Ideas For A Staycation At Home


Culturallyours Podcast Staycation Ideas For Being At Home

Ideas For A Staycation At Home

Show Details

In this podcast episode, Karthika shares some fun and creative ideas for managing a staycation at home especially with the social distancing mandate due to the current global pandemic. From adding some culture to your dinner table, to exploring some of the world’s best museums online and beyond, there are lots of free ways to get through this phase of life that has affected people all over the world.

Show Notes

In this episode, Karthika shares fun and creative ideas for managing a staycation at home. People all over the world are experiencing complete lockdown and social distancing as a way to control the spread of the pandemic. From schools being closed, work places executing a WFH policy and large events being canceled, a staycation at home for the foreseeable future is the reality many of us have to face. Luckily there are many ways to stay engaged, creatively challenged and mentally stimulated for the whole family.

The Transcript

If you search up what the word ‘staycation’ means, the oxford dictionary states that it is a holiday that you spend at or near your home. Of course, in today’s reality of the COVID 19 virus and social distancing, this definition is absolutely altered to say – a holiday you spend in your home.

In fact, I was supposed to be in India this week attending a conference with my daughter and then spend the next two weeks traveling with the rest of the family for Spring break. Instead we just got word that we will be spending the next three to four weeks at home – all of us – because schools are cancelled, and workplaces are allowing employees to work from home. If you are like me, going on vacation isn’t on your mind at the moment. But the fact that most schools, sporting events, conferences and even large public gatherings are cancelled for the foreseeable future, a lot of us – adults and kids alike – are left wondering how to survive being cooped up at home. It has not become a question of if you are going to be home-bound, it is now a question of how long you are going to be home-bound.

There is also a lot of talk about the so called ‘Social distancing’ and why and how can it help. Like anything else there are a lot of people who support it and a lot of people who are paying deaf ear to it and advising others to do the same. I cannot presume to tell you what to do – you are the best judge of that. But what I do know is that social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. It includes a lot of the measures we are seeing all around the world like canceling group events, closing public spaces, shutting down borders, as well as individual decisions such as avoiding crowds and self-quarantine. With COVID-19, the goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among the high-risk populations and more importantly, to reduce the burden on health care systems and workers.

So today on the CulturallyOurs podcast, I am dusting off an old blogpost on how to plan the perfect staycation and sharing some ideas and strategies on planning the perfect staycation at home in lieu of the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These are just some ideas to change your routine and make being quarantined a bit more enjoyable and productive.

#1 Plan your days

For most people, being on vacation is a chance to completely break free of any sort of routine, right? But if you are having a staycation for the foreseeable future, this can be disastrous. Things can get quickly out of hand and what ensures is nothing short of chaos. Instead of completely ditching the routine and lying in bed all day, come up with a plan. Plan your days so that they are a mix of work and play. Even though this quarantine may sound like a chance to party in your pajamas, life still must go on. Work still needs to be done, the house maintained and perhaps even homeschooling a reality. Plan out your day for pockets of work and rest activity. Get outside the house even if it means just stepping into the backyard or that patio and having your coffee.

#2 Culturize your dinner table

One of the favorite things to do for most people when they travel is to experience local foods – the smell, flavor and ambience of cuisines different from our everyday always makes us feel special and adventurous. So, go ahead and emulate that same environment at home. Find a recipe or cuisine that requires ingredients you already have on hand. Prepare a meal and setup your dining area like a restaurant. Dim the lighting, bring out the fancy China and put on a show. The mood and the ambiance is all part of the plan. If you have young children or teens in the house, enlist their help.

If you want to take your culinary holiday to the next level be creative and theme every day’s meal around a different concept – like a country or an ingredient and munch only on food relating to that theme.

We have so many wonderful dinner, lunch and even breakfast ideas from around the world on the CulturallyOurs blog. I will link to a few in the show notes so do go check them out.

#4 Get out of town virtually

Getting out of town doesn’t always have to be a week-long vacation to somewhere exotic and far flung. Pack a small picnic lunch and hang out in the backyard for an afternoon. Or pitch up a tent by the fireplace and imagine you are outdoors camping in style. Bonus is that you can always sneak into your bed if the sleeping bag and floor get too uncomfortable! Check out a travel documentary online. Research a country or destination you would like to visit when all of this is over and plan it out. So that when the travel ban is lifted, you already have a head start in the planning process.

Recently, Travel and Leisure put out a list of 12 museums that allow you to tour their galleries virtually. Google’s Arts & Culture teamed up with many museums and galleries around the world to offer anyone and everyone virtual tours online. I will link to that in the show notes so be sure to check it out. The Guggenheim Museum in New York, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Museu de Arte in São Paulo and the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City are just a few that can be accessed online!

#5 Boardgames are so much fun

Who doesn’t love board games, am I right? I still have such fond memories of playing monopoly with my family when I was younger. Sure, in today’s day and age of some of the most hi-tech video games, boardgames may seem archaic. But there is something so endearing in gathering together with the family and playing a classic boardgame. Games like Life, Jenga, Pictionary are iconic family games that are super fun and really a great bonding experience. Watch out though – they can get super competitive too so make sure you keep it fun and engaging. In fact, when my kids first learnt that schools were going to be closed for more than two weeks, my son got a whole stack of board games from storage and planned out the games we were going to plan over the next several days. If you don’t have boardgames, get creative and make up your own games. A make shift bowling alley with plastic bottles or even toilet paper rolls in your hallway is super easy and a lot of fun.

#6 Get creative

In my humble opinion, one of the best things to do when everything seems to be going wrong is to channel all that pent-up energy and get creative. Now creatively can mean a lot of things for a lot of people. For me, being a photographer, that creativity usually means getting out my camera and just creating with images. Sometimes I have a set idea or a goal in mind for my imagery, and sometimes it is just random. Currently I am in a phase of looking for unique light and patters in my imagery. So I use my camera to express my creativity. My daughter who is 14 and an avid cook, is exploring her creativity in the kitchen. She has already chalked out some baking that she wants to try and we just went and stocked up the pantry with some basic baking supplies.

So creativity can mean different things to different people. And there is no better time than now to get creative during your forced self-quarantine time, is there? Use online resources like Skillshare or CreativeLive to enroll in an activity or a e-course on something that you really wanted to try. Many public libraries have online resources that they are letting patrons borrow for free so you can still be productive at this time.

If you are really into art you can check out the blog post on Ikebana – which is the Japanese art of flower arrangement or even the art of using Spring blooms for your home on the CulturallyOurs website.

#7 Practice self-care

I would be really remiss if I don’t stress the importance of self-care as a part of your staycation during this time of Covid-19. Don’t get caught up in managing your home, your family, your work and everything else in between and forget about yourself. While that spin class at the gym might not be happening anytime soon, you can still take a break and do something for yourself. Even a 10 minute meditation routine or a quick walk around the park is better than doing nothing at all. Remember my first idea – planning a routine. Make sure to include breaks in there for yourself and everyone else. Schedule some me time, some quiet time and some alone time. It is important to maintain sanity on a regular vacation, so why should this time be any different.

There is a lot of conflicting news all around the world on the Covid-19 virus and what the long-term effects of this pandemic is going to be. Truth be told, no one really knows. While we, you and me, might not be able to control what is happening, we can control our reaction and response to this global event. So, while I am sure I am not going home to India anytime soon, I do know who is currently wining at Pictionary in our household and I for one, cannot wait to dig into those homemade chocolate chip cookies cooling on the kitchen counter.

Stay safe everyone.

Leave your comments below

  1. Natalie says:

    I love the idea of travelling through food! While we are stuck at home, with some effort we could experience many different cultures right in our dining room. 🙂

    • Karthika Gupta says:

      For sure Natalie. So many wonderful memories are made in the kitchen. Plus with so many global cuisines to explore, there is bound to be something that is appealing and unique.