If like me, you’re suffering from a bit of lockdown fatigue (lockdown 3 here in the UK now), this may also include getting a bit sick of Zoom/FaceTime/Google Meet etc – honestly, I couldn’t agree more. We had a few Zoom Quizzes at Christmas which I really enjoyed but I haven’t been invited to any in January and I won’t lie, I’m glad.
However, I do still like catching up with people and having some form of social life (albeit a very odd one), so I’ve been racking my brain for some things to do to change it up a bit. It looks like there’s going to have to be another round of lockdown birthdays and other events, in which case it makes sense to throw some new zoom ideas into the ring.
Here are (specifically) 7. Could be one for every day of the week? Or it could just be how many I could come up with.
COCKTAILS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Cocktails/coffee/beers/wine – whatever floats your boat! Get a group together and try some beverages (or foods perhaps) from around the world. The fun with cocktails of course, is that you can all make them together. I’d recommend getting an idea of what people already have spirit wise before planning a bunch of wild cocktails, as it can get a bit pricey or give people options as to what they can substitute things for.
The great thing about cocktails is they can be really specific to places – Sangria is very Spanish, an Amaretto Sour is Italian, Caipirinha is Brazilian etc. Maybe you have memories of drinking a specific cocktail during a great trip? Or perhaps there’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to go but aren’t able to at the moment, so can use the cocktails as a way of travelling there?
Or all that aside, drinking cocktails with friends is always a bit of a laugh – you can’t really go wrong!
I’ve been reading so much through lockdown as it’s quite relaxing and also a great way to escape reality for a bit. So often though, I finish a book and all I want to do is talk to someone about it… But no one else I know has been reading it!
Not everyone has been up for reading recently but if you have any friends/family that are, pick a book and then a date to discuss it. You could even pair it with the cocktail idea if you felt like it…
Within this, it could be fun to pick books that take you away somewhere, whether its a travel diary like Mark Twain’s ‘The Innocents Abroad’, a humorous adventure like Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods’, or a more gritty account of a journey such as Ranulph Fiennes ‘To the Ends of the Earth’.
TRAVEL FILM FESTIVAL
One of the things I miss most is meeting up with my friends, grabbing all the snacks and then spending the entire day under duvets watching movies (though mostly chatting). It’s something I hugely took for granted before but will be high on my list when I can see them again. For now, it’s fun to replicate that with the use of technology.
I always pick Wild as a travel film because it’s my absolute favourite movie (and book) but of course, there’s hundreds of great travel movies out there – Audrey Hepburn’s ‘Roman Holiday’ will take you away to a classic Italian holiday (and romance), ‘Into the Wild’ will inspire you to think about what really matters, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ might just have you quitting your day job and taking on something new…
There’s a few ways you can do it – you can watch alone and then chat after, choose to just watch together on your TVs with your laptop cameras on, share screen on your laptop or even use a third party site like ‘Watch Party’, whatever suits you.
This isn’t something I’ve played that much personally but I have a few friends who love it – for full access to the website it’s £1.99 a month and with that you can play all sorts of ‘geoguessr‘ games. The simple idea behind it is that you land somewhere on earth on google maps (you can whittle this down a bit if you don’t think you’ll be able to figure it out) and then guess where you are. You get points based on how close to the actual location you guess.
This is something you could play against each other or as a team if you share screen and try to figure out where you are as a group. It takes you all over the planet so dependant on where your friends/family have been, might make a difference as to how easy it is to take a solid guess!
There’s a free version on there if you want to give it a go before subscribing – I’ve played it a few times and could see myself getting really into it.
Here in the UK all the museums/galleries are currently closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t still visit them – a lot of places have virtual tours up online. Most are free but some do have a charge – The London Transport Museum for example charge 90 minutes for a virtual tour but its a bit more involved than some of the others which is more of a google map style tour.
I do think it’s incredible that so many museums have made the effort to do this though. You can travel around the world at the click of your mouse, which is pretty extraordinary. There are so many offering these tours I won’t attempt to write a full list but I do know that The British Museum and The National Gallery (London), The Vatican (Italy), The National Museum of Art (in Washington), The Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), The MASP (Brazil) and a few National Trust houses in the UK, are all offering them. It’s likely many more of your favourites have them too though, so worth a google!
In terms of how you set up the zoom, there are a few options – you could simply share screen on a chosen museum and tour round together, or you could pick a museum each and give each other tours. If you have friends from around the world, you could even just stick with your local area and give them a more personalised experience!
Following on from this, if museums/galleries aren’t your thing, you could still do a virtual tour using google maps of anywhere in the world. Together you could wander down the Champs-Elysees or the Las Vegas strip, planning your next holiday (whenever that will be).
ESCAPE ROOM (TRAVEL EDITION)
I did one of these with my friends recently and it was such a laugh. We did it via Trapped in the Web which is more of a google form setup than I thought it would be (clicking through and inputting codes based on the images presented rather than an interactive setup) but it was still really enjoyable, and at only £8.99 it isn’t much between a small group.
We did ‘Cabin Fever’ where you wake up on a cruise ship as the only passengers and you need to figure out how to get off the boat and back to dry land! It took us about 40 minutes I believe but we aren’t particularly experienced with escape rooms so might take you a lot less/more time.
There are other options for this which are more interactive but cost a bit more money. Maybe discuss with your group what they would be willing to pay. A further option would this would be to buy an escape room boxed game, which range from about £10-£20. The only issue with this is that one person would have it and the others would have to get them to hold up the clues/have images sent to them, so it might be a bit tricky.
AND FINALLY… A TRAVEL QUIZ (WITH A TWIST)
I know I said at the top of this that I’m sick of quizzes but well… I couldn’t not put a quiz in?! Of course there’s always the classic option of someone writing and taking the quiz but my suggestion would be my personal favourite site when it comes to online quizzes – sporcle! You don’t need an account and there are loads of different types of quizzes on there.
I personally often play the US Map Quiz/European Countries, which give you an empty map and you then have to fill in the countries/states within the given time. This is something you could play as a team or battling against each other to get it done first. All dependant on how capable you think you are/how competitive!
And that’s it for my Zoom suggestions – if you have any more please do send them my way as I imagine we’ll get sick of these ones at some point!