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4 ways to feel like you’re on holiday without leaving the house

Photography By Michael Comninus for RIISE
Published 08.07.22

Already sick of seeing your feed clogged with pictures of people lounging around the Amalfi Coast with an Aperol Spritz in hand like it’s no big deal? Us too.

It’s not that we don’t want to travel again. It’s just that some of us can’t jet off just yet. Which means for now, all we can do is stalk people’s holiday updates and make metaphorical vacation plans.

If you also can’t throw down on an all-inclusive trip overseas, you may as well soothe yourself with a placebo experience. Because the next best thing to taking an actual holiday is to pretend to take an actual holiday. Here’s how to nail the holiday feeling without leaving the house.

Michael Comninus for RIISE

Invest in a robe  

Nothing screams “I’ve just blown half my pay cheque to stay a night in this hotel” like a robe. In fact, a complimentary robe is one of the only reasons we book a hotel room in the first place.

For an investment piece that will have you parading around the house like it’s the penthouse suite, we nominate JHL’s cotton cashmere robe. It’s made from 95 per cent cotton and 5 per cent ethically sourced and traceable cashmere, a combination that guarantees a soft and luxurious feel. With the right shoes and a nice ensemble underneath, this is a perfectly justifiable garment to wear out of the house too.



Throw yourself a spa day

You might not be stepping off the streets of Turkey into a hamam or sinking into a Japanese onsen, but it doesn’t mean you can’t throw yourself a steamy session at home.

Fill the bath, light some candles and set yourself up with a nice scrub, like Gracious Minds’s Forest Bathing Soothing Bath Soak. It contains Australian native sandalwood powder and steam distilled Kunzea leaf – two ingredients that have spa-like aroma covered. They also help to gently exfoliate, soothe irritated and dry skin and relieve muscular aches.

If you really want to go all out on your DIY spa treatment, add in LESSE’s Bioactive Mask, a highly detoxifying and vitamin-rich formulation that boosts hydration. Back your scrub up with a self-massage using Gracious Minds’s Velvet Rose Botanical Beauty Oil. Infused with an energetic blend of rosehip seed oil, red raspberry seed oil and watermelon seed oil, you’ll at least smell like you’ve seen the hotel’s onsite massage therapist.

Michael Comninus for RIISE

Prepare for your time in the sun  

Ah, summer vacations. Throwing back mojitos on a crowded beach, getting pummelled by three-foot waves attempting to surf and panic buying aloe vera after falling asleep in the sun. We really do miss them.

In lieu of an actual stint by the beach, we’re getting creative, starting with wardrobe pieces that make you look and feel the part – like Taninaka’s Muslin Wrap. It’s made from organic cotton, is super soft and can be used as just about anything: a sarong, throw, baby (or adult) swaddle, makeshift picnic rug or headwrap. Even if all you have is your apartment building’s plunge pool, you’ll be grateful to have this wrap within reach.

It goes the same for sun safety measures. You might not be stepping from a five-star villa onto the sand (yet), but it doesn’t mean you can’t start planning accessories. For an all-round good vibe, we can’t look past RUTT’s Antena Hat. It’s handmade by a family-run artisan workshop in Peru and is crafted from recycled pima cotton which would otherwise end up in landfill. It might have to be your favourite farmer’s market or gardening companion for now, but rest assured, it will get its time in the international sun someday.

If your current sunglasses collection could use an upgrade, we suggest checking out Childe Eyewear. For a pair that would equally suit a Parisian street or a pool party in Ibiza, we love the 60s inspired Tune sunglasses, made from organic acetate and featuring plant-based bio lenses. Or for something with more of a top-down, dusty highway, roadtripping vibe, we love the classic vintage style of the Treble sunglasses, handmade in Italy and suitable for all face shapes.


Nail the vacation smell  

What comes to mind when you think of how holidays smell? Is it woodfired pizza wafting down a cobblestoned street? Incense on a balmy morning? Or the stale smell of the person you’ve been sat next to on a plane for the last 12 hours?

Ours is a combination of all three, plus the floral, tropical scent of a hotel lobby. The ones that have a bowl of water filled with frangipanis and make scented candles part of their reception’s inventory.

Turn your loungeroom into a quasi-resort with Vahy’s Desert Nōmad candle. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s not all Joshua Tree in here; notes of patchouli, sandalwood and bergamot combine for a tropical and summery scent. For something with more Norweigan-cabin-nostalgia, try the Ember Haze Candle. It includes notes of cardamon, almond bitter, clove, amber and vanilla; a rich and warming combination that will transport you straight to the fireside.  

Of course, you can’t forget yourself in this travel fantasy. One of our favourite actual holiday activities is waking up from an afternoon nap, getting scrubbed up and throwing on a nice outfit for dinner. A ritual made complete with a few sprays of perfume. To spice up your couch-to-kitchen journey and a night of watching Eat, Pray, Love on Netfilx, we suggest ROEMY’s perfectly named Resort traveller. This holiday-in-a-bottle features a rich velvetine base of amber and blond wood, made all the more vibrant with hints of creamed coconut, green fig and bergamot.  

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