As I watch with bated breathe to see if Italy will be one of the few EU countries to go rogue and open its borders to Americans this summer, I’m going stir crazy with cravings for a vacation. We’ve booked our August holidays with no change fees, so now we wait (will it be August, September, October even?). In the interim, short of packing a suitcase, I’ve fully prepped for our next getaway to Italy or elsewhere: travel toiletries (check), straw hat (check), sundresses (check), the list goes on.
Until our next adventure I’ve been trying to give our days in Bethesda a boost of Bologna, Bermuda, Barcelona, and Bordeaux, all the spots that have those good travel vibes. I’ve been doing this for a few months now so it’s about time I share my day-to-day staycation tricks with you.
Here are 15 easy vacation hacks to make weekdays at home feel a bit more like a holiday away –
anywhere in the world.
(All recipes are hyperlinked)
1. SOUTH AFRICA: In true safari tradition, have a “Sundowner” drink and a few snacks as you enjoy an evening sunset. Perfect for long summer days. (Recipe via The Drink Kings)
2. ITALY: Quick Carbonara. (I make this recipe a few times a week because it’s just that easy; Recipe via NYT Cooking)
3. MOROCCO: Not a big drinker? No problem. Throw on a face mask, light some incense, and have yourself some QUALITY Mint Tea. If possible make it yourself to get a bit more of an escape from reality. (Recipe via Epicurious)
4. GERMANY: Breakfast for dinner? Try Latkes. (Recipe via The Kitchn)
5. BERMUDA: Did someone say Rum Cake? Your local grocery or specialty store should have an option but when in doubt pound cake soaked in some rum will do the trick? (Doesn’t look like much, but trust me, Rum Cake is EVERYTHING; Recipe via Call Me PMC)
6. FRANCE: Bubbly happy hour in NICE champagne flutes. The glasses add to the ambience and make you feel a bit “extra” for a second.
7. UK: Why not institute designated 30-minute tea time in the afternoons? Grab some Twinings and butter “biscuits,” you’ll have an accent you feel so posh.
8. MEXICO: Taco Tuesday is pretty prominent, but try it with a fresh white fish and a fruit salsa to make taco night a bit more interesting. (I might hold on the margaritas until the weekend; Recipe Joyful Healthy Eats)
9. ARGENTINA: One word – Empanada. (Recipe via Bon Appetit)
10. SPAIN: Tapas are the MOST fun dinner. Great for the entire family; grab your preferred assortment of olives, cheese, cured meats…pretty much whatever you’ve got lying around can be turned into tapas and pairs well with a nice Spanish red.
11. GREECE: Homemade Spanakopita becomes easily accessible with store-bought fillo. (Recipe via The Mediterranean Dish)
12. INDONESIA: With some of the best fruit in the world, trade out your oranges and apples for something more exciting from Indonesia including mangosteen, papaya, and passion fruit.
13. PROVENCE: Light some lavender candles, grab a sun hat and a French-themed book, and just sit outside for a few minutes. I promise this one will transport you.
14. DISNEY WORLD: Yes I’m a grown up but I still love going to Disney with my family. When I need a fix I turn on a Disney classics album or dare I say: Pixar movie night?
15. BRAZIL: They’re a bit of work, but man do they deliver on flavor. Brazil’s Caipirinha is my favorite drink in the world. Give it a go! (Recipe and photo via Laylita’s Recipes)