The next best thing to heading off on an adventure abroad? Taking a virtual holiday instead — and Amazon has launched a range of at-home experiences to help you do just that. Amazon Explore features classes about cuisines and culture from around the world, all from the comfort (and safety) of your own home.
And best of all, select Amazon Explore experiences are 30% off now through February 14. While they certainly make for great Valentine’s Day gifts, they’re not just for date nights in: Use them to treat yourself to something a little different if you’ve been cooking for one, or go in on a class with your housemates for a fun Friday night in. The classes are typically an hour long and range from tutorials about sake from a bar in Tokyo to fresh pasta making in Italy and tango lessons in Argentina. All you need is a computer or laptop (phones and tablets aren’t supported). You don’t even have to dress up: With the Explore setup, hosts can just hear you, not see you.
To book your class, simply choose the date and time that work best for you. The discount will be automatically applied at checkout. We’ve rounded some of the top-rated classes so far; check them out below, then book your hour of wanderlust for less.
Virtually Learn to Make Fresh Pasta With the Toscana Mia Sisters in Italy ($36.75, originally $52.50; amazon.com)
Learn how to make fresh pasta straight from the pros: a pair of two Italian sisters who have been teaching classes from their Toscana Mia Cooking School, based at their home in Tuscany, since 2002. You’ll learn how to make fettuccine pasta to pair with a traditional mushroom or tomato sauce, and get to know Italian food culture a little more in the process too.
History of Argentinean Tango and Basic Steps ($17.15, originally $24.50; amazon.com)
Thanks to the one-way camera setup of the Explore experiences, this tango class is the perfect compromise between YouTube lessons (where no one can see you) and live lessons (where you can ask questions). Learn a few new moves, and also get a crash course on tango’s Argentinean history.
Ljubljana Love Stories: A Virtual Tour With Romantic Stories From Slovenia’s Capital ($17.15, originally $24.50; amazon.com)
Ljubljana is one of Europe’s most romantic-looking cities, and though this virtual stroll around town won’t help you stretch your legs literally, it might help shake out some of that wanderlust that’s been building up over the past year. While you take in the sights from your sofa, you’ll learn about the stories and characters that make up the city’s history and local folklore.
Virtually Learn About Sake at a Bar in Tokyo ($28, originally $40; amazon.com)
Grab a few bottles of sake (a list is provided) so you can taste at home, or just follow along on a trip to this Tokyo sake bar. You’ll learn about Japanese drinking culture, how sake is produced and how its flavor is shaped, not to mention what to look for on the bottle when you’re shopping for yourself.
Argentine Alfajores and Homemade Dulce de Leche ($14.21, originally $20.30; amazon.com)
Those with a sweet tooth will love this hour-long class, which teaches participants how to make the Argentinean take on alfajores, a cookie popular throughout Latin America with roots believed to go back to the Moors, who introduced them to what’s now southern Spain. It just so happens the sandwich-style cookies pair decadently with dulce de leche, which acts as a filling between two of the cookies and is the second thing you’ll learn to prepare.
Mochi Making With a Certified Japanese Instructor ($25.20, originally $36; amazon.com)
Learn how to make mochi, one of Japan’s most-loved sweets, in this class hosted by Miyuki, a certified Tokyo-based chef who’s taught cooking and dessert-making classes from her home since 2014. She’ll give you a primer on the ingredients — whether you opt to make daifuku or mochi ice cream — then teach you how to prepare and cook it. It’s up to you whether you want to just watch and follow along or if you want to make it yourself too. (If it’s the latter, and this happens to be for a date-night surprise, just keep in mind there are a few things you’ll have to buy and prep beforehand.)
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