Being on isolation and safe at home for weeks on end is not a lot of fun, especially for someone who thrives on travelling seeing the world. Cancelling travel plans because of travel bans or not being able to properly plan your next vacation because of all the uncertainties can be depressing. So what can you do to get the travel look and feel at home?
We came up with nine different ways to get the travel look and feel at home while you are on isolation. Our pre-requisites had to be that it must cost little or no money – you are of course still saving for that next vacation, whenever that might be. It also had to be easy to implement from isolation.
This list is not about travel books or roller coaster videos or live feeds from zoos. Instead, it’s about things you can do TO YOUR HOME to make it feel more like you are on holiday while you are in isolation.
1. Surround yourself with your souvenirs
How often do you fall in love with something on your travels, buy it and get home and not know where to put it? Even if you have found somewhere to put it, is it somewhere that you really notice it? Does it remind you of your trip when you see it? Get the travel look and feel at home by making the most of your souvenirs! For while you are on isolation and afterwards too!
- Get out all of your travel souvenirs from your last few trips. Take some time to remember where you were when you bought it, how you haggled, what made you stop and look, etc.
- Select an area that you would like to display them, such as your lounge room on bookshelves, and clear the bookshelves of everything.
- Start by strategically placing your souvenirs on the bookshelves so that they are clear to see and balance each other out.
- Slowly put the other things back on the bookshelves, making sure the souvenirs are not too crowded and still shine.
- When you get stuck, take a step back and have a good look. What is working and what is not? Think about a balance of colours, grouping like things together, stacking books, and adding some greenery (even if its fake).
- Keep tweaking until you are happy with the result and your souvenirs shine!
2. Display your travel photos
If you are like me, you still haven’t gotten around to sorting your photos from your last trip or the three before that either. Take the time to do so! I realised when I was looking through our wedding photos to write a post just how many details I had forgotten. I know it will be the same for our trips.
Don’t just look at them (though this can take a lot of time!), use the time in isolation to do something with them!
Make a photo album for each trip. There are so many affordable, easy sites and apps out there – I won’t list them here because they differ for each country. I have about 6 trips on my list to write about.
I prefer to have my favourite photos where I can see them. Pick some of your favourite photos and have them printed to go on your walls! Luxury hotels use this trip, so why can’t you and get the travel look and feel at home at the same time?
Again, there are so many options. Do you want postcard size photos in a frame? A large photo on a canvas. You can even have Instagram photos printed in a collage.
What about polaroid photos? Well, there are great ways to display them too. When we are travelling, we often give Miss M our Instax camera to let her take some photos (she does have her own, too). I am waiting until Miss M has taken enough good ones to do something like this cute DIY Instax photo box with them, possibly to camouflage the electrical box in our hallway.
3. Give your room a luxury hotel do-over
No, this does not need to cost a lot. I am not suggesting that you get rid of all your furniture! However, this is one easy way to get the travel look and feel at home.
- Give your bedroom a deep clean. Dust and vacuum and wipe down all surfaces.
- Wash AND iron your sheets so they feel more luxurious. If it is in your budget, you can even get new sheets.
- Consider your pillows. Should they be replaced? Can you add a couple to make them look more like a hotel? Should you take away a few?
- Clean the windows. Wash the curtains or dust the blinds.
- Dust your lighting.
- Minimalise all the things you have ‘on display’. Hotel rooms are often very minimalist to make the room appear larger, but also to make it easier to clean quickly. Clear the surfaces and pair down what you have on display.
- Consider hanging some of your travel photos – a trick often used by hotels in a nod to the location.
Don’t stop at your bedroom, think about the en suite bathroom too:
- Give the bathroom a deep clean
- Put out your best fluffy towels
- Put out some new soap that add a wonderful smell. If you have them (because we all take them), put out some of your travel-sized toiletries that you have collected during your trips to make it feel more like a hotel bathroom.
- You can even go as far as to fold the toilet paper!
With a little bit of effort and not much cash, you can make your bedroom and bathroom feel more like a luxury hotel. You might even want to keep it that way after the isolation ends.
4. Employ memorable scents
Smells are powerful tools to invoke memories of places you have visited (or want to go). Utilize them to get the travel look and feel at home while in isolation.
I have candles that smell like lavender and sunflowers (from trips to the south of France, red wine and cinnamon (for our winery tours) sea breeze (for our trips to Australia) and tropical flowers, as inspiration for where I would like to go.
If candles are not your thing (or if you have small children that are not good at listening to instructions), you might find spray scents more to your liking. Most candle scents also come in spray scents. Use them to spray your linens to make your room smell more like a holiday.
5. Utilise sounds
There are numerous apps offering ‘sounds’ to help transport you to somewhere else and instantly get the travel look and feel at home. Sounds like the ocean, birds, the night in the jungle, waterfalls or city sounds can all help you feel like you are somewhere else. Pick where you would like to be and play one as you fall asleep or sip a cocktail. You won’t even know you’re in isolation!
6. Cook food from where you have travelled or would be travelling
One of the things that we have been very conscious of doing is sharing travel recipes from the places we have visited. Our aim is to eventually write a travel and cooking book, with travel tips and anecdotes and then recipes from the places we talk about. I know it is something that Mum would love!
Where have you been recently? Or where were you planning to go? What are the traditional dishes from this area? You can find recipes for most things online and the smells and tastes will transport you to that place.
For example, we were planning to be in Berlin again soon and would have to eat some of the currywurst. We were also reminiscing about our trip to Italy over a big bowl of traditional spaghetti bolognese. We’ve had pavlova for Australia and afternoon tea for England. We even had Bellinis for Venice.
Cooking is an easy way to get the travel look and feel at home – especially if someone else does the cooking or cleans up the mess!
Bonus: the smells of your dish cooking will fill your house and help transport you there.
7. Put on a breakfast spread
When you stay at a hotel when travelling, you have a wonderful selection of foods for breakfast. Even if you are staying at a small B&B, you are likely to have someone cook you a fry-up or at least get fresh bread from the bakery and make omelettes.
Take the holiday experience to your breakfast and get the travel look and feel at home. Make an effort and cook up something that you would normally only have on holiday. Get some fresh fruit and fresh bread. Cook pancakes or french toast. It does not need to be the peak of culinary prowess, but spoil yourself a little. Put it on a tray and serve it in bed or spread out a selection of cheeses, jams and accompaniments on your table. It’s isolation: you deserve to be spoiled!
Bonus points if your breakfast is also healthy.
8. Let the fresh air in
One thing we tend to get more of on our holidays is fresh air, whether its hiking along a trail or just sitting by the hotel pool.
Open your windows! Wide! Letting the fresh air in will get you the travel look and feel at home, and let your home breathe.
Bonus: Isolation has meant that there are fewer cars on the road and fewer factories operating. The skies are clearer, the air is fresher. Go outside and look at the stars to give yourself more of that travel feel.
9. Improvise something you would do on a holiday
Think of things you like to do while on holidays and of ways that you can improvise them at home while on isolation. To make it more realistic, think about how you can implement it for all five senses, to get the real travel look and feel at home. Some ideas
- Do you normally take lots of photos? Take photos of things in your home. Challenge yourself to make ordinary objects look like something they are not. Or go for a walk in a local park or neighbourhood (staying away from others) and take photos of interesting architectural details or plants.
- I normally treat myself to a pedicure just before we leave. Yep, I’m getting out my pumice stone, foot balm and some bright nail polish and doing it myself. I may even have a look on youtube to find out how to give myself a food massage or con Miss M into running Duplo pieces over my feet as we play spa (it is surprisingly relaxing).
- If you like to lie in the sun on the beach, put on your bathing suit, turn on the lights, open the windows, put on some sounds of waves crashing, burn a sea breeze scented candle and mix yourself a cocktail. Bonus points for something fruity and tropical.
- Hands up those of you who like to switch off and read a book? Find a good holiday read, get comfortable in a spot near a window and read until the book is finished. I’ll be combining it with my time on our living room beach.
- If you like hiking, go somewhere local and go for a hike and take photos. Just observe the distance rules while you do.
- If you were planning on going skiing, find a fireplace app on your phone or TV (we had one through amazon prime), make some hot chocolate or glühwein and warm yourself by the fire.
- Do you enjoy visiting museums? Be specific. Make it the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Visit the museum virtually, then follow up your visit with some gelati, even if you have to make it yourself.
- Does your family love spending time at Disneyland? Put on your mouse ears, make some popcorn and curl up in front of your favourite Disney movie with the sound off, doing the different voices.
- Are you someone that prefers to take a class, such as a cooking class? Find a recipe you’d like to make with a tutorial on youtube, get the best ingredients you can afford and try it out. Use the good china and real cloth napkins and pretend you are in a restaurant.
Get the travel look and feel at home for less
With travel impossible (and even illegal) for most of us at the moment, try these 9 easy ways to get the travel look and feel at home. They cost nothing or next to nothing so you can keep saving for your next trip, whenever and wherever it might be.
Remember past trips and take away the best bits: with small changes, you can make it feel more like you are on vacation while you are safe at home.