By Emma Loubser, Deputy Travel Editor
The Croft Magazine // Emma Loubser shares tips on how to transform cabin fever into holiday bliss
After just over a week into isolation for many, and even longer for others, you may be starting to drag your heels about what to do with your free time – because there’s now an uncalled-for amount of it, and strict government restrictions on a lot of the things you’d normally do when you’ve got it.
As we continue to ride out the isolation period, here’s some inspiration on how to make any home into the ultimate staycation destination.
The majority of holidays have some form of entertainment. Whether it’s market hopping, hiking up a mountain, or snorkelling off a tropical coast, entertainment is more often than not key to a truly memorable holiday where you feel like you’ve made the most of the destination.
At home, you’ve got the classic options: movie marathons, procrasti-baking and endless game nights. You could take this opportunity to tick off that long to-do list of admin tasks, upload those clothes on Depop or even make a scrapbook. Whilst they may be feasible, these activities don’t exactly scream holiday - so, here’s how to ditch the to-do list and have some fun.
A cracking time
Did someone say Easter egg hunt? Get the whole family or flat involved by hiding Easter eggs around the house. Time yourselves and see who finds theirs the fastest. Winner gets the biggest egg - but with the stacks of chocolate eggs, everyone’s a winner in this game. If you’re self-isolating, ask the delivery man to hide an egg somewhere when he drops off your delivery.
Sun + water = basically a beach?
A simple option for guaranteed fun is the slip ‘n’ slide.
As March sees in the first warm sun rays of 2020 - the literal light of our lives during the gloom of lockdown - it’s time to take full advantage of the weather. If you have a garden, order a slip ‘n’ slide - or be creative and make one - and cover the slide in enough soap to make it, well, slippery. To ramp it up, throw in water pistols and water balloons or make it into a drinking game like in this video.
When it’s all just getting a bit much on the family holiday, where do you go? For a walk, or maybe to the hotel spa. This is something you can certainly replicate at home.
Plug in your favourite playlist and go on your state-mandated walk round the block. Afterwards, run a warm, soapy bath with that aromatherapy oil that’s been perched on the edge of your bathtub at home since time began. Light a candle, pour yourself a glass of red wine and grab your favourite snacks from the kitchen cupboard. Roll up a towel to put behind your head, or one of those cushions you wear on a plane for extra neck comfort. Ease into the bubbles, position your towel, drink the wine, listen to your chilled-out playlist and enjoy those dark chocolate-covered pretzels whilst your face mask gets to work.
If you’re a beachside bookworm, peruse online second-hand bookstores like Abe Bookstores to cop some great deals. Want to know a secret? Amazon offers Prime members a free book each month.
If the sun’s out and you’ve got a garden - use it. Sunglasses and picnic blankets are essential. If you’re bound indoors, put on your lightest bedclothes, find yourself some sound effects on YouTube and recline on your bed to the sound of waves crashing as the world doesn’t go by. The addition of a cornetto and a cocktail will make it all the more realistic.
Don’t miss the perfect opportunity to have a BBQ and bonfire as the sun goes down! Doesn’t that tinnie just make you feel beach ready?
An active holiday
For the avid hikers, bikers and exercisers, just because the country is on lock-down, it doesn't mean you have to feel like you are! Activities on holiday range beyond what is on offer at home, so why not take this opportunity to try something new? Take part in the Fitism challenge (https://fitismchallenge.com/fitism-live), and get the first fourteen days worth of on-demand home workouts for just £1, try out a salsa dance routine, or become part of the global Tik Tok craze and challenge yourself to learn or choreograph a sequence. There are lots of online classes that are now free for the isolation period, and if you're a paying member of the University of Bristol Gym, Les Mills Home Workouts are too. I can highly recommend their Sh'bam class for a high-energy dance workout which will leave you feeling revived.
Holiday food is unlike anything at home. How can you replicate this culinary experience whist staycationing at home? A Quaran-Dine with Me with your family, or flat mates, of course. The competition might even inspire some Michelin-star dishes. Make it themed and transport yourself to the Costa del Sol with every meal. You might learn something new as a friend rises to the challenge, proving themselves to be a worthy candidate for the next Master Chef. But that’s the best case scenario…
Fancy waking up to vast snowy mountains and maybe even an occasional skier shooping down the empty slopes? Equip yourself with a hot chocolate, multiple duvets and turn off the heating. A classic movie is Chalet Girl – you’ll be able to taste the snowflakes on your tongue. If you’re feeling too much FOMO about après-ski, watch The Mountains Between Us to take your mind off things.
If it’s a Bahamas beach view you're after, turn up the radiators, pour yourself a mojito with extra ice and dig out those flip flops. Sit back – preferably on a deck chair in a brightly-patterned Hawaiian t-shirt – and pop on Baywatch, or Fool’s Gold for a throwback. Maybe even Surf’s Up for a family-friendly option. If you’d prefer to watch real animals splashing about in a waterhole surrounded by serene grassland, tune in to a live safari stream and, if you want to be extra about it, dig your binoculars out for the occasion.
If you just can’t decide on a location, James Bond is in order. It will certainly feel like you are on an adventure, and you’ll be sure to see a number of landmarks along the way.
Camping essentials: a tent, some marshmallows and a torch. How about a fort, some marshmallows and some fairly lights instead? Bring back your fondest childhood memories as you build yourself a fortress - you’ve got the time. We’re talking spare bedding, fairy lights, sofa cushions – the lot. Pretend that you are every American movie character who has gone on a camping trip. Pop on a YouTube video of a crackling wood fire and enjoy your escapist creation. If you throw in some digestives, marshmallows and chocolate to your online shopping order, you could even make some s’mores. Throw in a pine-scented room diffuser to that order, if you really want to be authentic.
For those who want to give back to the community, there has never been a better time to volunteer than the present. Just like any volunteering experience across the globe, you will meet new people and feel incredibly rewarded.
Follow this link to sign up and volunteer for the NHS today. Your options range from helping the NHS transport medical supplies to providing support on the phone for those at risk of loneliness from isolation.
Although this might not be the exact holiday you had in mind, a bottle of fake tan might help keep the holiday spirit up.
Featured image: Epigram / Emma Loubser
Find The Croft Magazine inside every issue of Epigram Newspaper