Skip To Content

    25 Things For Folks With Wanderlust And No Planned Vacations

    Physically in a cramped apartment, mentally in an Italian countryside.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Old World Italian: Recipes and Secrets from Our Travels in Italy, a cookbook that chronicles simple and authentic recipes — ones that will have you screaming "buon giorno" at the possibility of a delicious at-home dinner. 

    Promising review: "The book itself is beautiful with gorgeous photos of Italy and food. Recipes are legit... unlike other cookbooks where there are just a few good recipes, this book is filled with gems. Buon appetito!" —Lindina 

    Get it from Amazon for $22.99

    2. A cutout swimsuit we encourage you slip on for your next backyard hang, as it screams "luxury resort" even if your current reality is "inflatable kiddy pool."

    Promising review: "Love this suit and get compliments on it all the time. Not cheeky at all, and I don’t have to worry about anything popping out while playing in the pool with kids. I am usually a medium but sized up to a large because I have a long torso and didn’t want a permanent wedgie. Fit was really great!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $22.99+ (available in sizes S-XL and in 20 colors). 

    3. lightweight firepit that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars *and* is compact enough for teeny tiny backyards. Turn lazy evenings into brief camping retreats by cranking on the below, roasting some marshmallows, and actually getting in some fresh air.

    reviewer using fire pit
    reviewer holding a s'more

    Promising review: "I *LOVE* this!! My neighbor had a similar fire pit, and I've been jealous for quite some time. We like to cozy up to this on our back patio. You can easily control the amount of heat/fire, which is nice. I suspect you might even be able to roast hotdogs over the fire, but we've only tried our luck with s'mores. I also really appreciate the lid because it discourages my pup from getting too close." —Kenra M.

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99

    4. Aaaaand a pack of "magical cosmic" flames for a colorful crackle that adds to the fun of it all. Consider your next backyard bonfire the highlight of your summer thanks to this fun pop of ROY G. BIV. 

    Promising review: "I camp a lot and have bought several different types of 'make your fire change colors' things. These are by far my favorite. Twelve come in a pack and I don't need to use more than one because they spread over the fire nicely and last at least 15 minutes. I will be re-purchasing these." —Mercedes Elizabeth Langley

    Get a pack of 12 from Amazon for $12.95

    5. A towel warmer so you can feel wrapped in luxury the second you step out of your (sadly not clawfoot) home tub. This is adjustable, has an auto-shutoff feature, and will evoke the feeling of staying at a five-star resort. Even though you're not. I'm sorry. 

    the towel warmer
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Having a towel warmer is such a luxury! The key to any towel warmer is that you must maximize the surface area touching the warmer to get the best experience. One of my favorite features of this one is the timer that you can set for longer if needed." —Jessica Mayhall

    Get it from Amazon for $109

    6. A limited edition Sol de Janeiro oil sunscreen packed with SPF30. TL;DR: it's got cupuaçu butter, acai oil, coconut oil, and shimmery mica that melts into your skin for a ton of moisture *and* a touch of illumination — just consider it a beach trip in a bottle, especially when you consider the salted caramel, pistachio, jasmine petals, and vanilla scent. 

    Promising review: "Obsessed with how glittery this looks while on the beach. Love the scent, love how it’s not greasy, and it works pretty well for sunscreen. I hope they never get rid of this!" —JessieCO4 

    Get it from Sephora for $38

    7. The Adventure Challenge, a book on a mission to improve your at-home-boredom but also encourage you to get out and explore your own city. Here's how it works: Each ~activity~ is concealed with icons to indicate length of time, prep-work required, etc. Simply scratch off the boxes to reveal an out-of-the-box plan — complete the activity, write a blurb about it, and stick on a printed photo. 

    the books
    The Adventure Challenge

    This scratch-off book is available in four versions — couples, family, friends, solo — so you can receive customized recs based on participants. I personally own and adore the couples version... me and my fiancé were prompted to build a fort, roast marshmallows, and put on a movie. 'Twas the most fun we've had in, like, a year.

    You can also purchase the bundle pack ($147.99) that comes with their signature camera.

    Promising review (couples edition): "We have done about six of the dates so far. We have laughed harder than we have in a long time. I have been touched by the thought that went into each of the dates. It is clear that they are not just thrown together, there is a purpose behind each of the "rules" of the date. I would say if I had made up the dates my husband would have balked, so it helps to have it be from a third party with the requirement to commit. There has not been a date so far that we haven't thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from. My husband LOVES it and has wanted to do several dates in a weekend (our original goal was to do one a week). For perspective we are in our forties and have been married for 22 years. It has been a bit reminiscent of our early dating years and reminded us to be more adventurous. So fun to shake it up! The only way you get the benefit is if you fully commit and go for it. Break out of your self-made boundaries! You strengthen your bond by shared experiences that invoke emotion: laughter, uncertainty, vulnerability in trying new things." —Terrell

    Get it from The Adventure Challenge for $39.99+.

    8. A tortoiseshell button V-neck number guaranteed to make you feel like you're traipsing through cobblestone Parisian streets rather than.. walking to your corner bodega. Available in neutral colors and fun patterns alike, quickly throw this on to make it feel as if you're jet-setting. 

    Promising review: "I LOVE this dress!!! I honestly wasn’t expecting much for the price, but I’m actually ordering more colors. I wanted something cute but also cool for these extremely hot summer days and this is perfect! It’s a bit loose, but that’s what I wanted." —Sarah

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in sizes S–XL and in 34 colors).

    9. Outdoor string lights that can zhuzh up any setting and make it feel *almost* as romantic as a Mediterranean vacay. Simply throw this on above your gross outdoor seating area and you've got yourself a patio worthy of Instagram posts and Pinterest saves. Joanna Gaines, I hear you're hiring?

    outdoor string lights
    Amazon

    Promising review: "These transformed my backyard! I bought two 50-ft strands and have them stretched across two decent-sized patio areas. The light is gorgeous and romantic, and bright enough to not need other lights at night. We put them up in early October to enjoy the last bit of fall and they have survived through rain and frost so far without breaking. The glass is very thin, but it's also very light, so they seem to hold up pretty well. I will probably order more!" —Shannon H.

    Get it from Amazon for $15.98+ (available in three sizes).

    10. A virtual experience via Amazon Explore, a way for you to stroll the streets of Prague, explore the mysteries and ~magic~ of a renowned Edinburg cemetery, take a Tokyo-based cooking class, and more — all while your tush remains firmly planted on a couch.

    a cemetery in Edinburgh
    Amazon

    Check out the below review for the "Mysteries, monsters and magic: explore Edinburgh's unusual tales":

    "I lived for the better part of a decade in the UK and took any opportunity I could to visit Scotland. It's been some years since my last visit to Edinburgh and this was a wonderful way to reacquaint myself with a city I love. And I didn't even have to put on real clothes too do it! Even better: I earned a bunch of bonus points with my girlfriend for accidentally coming up with a great brunch date idea.

    Angus was our guide and he was simply superb. His enthusiasm for showing off his hometown really elevated the whole experience. Though 60 minutes with him wasn't nearly enough time it never felt rushed and his anecdotes, stories, and cultural allusions filled the time we did have perfectly. Don't expect a whirlwind tour of the entire city; this is a fairly relaxed stroll that barely scratches Edinburgh's total geography, but with centuries of history embedded in virtually every brick and cobblestone you won't feel cheated." —foundgum

    Sign up for experiences starting at $10.

    11. nonalcoholic spirit for a mocktail happy hour that feels like an event. A blend of sumac, sorrel, lemon peel, apple, thyme, mint, and parsley will have you feeling as if you're sipping a ritzy (and expensive) drink at a Parisian bar — even though you're actually in the middle of finishing up an Excel sheet. 

    mocktail being poured
    the bottle
    Amass

    Promising review: "Riverine brings bright, herbal tones with depth of flavor and just the right bitterness. I enjoy it on its own over ice. With lime, tonic, and a touch of simple syrup it is an outstanding alcohol-free cocktail." —Naomi 

    Get it from Amass for $35

    12. And a pack of dried garnishes that add just the right of, how do I put it, pizazz to any at-home cocktail. Pile this on top of the mocktail above or a glass of cranberry juice doused with vodka — whatever your bevvy of choice, these dehydrated limes, lemons, or oranges provide the perfect kick.  

    the garnishes
    With Co

    Get a pack of eight from With Co for $7 (available in lemon, lime, and orange). 

    13. portable 100-inch screen that'll give movie nights an extra flair of wanderlust. Stream your favorite travel-centric films for the millionth time via a setup that takes a mere few minutes, a screen that is lightweight but sturdy enough to withstand a slight gust of wind, and a size that plops a real theatre into your own backyard.

    Here's just a snippet of movies to rent/stream to satisfy your travel bug for the following places:

    The Lizzie McGuire Movie: Rome, Italy

    Crazy Rich Asians: Singapore

    Mamma Mia!: Kalokairi, Greece

    Paddington: London, England

    ...and for a longer list, read "17 Movies That Will Instantly Cure Your Wanderlust."

    Aaaaand if you need a projector, this pocket-sized Kodak Luma 150 projector is a fab option!

    Promising review: "I love the size and the fact that it takes five minutes to set up and five minutes to take down. Very portable and lightweight to carry. Very sturdy. I would highly recommend." —Kathi

    Get it from Amazon for $89.95+ (available in two sizes).

    14. The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook, aka an easy way to bring the magic of Dole Whip into your own kitchen. This treasure book features over 100 Disney-inspired recipes that are definitively better than a FastPass — think Mickey macaroons, the perfect churro, and (of course) DOLE WHIP.

    reviewer holding the book
    Mickey Mouse beignets

    Promising review: "Beautiful hardcover cookbook with so many yummy Disney recipes from the parks! There is lots of Disney foodie history in it, plus recipes that look easy to follow with high quality ingredients. There are fun maps of each of the parks inside where the food is located from which makes it fun. As an avid Disney fan, I have never seen a cookbook like this." —Nicole

    Get it from Amazon for $11.95.

    15. A Kopari lip trio that behind the memories of your middle school gloss in favor of something much more appealing: a hydrating formula packed with coconut oil, vitamin E, and shea butter that is — hold onto your britches here — *not* sticky. And the scents? Vacay-approved in the form of coconut, watermelon, and pineapple. 

    the three lip glosses
    Kopari

    Promising review: "This is the lip gloss product I’ve been searching my entire life for!!! Not only does it smell and taste like paradise, but it heals and conditions my lips to a perfect pout every time and I wake up with a beautiful kisser each morning." —Joy R 

    Get the kit from Kopari for $30

    16. Taiyaki double pan for whipping up decadent fish-shaped waffles guaranteed to make you feel like you're brunchin' in Japan; just fill 'em with custard, chocolate, cheese, red bean paste, sweet potato, and the extensive list truly goes on. Reviewers recommend Morinaga hotcake mix for the batter!

    reviewer holding the fish shaped taiyaki
    reviewer showing the inside of the taiyaki

    Promising review: "Great pan, very non stick, and easy to clean! Made delicious taiyaki just like I had growing up in Japan!" —Shannon Y Nelson 

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99

    17. resin wood chair that one of my colleagues insisted I add to this post because, in their words, it makes them feel like they're "vacationing in Cape Cod." Porch, meet your newest staple furniture and the book I will be reading in all summer long. 

    the blue chair
    Amazon

    Promising review: "They were out all summer and survived rain storms, hail, and being moved around a ton, and they retained their pretty bright color. They were a little more than I wanted to pay, but in the end it was worth the money." —julie 

    Get it from Amazon for $149.99 (available in eight colors). 

    18. Homech inflatable pool that will hold you over until your dreams of wading in an all-inclusive resort lap pool comes to fruition.  This is surprisingly deep and can comfortably fit two adults or up to five kids, plus durable PVC means it won't leak or pop after exactly one encounter with a mildly sharp object.

    Promising review: "The HOA pool was locked down (thanks COVID!), and the heat was coming. So I ordered up this gem on Amazon. Arrived within a week and inflated in minutes (the secret is a hairdryer and a sawed-off water bottle). This baby is strong. It can take 100-plus degrees Palm Springs heat AND the neighbor's annoying cat who likes to rest his claws on the top while he drinks. Deep enough for me to float on my raft and pretend I don't have a care in the world." —L. Harris

    Get it from Amazon for $89.99.

    19. And an inflatable drink holder to add to the "this is fancy!" aesthetic we're going for cc: the impressive pool featured above. Grab a spiked seltzer and some snacks, pop 'em in here, and enjoy your lazy Sunday mock vacation — it's even great for holding drinks for backyard shindigs. 

    reviewer using rainbow float to hold drinks
    the rainbow float in pool

    Promising review: "This was great at my pool party. I was able to put a whole fruit platter on it! It was well worth the money and I will use it again for everything!!" —joy 

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99

    20. A New Orleans-inspired cocktail book so you can sip on an expertly crafted mint julep in the French Quarter, scarfing down a beignet and reveling in all that glorious humidity. But like, from your couch. 

    the book
    Amazon

    Psst, this cocktail recipe book is also available in a New York and Paris version. 

    Promising review: "As the book cover tells us, we are going to be treated to an elegant collection of drink recipes inspired by the Big Easy. But, this expertly crafted and beautifully designed book is so much more than that! Beginning with a brief history of New Orleans cocktails, we are treated to first time tips for drinking in New Orleans, helpful cocktail nomenclature and techniques and preparations for whipping up your favorite recipe. Particularly fun sections of the book include bar spotlights and 'Having a Drink With….' interviews showcasing beloved bartenders." —Saygeronimo

    Get it from Amazon for $16.38

    21. A hand-poured candle available in a variety of travel-inspired scents, think: Capri, Bora Bora, Tuscany, Marrakech, Montauk, and more. Each vessel has 60 hours of blissful burn time and will transport you to *insert idyllic place here* in moments. 

    model holding the yellow candle box
    the blue candle box

    Get it from Tocca for $20+ (available in two sizes). 

    22. A plush robe to mimic the best part of staying at a fancy schmancy hotel: squeezing shampoo and body wash out of a mini bottle, feeling fresh af after scrubbing your skin and scalp, then proceeding to spend the rest of the night in a complimentary robe. *This* one is crafted with a durable Turkish cotton that exudes luxury. 

    models wearing the white, gray, and pink robes
    Parachute

    Promising review: "I love how this robe doesn’t contribute to me sweating right after a shower like my previous fleece robe would do. I’m 6’ and the Large size fits me wonderfully. Usually I have issues with sleeves being too short but not with this robe! Material is soft, has re-emerged from a few washes in excellent condition and the color clay is lovely. I had to treat myself and just ordered the matching slippers! Thank you for creating such a quality piece that I know I’ll enjoy for many years to come!" —Amber N. 

    Get it from Parachute for $109 (available in sizes S-XL and in three colors). 

    23. A weatherproof Coleman tent you can pitch in your backyard for a DIY camping trip (and be sure to add in s'mores, spooky stories, and star gazing for the full effect). This is great for folks who love the idea of the great outdoors but...also kind of don't. 

    Promising review: "Love this tent! We're not big outdoors people, I needed a tent that's easy to set up and comfortably fits a queen size air mattress...this tent exceeded my expectations! The last time I set up a tent was in the '80s (and the tent was from the '60s)...this is a dream to set up. I put the tent together in our backyard by myself and inflated the air mattress within the tent. I also hung a little LED lantern from the center inside the tent. Enjoyed our night under the stars with one adult, one 9-year-old and a French bulldog. Breaking everything down was a breeze too!" —C. Sisbarro

    Get it from Amazon for $55+ (available in four sizes and two colors).

    24. travel planner so you can jot down dream vacay itineraries and give your wanderlust an outlet. This book is particularly awesome because it has designated pages for things to do, places to go, places to eat, budget, and transportation. *starts to plan for eventual Cape Town, South Africa adventure*

    the travel planner book
    Amazon

    You can even jot down some Dear Diary notes in lined pages meant for all your travel thoughts.

    Promising review: "My wife loves this planner! It's lovely, comprehensive, and (most importantly) compact. With the complicated game of packing tetris involved in international travel, this is a huge plus. It's also made planning our trip much more fun and enjoyable." —Kris Steele

    Get it from Amazon for $13.95.

    25. A maxi dress ideal for bike rides through a European countryside. A trip to Tuscany likely won't be happening anytime soon but I'm going to add this to my shopping cart in the name of hope.

    reviewer wearing a floral dress
    reviewer wearing a black dress

    Promising review: "This is very comfortable and flowy. Wore it all day and didn’t want to take it off because of how comfy it was. I got lots of compliments on it at my baby shower — I’m eight months pregnant in Texas and it’s HOT here." —Lorin Rae

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99+ (available in sizes 14-26 and in 34 colors).

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    illustrated gift guide graphic