself out of your forced staycation at home. To help you out with that I’ve created a guide with ten tips on how to feel like you’re travelling when you’re not.

How to deal with this forced staycation?

If you’re anything like me, you may be already going a bit crazy with staying at the same place for a long time. It’s only two days for me, but it already feels like two weeks. However, the essential thing is to change your mindset around this situation.

First, tell yourself you’re possibly saving some lives by staying at home. You’re not only taking care of yourself and your family. But, also of your parents, grandparents and elderly neighbours. So, this is the right thing to do to protect others.

And secondly, being forced to stay at home for a few weeks is really an unusual situation. When was the last time you didn’t have to do bazillion things in a day? Run from one place to another, and always being short of time? You could stop thinking of it as the end of the world. And start considering it as some gifted time to be home and spend more time with your family. Or only by yourself, which could also be quite nice.

So, let’s make the best out of this forced staycation!

I decided it’s time to stop crying over my cancelled trips to Spain and Bruges. And worrying about my move to Canada which should happen in a month. Instead I’m going to focus on enjoying this lovely and quiet family time. And make the best out of it.

Our trips may be cancelled, but we’re still going to feel like we’re travelling.

How to feel like you’re travelling when you’re not?

Although I’m travelling quite a lot during the last few years, there were times when I was younger and couldn’t afford to travel as much. And well, I had a lot of free time back then. So I could think of some fun things to do to feel like I’m travelling when I’m not. Here are some of my top tips:

1/ Create a fancy staycation in your house

My suggestion to start with is – make your home super cosy. Think of some beautiful hotels you’ve stayed in before and what you liked in them. And try to do that at your house. Put some lovely flowers on a kitchen table, chocolates on your pillow and a gorgeous soap in your bathroom.

You can get inspired by my Pinterest board here. It makes such a difference in how the place in which we are looks like. And if it’s tidy, nice and cosy in your house, it will feel like you just started a great staycation.

You can also try and trick your mind a bit to think it’s in a new environment. Move the plants or some smaller furniture around your living room. You can also change the colours a bit. Put some new coffee table books around, change the pillowcases and reorder your paintings. It’s funny how a few small changes can make the whole place look different. And make us feel much better.

2/ Read a travel book

If you’re spending this self-isolation alone (or when you get annoyed by being too much around the rest of the family), find a nice hygge corner of your house and read a travel book. Make yourself cosy, light a candle and travel to some imaginary world.

I’m sure you have some books sitting on a shelf you’re planning to read for ages. Well, now it’s time. Make a little reading challenge to yourself and read some of those books you didn’t have a chance to read before.

You can find some travel books inspired by Amsterdam here

3/ Call some of your friends living abroad

You’ve probably met some great people while on some of your trips. Or maybe you have some friends living in other countries. And it’s usually so nice to plan a trip and travel to visit them. Well, usually…

Since we can’t do that now, schedule a little virtual trip to visit them. Make a coffee, get some snacks and have a long Skype call with some of your friends each day you’re in a self-isolation. Chat about the things they were up to lately, new restaurants they recently visited, and all the usual stuff you would talk with them about. And, of course, try to avoid the COVID-19 subject.

4/ Look at some of your photos from the previous trips

OK, I don’t want to trigger the nostalgia here. But, how often do you actually open the folders with your travel photos on your laptop?

Well, I bet you have more time to do that now. So, instead of checking all the news for some COVID-19 updates, turn off the TV. And enjoy watching photos from some of your previous trips. Make yourself a nice cup of tea and just enjoy bringing back some happy memories. And, I’m sure it will make you feel like you’re travelling there all over again.

5/ Have a picnic at the floor of your living room

Going camping or to some weekend trips is unfortunately not an option in a moment. But how about going on a journey to your living room? Or any other room in your house for that matter.

Get your picnic blanket, get some carrots, peppers, hummus and cheese, and enjoy feeling like you’re spending a weekend away. And if you have kids around the house with you during this self-isolation, I’m sure they’ll love it.

6/ Make a travel diary

They say art is healing. And to get your mind away from all the stressful news, it’s best to focus on doing something creative. And what better to do to make you feel like you’re still travelling, than creating a travel diary. Get photos from your last trip, museum and plane tickets and other souvenirs you’ve brought back home with you. And create a beautiful creative travel project out of it.

Or you can order and colour some of my colouring postcards

7/ Change the place where you’re sleeping

This is something I loved doing before (when I was a broke student who wanted to travel more).

There’s something that makes you feel like you’re in a completely new place when you change the corner you’re sleeping in at your house. We used to have an extendable sofa bed in our previous apartment. And sometimes, instead of sleeping in our bedroom, we would just bring our pillows and blankets, and sleep on our sofa bed instead.

No, it wasn’t more comfortable. And it may sound silly. But, trust me, it felt like we went on a weekend away. And that’s what you need right now if you want to feel like you’re travelling when you’re not.

8/ Play some board games

One of the things I love so much about travelling is that all of a sudden you have so much more time. You’re not busy with your everyday stuff, but you can just relax and enjoy in a moment. You also have much more time to spend with your family or friends you’re travelling with. So, why not recreate that ‘holiday feel’ and organise some board game tournaments in the evenings? Or even create the whole day of board games.

9/ Watch some travel movies

What best to make you feel like you’re travelling than watching some great travel movies? Put some extra pillows and blankets on your sofa, and check out the travel movies on Netflix. You can go with some classics like Indiana Jones, or with something more romantic like the Eat, Pray, Love.

The choice is entirely on you. But, I’m sure with any travel movie you’ll pick, you’ll instantly be transferred to some new exotic destinations. And although sitting on your sofa, you’ll feel like travelling.

10/ Dedicate a day to a particular country

Here at the Culture Tourist, I’m always encouraging you to learn more about art, history and culture of the countries you’re visiting. Well, now you can’t physically travel to any of those beautiful places.

But, what you can do to make you feel like you’re travelling during the COVID-19 self-isolation, is to dedicate a day to a particular country. Read about it online, make a meal from that country, listen to some local music, watch a travel documentary about it, etc. Well, you get the point.

It’s definitely an unusual time our world is going through right now. And although it’s important to be responsible and careful, you can also try to get the best out of this time you’re forced to stay at home. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll make a great staycation to yourself. And feel like you’re travelling even you’re not.