The novel coronavirus has had massive impacts on every aspect of our daily lives. While there are nearly 28 million small businesses throughout the U.S., millions of them have been forced to shut their doors or severely limit their operations to keep workers and community members safe. Countless Americans have lost their jobs or are being required to work completely from home, while children attend class through a computer screen and we all wear masks when we venture outside the house.
The new normal is certainly a strange one — and it’s brought along its share of disappointments. Concerts, graduations, and funerals have all been canceled. And although 96% of American workers say vacation time is important to them, vacations have been postponed. Engaged couples have also been faced with the reality of having to reschedule their wedding day. And even if you did manage to get married before the pandemic really hit or you decided to elope, you won’t be able to take in the usual honeymoon rite of passage right now.
Although your honeymoon to Hawaii or Disney World might have been canceled, it might not be a total loss. You can still enjoy a “staycation” with your new spouse without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Here are just a few ideas that will allow you to feel like you’re on your own private getaway — no passport (or face mask) required.
Turn Up Dial on Romance
If you’re staying home with your partner every night, it’s easy to get into a “Netflix and chill” rut. You might be inclined to order takeout every night and fall asleep on the couch. That routine can get old fast and probably isn’t what you pictured after you just tied the knot.
A little romance can go a long way, though. Put on your finest attire, light the candles, and switch on some romantic music. Even if you opt for a delivery dinner, serve it on fancy china and make the evening feel really special. End the evening with a champagne toast and by stargazing on the deck for some at-home magic.
Have a Themed Date Night
If you’re really bummed about not being able to take that tropical vacation or explore the streets of Paris, why not bring the sights, sounds, and smells of your destination to you?
Get a few decorations that evoke the feel of your original honeymoon trip and plan to enjoy an evening of culture. Whether you cook a traditional meal or order from a new restaurant that serves the cuisine of your honeymoon locale, you can easily pretend you’re anywhere but at home. Play some music from this destination or watch a movie set there to make the illusion complete.
Enjoy an At-Home Wine Tasting or Cooking Class
You might have missed out on a fun couple experience, like wine tastings or cooking classes, due to your canceled honeymoon. But there’s no reason you can’t replicate the experience in your own home.
If you and your spouse love a good glass of wine, you can find a printable guide for wine tasting and pick up some varieties you’ve never tried before to enjoy each night. Cocktail-loving couples may want to brush up on their mixology and sign up for a virtual class online to learn more about the art of the drink. Enjoying a cocktail hour each night can be a great way to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and even support local businesses during the pandemic. There are also virtual cooking classes available online — and you can always sign up for a food subscription box. Around 33% of the U.S. population says they’re eating more vegan foods now (despite not following a vegan diet), so these meal services can be a great way to try out new ingredients and have some fun in the kitchen.
Camp Out in the Backyard
For partners who love a bit of rugged adventure, there’s nothing better than a camping trip in the wilderness. But it’s better to stick close to home right now, as you don’t want to increase your risk of infection or of needing medical help.
Instead, put your camping gear to good use and take up residence in the backyard for an evening. You can cook over the campfire, make s’mores, tell scary stories, and look up at the night sky. If you miss the comforts of home too much, you’ll be steps away from your own front door. But it can be a great way to recharge and disengage from social media stress during this time.
Create a Spa Experience
What we all need right now is an extra bit of pampering. If you had your heart set on getting a massage or a facial during your honeymoon trip, you can still create a relaxing experience at home you both can enjoy.
Invest in an essential oil diffuser, put some hot towels in the bathroom, and turn on some soothing music. Switch off your phones and take turns giving each other a shoulder or back massage. Alternatively, you can treat yourself to a warm bath with Epsom salts, give yourself a pedicure, or put on matching face masks while you enjoy the sounds of the birds outside. This can be a refreshing way to spend an afternoon with your sweetheart.
You have every right to feel disappointed about your canceled honeymoon. But remember that there’s nothing that says you can’t enjoy a delayed honeymoon! What’s most important is that you and your partner will get to enjoy this time together as best you can. If you’re able to make the most of the situation, your union will be all the stronger for it — and you’ll be able to book an even better trip later on.