It’s a gutwrenching feeling when a long-awaited trip gets canceled. In fact, I arrived in Croatia a few weeks ago and my Airbnb was booked for a month. Unfortunately, I had to leave after being there for a week. I was heartbroken and I feel like I got cheated out of a trip. However, there are ways that you can keep the spirit of traveling alive even when your trip gets canceled. The answer is home travel. That’s right – you can still travel from home even when you’re unable to actually travel.
I’m back in the States for an indefinite amount of time and my wanderlust soul is dying inside. To combat these feelings of misery (I know that’s a dramatic choice of wording, but I really do feel miserable), I’ve been doing activities every day that make me feel like I’m traveling. Here are twelve fun ways that you can travel the world without leaving the comfort of your home.
In This Post:
Explore a Virtual Museum
Several iconic museums around the world are offering free virtual tours. Obviously, it’s not the same as actually being in the city and exploring the different exhibits in person. However, virtual museums provide a great opportunity for home travel. You can explore a number of them from your couch while even wearing pajamas. Here are some renowned museums that are offering virtual tours:
- Guggenheim Museum in New York City
- Musée du Louvre in Paris
- The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
- The British Museum in London
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
- The Vatican Museums in Rome
Click here to access all of the virtual museum tours that are being offered through Google Arts & Culture. My favorite one is The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Learn a New Language
Learning a new language gives you a deeper connection with another culture and gives you a better understanding of it. It also opens up doors when actually visiting countries where the language is spoken.
For example, my husband speaks Spanish. When we were traveling through South America, we had a few tour guides who didn’t speak English. My husband was able to speak with them in Spanish and he translated it back to English for me.
Further, I’m fluent in Hindi. One of my favorite travel memories is from Kuwait. We were eating street food and a man inside was making Arabic bread. We locked eyes a few times because I was intrigued by how effortlessly he was making mass amounts of bread. He then invited us into the kitchen and let us make bread with him. He didn’t speak English, but he spoke Hindi. We were able to communicate with each other because of that. I would have missed out on a lot of great conversations had I not spoken Hindi.
You can also learn languages from movies and tv shows. Special shoutout to Narcos for teaching me a few words of Spanish. I’m looking forward to the day where I can move to Colombia for a few months and learn how to fluently speak.
I truly believe that languages unify us and bring us closer to people. Duolingo is a great and free resource that helps you learn a new language.
Cook or Order in Meals From Other Countries
Food is my favorite. It fixes my bad attitude caused by being hangry. In our four years of marriage, Amos has learned that the best way to mitigate any argument is by feeding me.
Half the reason why I travel is to try all the yummy dishes in various countries. I firmly believe that food also brings us closer and allows us to experience another culture on a deeper level. I love cooking Indian, Mexican, and Chinese dishes. Since I’ve been traveling, I’ve also come to love Turkish, Peruvian, and Korean food.
Grab a few international cookbooks and get to cooking. If you’re not into cooking, order in your favorite international meal. You’ll forget that you’re doing home travel rather than actual travel.
Go on Disney Rides Around the World
Personally, the thought of going to a Disney theme park makes me want to cringe. I don’t think I can handle the crowds and hoards of children there. Plus, I don’t have a personal interest in spending heaps of money on amusement park rides. It sounds like hell to me rather than a vacation.
However, I know some of you are huge Disney fans. There’s nothing wrong with that. Several Disney parks around the world are offering virtual rides. This is a fun home travel activity especially if you have kids. You can find a full list here.
Read Travel Blogs
Reading blog posts from your favorite travel blogger will make you feel like you’re traveling. It’s an educational experience by helping you learn about new destinations. I personally think travel blogs are more educational than travel guides because you’re getting to read about someone’s actual experience and their opinions.
This is, in fact, one of my favorite ways to experience home travel. Believe it or not, I am not my favorite travel blogger. Yes, I’ve been to lots of really neat places over the course of the past two and a half years. However, I love reading posts about adventure travel and solo travel because that’s not something I do.
Find a travel blogger you absolutely love and virtually travel with them. If I’m your favorite travel blogger, I’m incredibly honored. If I’m not, you might want to reconsider that decision. Just kidding – keep looking until you find the one.
Tour National Parks
Like I said in the section above, adventure travel isn’t my jam. I don’t like hiking and all that jazz. Therefore, virtually exploring national parks is my cup of tea. I think it’s rather comforting taking a trip to the great outdoors from indoors. The best part is that you won’t have to wait in any queues when touring national parks as a part of home travel.
Google Earth is offering free virtual tours of thirty-one national parks around the States. Google Arts & Culture is offering 113 tours of other national parks as a part of their “The Hidden World of National Parks” exhibit.
Watch Travel Inspired Movies
You’re probably watching movies and tv anyway. Why not watch travel-inspired movies instead? With heaps of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and more, you have travel right at your fingertips. I’ve added several places to my bucket list just from watching travel movies. It’s also really cool to have been to a place where a movie is filmed in. Some fun travel movies include:
- “Eat, Pray, Love”
- “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
- “Parts Unknown”
- “Mamma Mia”
- “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”
- “Crazy Rich Asians”
- “Under the Tuscan Sun”
- “Letters to Juliet”
- “Midnight in Paris”
Create a Travel Collage
I’ve taken heaps of photos from around the world and I haven’t had a chance to organize them. A fun way to participate in home travel is by organizing photos from your past trips or creating collages. Even if you don’t have scrapbooking materials at home, you can still create a virtual scrapbook for free using Canva.
Going through old travel photos is a fun way to relive some precious memories. I’ve actually been doing that almost every day to keep the spirit of traveling alive.
Play Travel Related Board Games
Another great way to have an adventure through home travel is to play travel-inspired board games. These are a fun way to have a friendly competition and to get everyone in the house involved. You can even turn it into a chill drinking game to keep things entertaining. Here are some exciting travel-themed games:
Color in a Travel Inspired Coloring Book
Coloring is therapeutic and relaxing. It’s also a pretty mindless activity. I love this (insert affiliate link for lonely planet coloring book) coloring book. You can color 100 awesome places around the world and there are descriptions included for each place so you can learn more about them. Don’t forget to grab a box of colored pencils.
Set up a Resort at Home
This is going to be easier for those who have a backyard and a pool. Turn on some tropical music. Put on your swimsuit. Make some margaritas and piña coladas. Grab a pair of sunnies and go lounge outside. Even though you’re doing home travel, this activity will have you feeling like you’re laying on the beaches in Mexico.
Create a Travel Bucket List
If you’re unable to travel for whatever reason, now is the perfect time to write your dream travel bucket list. Remember earlier when I told you to read posts written by your favorite travel bloggers? You’ll find heaps of travel inspiration from their blogs.
Don’t be shy. Write down every possible destination you want to visit. Make this list pretty and fun. Find a template online and fill it out. If you have arts and crafts supplies at home, make your own bucket list template. This home travel activity is particularly fun because it makes you realize how many breathtaking places there are in the world.
With that being said, start saving money so you can visit all of the incredible destinations on your list. Here’s a post that I wrote that teaches you exactly how to create a travel budget that actually works. It even includes a free printable to help you keep track of your finances.
A few places on my travel bucket list are Tunisia, Lebanon, Seychelles, Pakistan, French Polynesia, Morocco, Jordan, Cuba, Iceland, and Antarctica.
I hope you found this list helpful and that it gave you some great ideas for home travel when you can’t actually travel. This post is also perfect if you’re in a long-distance relationship and need virtual date night ideas. Is there anything else that you do to keep the magic of traveling alive when you’re unable to travel? Let me know in the comments below.
Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.