Whether you’re buckling down financially because of the economic climate or you’re saving money for the down payment on your first home, it seems this year you might need to kiss that annual summer vacation, goodbye. As countless people are feeling the penny-pinch, experts are saying that families are opting for a “staycation” — a vacation you take at home. But there are plenty of fun and unique things you can do if you get creative, including a little stay-at-home globetrotting. Travelling the world might not be as impossible as you think.
Visit foreign locales while avoiding customs and jet lag. Each night “visit” a different place and bask in cultural glory! Cook up some ethnic fare, watch foreign films, listen to exotic music and make your home feel more like a hotel.
- Start by creating an itinerary for the week. Like any vacation, organization is key. Each day, mark the country you will be visiting. Pre-plan all your meals and activities so you can go shopping before your vacation starts. If possible, go to the local dollar store and pick up some party favours that may work for your nightly theme.
- Plan some great meals, as this will be the highlight of your staycation. No need to go crazy running to random markets across town or ordering online for specialty ingredients — keep things simple with your recipe choices. This is supposed to be a vacation after all.
- Do some research and find some great foreign films to watch. In the mode of saving money, check out your local library as they often have a great selection of films to borrow and best of all, it won’t cost you a thing! Also visit their CD section and pick up some great music to listen to while you eat dinner and hang out in the evening.
- Plan some activities, especially ones you can do outdoors. This might also require a little research if you’re not familiar with the things your holiday country does.
- Remember to take lots of photographs. You and your family are on vacation and just like you would anywhere else, it’s important to document all the fun you had with lot of action packed photos.
Here are some easy and entertaining ideas to start you off:
Always wanted to go to Italy? Feast on a decadent Fettuccine Carbonara and if there’s still room, savour delicious Cannoli for dessert. For perfect ambiance, utilize the Italian flag colours: green, white and red. Dress the table with a green tablecloth, dine on red plates and set white napkins. If possible, string up the Italian flag and a poster of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Champions. Kick around a soccer ball with friends and family or opt for a traditional game of bocce. During dinner listen to famous Italian singer, Eros Ramazzotti and finish the night watching Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni in the hilarious movie, Johnny Stecchino.
Planning a relaxing holiday in Mexico? Do what you would have done if you were down there — sun bathe. Spend your day taking in some rays, relaxing and make sure every drink you have has a little umbrella in it. Set the mood by hanging a fun-shaped piñata (that will later be smashed to bits for candy, of course), add colourful streamers and disperse sombreros and maracas around your backyard – maybe even put on that old poncho. In the evening munch on yummy Tacos and dance to Latina sensation, Paulina Rubio.
Been dreaming of a trip to India? Light plenty of candles, burn some incense and add bursts of colour throughout your house, using tiny accents, pillows and throws. With a country so whimsical and vivid, more is always more. Use shiny or metallic-hued tableware. Assemble a large team and play cricket, one of the country’s favourite sports. Dine on Tandoori Chicken and listen to musician, A.R. Rahman, best known for his work on Slumdog Millionaire. Soak in Indian culture with a Bollywood film such as Devdas starring the stunning Aishwarya Rai.