Clearwater, Florida, 2019 Source: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore

The year 2020 has been a challenging year that isn't even half over. Though we're in desperate need of a physical vacation or holiday, that's not possible for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to bring this year's vacation home. Here are some ideas worth considering.

Make it an educational summer

For some, summertime doesn't necessarily mean visiting a beach or amusement park. For these folks, it's about learning more about the world around them by taking educational trips. If you rather skip the airplanes this year, that's okay. You can bring the education home.

Look at the art

Years ago, I took an organized 17-day tour of Italy, which consisted of 2-day stops in some of the country's biggest cities, including Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, among others. Between eating delicious food and touring churches and other historical venues, I spend a great deal of time in museums, including the famed Uffizi Gallery, home to Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. I'll always remember seeing the great artwork on that trip. I also remember the overflow crowds that made some of the visits frustrating, at best.

Museum AppsSource: iMore

Thanks to mobile apps, you can now visit many of these locations from the comfort of your home. It's not the same as being there physically, of course. However, the apps allow you to skip the lines and the expensive admissions fees. At the minimum, these apps can whet your appetite for fine art and help you plan a physical visit once we get past 2020.

Here are some of the world's best virtual museum and art gallery tour apps

Create a magical space

Getting pampered at a hotel or resort is one of the reasons many of us like getting away. Short of hiring a maid, no one is going to make your bed each day or change your towels. However, there are other ways you can bring some of the hotel experience to your bedroom.

Many hotels (chains and otherwise) now make it possible to buy the same luxury bedding and goodies that are found on-site.

W Hotels BeddingSource: W Hotels

Marriott, for example, lets you purchase bedding sets, pillows, throws, and even mattress toppers. There are also a variety of scents you can buy to recreate the smell of their famous hotels and signature bath products.

W Hotels offers a similar collection that includes its popular MOMO shower sets. You should also take a look at the Ritz-Carlton's online shop, which is also very good, although expensive.

For something different

Most hotels are known for something unique that brings guests back year after year. For Hilton's Doubletree Hotels, it's their famous chocolate chip cookie that guests receive at check-in. Because of the pandemic, Hilton decided to publish the recipe for this cookie for the first time.

Get creative

If buying plush new bedding isn't your thing and you have kids, consider decorating your home to look like a vacation spot. Put up pictures of beaches on your windows, make paper-mache mountains, view incredible world scenes on your Apple TV, and more. Whatever you do, make it a fun, family event.

Explore the (local) outdoors

You don't have to visit a faraway place (physically or otherwise) to have a great time. Staycations are always better when you take a look at what's around you. Local trails, state parks, and nearby historical locations are just waiting for you to explore. Best of all, most of these places are free. Bring your iPhone, pack a bagged lunch, and take it all in.

Camping in the backyard

Millions enjoy camping during the summer months. With social distancing rules still in effect in many areas, it might be best to bring the camping home. Pitch a tent, grab a few sleeping bags, and, where it's okay to do so, make a fire and indulge in smores and firey marshmallows.

You should also consider bringing an outdoor movie theater to your backyard.

DIY craft projects

Are you tired of doing exhausting do-it-yourself (DYI) projects around your house like painting and organizing your closets? This summer, pivot to DIY craft projects instead. These types of projects are fun to do and family-friendly.

Raspberry PiSource: iMore

Among the types of projects to try are Raspberry Pi, papercraft, woodworking, and many more.

Make a difference

We've been living in a world in turmoil all year. To become part of the solution, and help plan a better future, consider getting involved on the local level. With this in mind, use your staycation to help the community around you. Donate to the local food bank, volunteer, contribute to your favorite causes.

Plan for 2021

The world economy is slowly starting to come back to life after the coronavirus. As it does, the hospitality industry is expected to lure back customers with huge deals on flights, hotels, and vacation packages. When you can, lock in those lower rates and begin planning for next year's holiday. To figure out where to go, check out company websites and YouTube videos. When in doubt, ask your friends about their plans.

What about you?

What are your staycation plans for 2020? Let us know in the comments below.

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