How to Create Virtual Vacations You Can Take From Your Home

I’ve put together a step-by-step plan on how to create fun virtual vacations you can take from your home. That’s because experts predict that we might not be boarding flights for vacation travel anytime soon. So this summer, our best bet might be “virtual travel.” With that in mind, here’s ten tips for creating your own DIY virtual vacation tours.

1.) What’s on your bucketlist?

What's on YOUR bucketlist? Photo by Mackenzie Weber at Unsplash

First, choose where you want to go. It’s entirely up to you. Is it a place you’ve been to before? Or is your dream destination a city or country that you hope to explore someday? For my virtual vacation, I chose Churchill, Manitoba, near the Arctic Circle. Experiencing polar bears and beluga whales in the wild is definitely on my bucketlist.

2.) Print dummy boarding passes

Replica boarding passes stick out of US passport looking very real indeed. One way to Create Virtual Vacations You Can Take From Your Home
Replica boarding pass is a great way to announce to your family where you are going on your virtual vacation.

Dummy boarding passes are amusing ways to announce to your family where you are going. I kept our destination secret from my husband, Dan. It wasn’t until I handed him his tickets on the night we “left” that he knew where we were off to.

Print replica boarding passes from free templates at Ayleebits.com. After filling in the fields with your names and appropriate airline carrier, print the passes on cardstock to get the authentic feel. Notice in the photo above that I procured “First Class” seats for this virtual trip during the COVID-19 travel restrictions. Nothing but the best for my Dan! Get the template at https://bit.ly/DummyPass

3.) Setting the scene for your virtual vacation

Poutdoor table set with props from Canada.
Set your table with props representing your chosen destination found around your house.

Find props around the house or in your garage to decorate your home to make it feel like a getaway. You’ll be surprised at what you can find to set the scene for your virtual vacation tours.

Scarves, sporting goods and even beach chairs can give the feel of your coveted holiday. Print small flags of your chosen destination to glue on table napkins.

I didn’t realize that I had props until I started looking. Soon I’d dusted off snowshoes, discovered a white tablecloth with snowflakes and a Hudson Bay blanket, unearthed a plush stuffed seal toy from the guestroom and found a colorful bottle of Canadian whiskey that I didn’t know existed in the back of the cupboard.

4.) How to take a virtual vacation? Dress the part

Unstoppable stacey and husband Dan wear matching winter expedition coats. How to Plan a Virtual Vacation: Dress the part
Unstoppable Stacey and husband Dan wear matching expedition jackets and toques on "virtual" polar bear tour.

Slip-on that long-closeted cocktail dress, don the safari jacket or get out your favorite travel hat. I pulled out ski coats and snow wear to make our “expedition” to Churchill, Manitoba, more realistic. Dressing the part can be a humorous step in how to plan a virtual vacation. Just draping the jackets over the backs of kitchen chairs gave the feel of the place I chose for my virtual vacation tours.

5.) Live webcam background

How to Take a Virtual Vacation? Hears the sounds by tuning into a webcam shown here with northern lights
Northern Lights broadcast live from the Churchill, Manitoba, webcam.

Broadcasting live webcams on your TV screen is a perfect way to bring the sights and sounds of your chosen vacay spot into your home. Many vacation destinations point video cameras at the beach, an attraction or town square that you can tap into via the internet right from your living room. Then leave them on for background ambiance. I was surprised to see the Northern Lights on our Churchill, Manitoba, webcam

6.) Create YouTube playlists and then take a virtual vacation

Half the fun of traveling is preparing for it, right? I love to research about any destination before I take off. YouTube is a great place to investigate your upcoming virtual trip, but you need to do it beforehand.

Search your topic such as “Bordeaux wine tours” and sift through the good and the bad videos. There are some awful YouTube videos out there. Then save the outstanding ones to your playlist. On the first evening of our virtual vacation, we sipped cocoa and watched my YouTube playlist about polar bear tours, which I’d assembled beforehand.

7.) Plan a Menu of Specialty Cuisine

Bowl of french fries topped with white cheese curds and brown gravy of onions and mushrooms sits on red placemat.
Poutine, a Canadian culinary specialty

Studies show that most people travel for the food experience, so then no virtual vacation would be complete without the specialty cuisine of your chosen destination. I found authentic recipes online by searching the websites of local hotels and restaurants. Make a homemade meal or, better yet, order takeout food.

8.) Next step for creating a virtual vacation? Happy Hour, of course

Red drink in tall glass garnished with green olives and celery
Bloody Caesar cocktail made with Clamato juice is popular in Canada.
Bloody Caesar cocktail as created by UNSTOPPABLE Stacey. Nothing virtual here!

Enjoy Happy Hour with cocktails or other beverages that are popular at your chosen destination. I’m thinking rosé wine for touring Provence, France; Ouzo for sailing the Greek Islands; or Sazerac for festival-going in New Orleans. For the Churchill virtual vacation, I took a stab at (no pun intended), making Bloody Caesars. The vodka cocktail, spiced up with Clamato juice, is ultra-popular in Canada.

9.) Movie Night

Happy young couple stretch out on couch at home
Photo by Klaudia Piaskowska at Unsplash

When creating your virtual travel escape, be sure to include a movie about your chosen destination. Freshen up your watch list by checking out “8 Best Travel Movies.” 

Or if you want to make it a romantic movie night, you’ll find plenty of ideas for sparking up “Date Night” at 20 FANTASTIC STAY AT HOME DATE NIGHT IDEAS FOR COUPLES. Check out the list of the most romantic movies of all time. 

10.) Recreate tour brochure photos

Lazy Bear Expeditions Arctic Crawler™ | courtesy photo
Man leans out of truck window to take picture of plush animal toy polar bear on ground
Stalking Manitoba Churchill polar bears in Coconino National Forest with "Tundra Buggy"

Recreating photos from tour companies was one of the most enjoyable things that we did on our virtual vacation. Before our “trip” began, I printed 8×11 photos from tour company websites. You can do the same.

Choose images of the authentic destination that would be fun to recreate at your home. By having them printed, it’s easier to visualize the scene when shooting with smartphones. Check out the crazy images above to see how we photoed some fun things to do in vacations at home. For other crazy captures, head on over to Best Time to Visit Churchill Manitoba for Hudson Bay Polar Bears

RELATED STORIES:

Best Time to Visit Churchill Manitoba for Hudson Bay Polar Bears

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The Truth About How Coronavirus Affects the Way I Travel

This blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. Thanks for reading.

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