For many families, summer = vacation. This year, however, probably looks a little different for most people. Whether your overseas trip was canceled due to the coronavirus, your day job has gotten in the way, or you’re choosing to save for the future, traditional travel may not be in the plans this season.
Whatever your reason, we don’t believe staying at home means you have to skimp on the foreign fun. Go globetrotting right from your own backyard with a staycation taken to the next level with these four at-home vacation ideas.
Tips for Traveling Without Leaving Home:
Go backyard camping
Nature lovers will enjoy bringing the elements of Yosemite National Park to their own yard. Roughing it? Pitch a tent with some blankets or sleeping bags and create a fire pit to roast hot dogs and s’mores under the stars. If glamping is more your thing, opt for an air mattress, colorful cushions and cozy bedding. Set up a hammock, hang string lights and add flameless votive candles or lanterns around your campsite for some added ambiance. When you wake in the morning, take a hike. Plan your trail in advance and leave special surprises for the kids along the way (e.g. dinosaur sightings, Bigfoot prints and forest fairy dust), in addition to pointing out the natural wonders around you. Want to go all out? For the full Half Dome or El Capitan experience – with much less risk! – let your kids climb by building your very own rock wall. Most importantly: power down, as cell service is usually limited within real campgrounds.
Host a worldly picnic
Journey around the world with a smorgasbord of fare from a variety of countries, or choose one destination as the theme of your delicacies. For example, to host a picnic à la an afternoon in Paris, start out with a blanket adorned with French hors d’oeuvres, a baguette, charcuterie, cheeses, and petit fours…we won’t argue if you want to pour a little champagne or rosé for the adults and sparkling juice for the kids! Add some tunes (may we suggest the Amélie soundtrack?) and flowers (peonies or roses are early summer blooms found in France) for an extra special touch. If you want to go big, there’s even a 7-foot Eiffel Tower prop you can buy. Viola! Your picnic guests will think you stepped right out of the Marché International de Rungis to prepare the soirée spread.
Build a mini waterpark
We wouldn’t capture all of the summer travel trends without suggesting a water park experience. If you can’t make it to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, why not recreate some of your favorite features? Add new pool floats and boogie boards to your pool of choice, then surround it with lush potted greens and guide the kids around in circles like a cruise down the lazy river. Position a small slide overtop an inexpensive splash play mat to create your own water slide…trust us on this one, it will keep them busy for hours. If you want to take it up a notch, rent an inflatable waterslide from your local bounce house company. Following your wet and splashy activities, it’s time for the treats. Make shrimp po’ boys or chicken waffle sandwiches for a taste from Typhoon Tilly’s, but whatever you do, do not skip the Dole Whip dessert! Serve the sweets in a sand pail or Disney character-themed party cup. Throughout the day, play music from Moana, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo The Musical and Tarzan to top off your tropical voyage.
- Create your own spa day While children can participate, this vacation-from-home is really for you. Rest and relax within your own exotic locale reminiscent of a day spa in Tulum or the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. To engage in your own version of Grindavík’s volcanic wonder of the world, take turns plunging between a pool full of icy cold water and a steaming bathtub of saltwater. If you want to splurge on treatments, invest in some high-quality skincare products from the Blue Lagoon, such as the lava soap bar, algae mask or silica bath oil. No massage therapist on hand? No problem. Esthetician Britta Plug offers free facial and neck self-massage rituals on Instagram. Your retreat won’t be complete without wrapping yourself in a luxurious bath robe, sipping a cup of tea, and streaming the Northern Lights on YouTube, so pull up a chaise lounge chair and enjoy the serenity. The best part of this at-home spa? You don’t have to worry about the unpredictable weather that often comes with the territory.
Though missing out on a vacation in the tropics or the bayou means you are likely also skipping out on some unidentified insect bites, you may still find mosquitoes, ants, bees, and wasps lurking nearby. Don’t leave home without packing Bug Bite Thing…and that includes travels to your backyard!
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