Travel While Staying Home During Quarantine

A collage of images with a man in beachwear taking a selfie, a family in swimwear in their backyard, and an amusement park sign

The days all seem the same: fourth-grade math you can’t understand, video conferences with dogs barking, masks, social distancing, bad hair… you need a vacation.

With family vacations on hold or canceled during our quarantine and your idea bank for fun activities running dry, you need to get away. But where? And how? It is easier than you might think. Travel at home might be just what you need to beat the quarantine blues.

One of my favorite ways to learn about a new place is with food, drink, and music. And that is something you can do right in your own home. With the amazing array of international foods available at the grocery store or for takeout from local restaurants, you can go almost anywhere this week. All it takes is a little planning.

I have never been to Italy (something I hope to correct post quarantine) but I can still visit as often as I like. Living in New Jersey with its rich Italian heritage, we are fortunate to have many great Italian restaurants for takeout meals (most deliver). Our grocery stores are well stocked with pasta, pizza dough, and sauce. In my house, we have pasta-making night and make-your-own-pizza night.

Two young female children in chef hats making pizza. One is holding up slices of pepperoni over her eyes.

We listen to Andrea Bocelli as we cook, drink Italian soda (grapefruit is my favorite), and try out a few words in Italian. Then we sit down to our feast and cue The Barber of Seville. Taking a moment to be thankful that liquor stores are essential businesses, Italian wine is poured for the adults and we dig into our meal. We talk about places in Italy we would like to visit, the history and the culture on our virtual trip.

After the meal, we settle into a movie that matches our theme with a plate of almond biscotti and espresso. Roman Holiday and Life is Beautiful are two of our favorites.

Ideas to get you started:

  • India – takeout feast, Bollywood movie and Indian music on the internet
  • Las Vegas – make a buffet dinner, watch Viva Las Vegas and play blackjack, betting with M&Ms.
  • Grand Canyon – make Navajo fry bread and cactus fries, check YouTube for IMAX films on the Grand Canyon and learn a few words of the Navajo language.

Gather your family to help plan activities or maybe make it a date night. Try a virtual dinner party with friends and the same theme!

Don’t let the quarantine make you feel stuck — a travel at home night might be just what you need. Be bold, have fun, and let us know where in the world you went as you traveled at home.

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