So, all of us (and I mean literally ALL of us) are staying at home during this crazy spring. With the help of other travel bloggers, I have put together a list of things you can do at home, which will make you feel like you are on a trip. Stay home, stay safe and enjoy!
Table of Contents
Cooking a meal from your favourite country
Written by Elisa of World in Paris
A good meal from your favorite country and a bit of imagination can make you travel virtually to this country without leaving home.
Today international cuisine has no secrets and it is possible to find and download the best typical dishes from any country and prepare them at home. Some cooking websites come with videos and suggestions of the best tools to cook the meals and where to find them so you are set for a fantastic virtual trip through your taste buds.
To make things even more authentic, you can buy the typical drink, download some music of the country (or just look for it on YouTube), perhaps also decorate the house and invite some friends or family to join you in this funny virtual trip. You can also imagine that you are in a typical restaurant in the country and learn a few basic words or phrases of the language to exchange during dinner.
Listen to travel podcasts
Written by Emily of Wander-Lush
If you find yourself needing to tune in and tune out, travel-themed podcasts are a great way to escape reality and go on a virtual journey.
Podcasts make virtual travelling easy, especially when you have a talented host who can lead you down a city’s streets through evocative descriptions, teach you something new – and even make you laugh – at the same time.
Some of my favourite travel shows include Zero to Travel and Extra Pack of Peanuts (both focused on long-term travel and digital nomadism), Travel with Rick Steves (produced by the iconic travel writer), and Rick Steves Over Brunch, a fun podcast created by two fellow travel bloggers.
Amateur Traveler is another classic and a great way to discover particular destinations through focused interviews with locals and experts. While many podcasters are continuing to broadcast throughout the crisis, it’s also fun to scroll back through the archives and revisit past episodes.
I love the candid nature of podcasts – especially when they’re in an interview format. When you get to know your host and you hear the passion for travel in their voice, it’s hard not to get swept up in their storytelling. Another great thing about podcasts is, of course, the flexibility of the format – you can listen to podcasts while cooking, exercising, or doing other tasks.
Watching Travel Movies
Written by Matilda of The Travel Sisters
One of the best ways to virtually travel from home is to watch travel inspired movies on streaming services. Movies are a great way to be transported to different places around the world and even different time periods. Some films are specifically about travel and follow their main characters as they travel to a variety of destinations.
One of my favourite movies about travel is Eat, Pray Love, which follows the main character to Italy, India and Bali. Frequent flyers and people obsessed with earning miles will relate to Up in the Air, a movie about a business traveller that travels most of the year.
Other travel movies are set in only one specific place but capture and showcase the destination so well that they inspire you to plan a visit yourself. Sometimes too well – as a movie can even make a previously unknown destination suddenly very popular with tourists!
Some of the best travel movies set in one destination include Lost in Translation which features Tokyo, Japan and In Bruges, which shows the beautiful city of Bruges, Belgium.
Explore the cities with Google Map
Written by Kenny of Knycx Journeying
The Google Map is one of my favorite virtual traveling tools that I frequently use not only for my trip planning, but sometimes, just to “travel at home”. With Google map, you could basically visit anywhere in the wherewith live photos, street views and detailed maps.
Explore the many functions of the map where I actually learned a lot from it. Take New York as an example – use the satellite 3D view to scan the entire Manhattan Island with a bird’s eye view. All famous landmarks are marked with different icons that you could click on it for info and visit their official websites. Many places have a photo album shared and unloaded by the netizens from all over the world.
Next, take a closer look by zooming in to the street view. Place the yellow human on any streets in the city and just stroll from places to places by scrolling forward or backwards. But the virtual tour doesn’t end here. You could even enter many museums, shops, or landmarks and view the paintings one by one.
My favourite is the Met. While it’s not the same seeing these works in person, the museum is so big that it’s amazing that you could view all of them sitting at home.
You could also explore remote places on the map where you would never imagine visiting; it is a great experience for everyone with the help of the Internet.
Reading travel books
Written by Hannah of That Adventurer
One of the best ways to still feel like you’re travelling while at home is to read a great travel or outdoor adventure books. There are so many and the best ones let you feel like you’re really out there on the expedition with the author.
One of my favourites is ‘The Pants of Perspective’ by Anna McNuff. It details her experience of running the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. The trail is 3,000 km long and goes through forests, along ridge-lines, over mountain passes, beaches and across raging rivers.
I love McNuff’s humour and her determination to see the trail through to the end, even if you’re not a runner (and have no intention of becoming one), you’re bound to love this story!
Most libraries have an e-book service that you can sign up to and download to kindles or read on your computer, or buy online. See this list for more of the best outdoor adventure books.
Virtual Tours in American National Parks
Written by Daisy from Beyond my Border
Virtual tours by the National Park Service is a great way to spend some time exploring the outdoors from the comfort of your own home. in 2016, NPS and Google created a remarkable virtual reality experience that helps bring you to some of the United States’ most beautiful wonders. Some of the best parks, including Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon in Utah, and Dry Tortugas in Florida can be accessed online.
These virtual tours include a comprehensive video introduction, destination-specific audio guides, and a broad list of information that will help you better understand the parks and their uniqueness. The main attractions around these parks can be easily viewed from your screen and you can probably catch a glimpse of hidden gems that you wouldn’t find otherwise!
Virtual park tours are a great way to access the outside world during this time of self-isolation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Watching the world through webcams
Written by Carole of Berkeley and Beyond
Now is the perfect time to start a collection of favourite webcams. Through them, you can escape to different worlds in just a minute. No travelling involved! For me, this is so enjoyable that I actually devote a website and blog to it. My very favourite webcam is focused on snow monkeys in Japan. After watching them on and off for 10+ years, I finally visited them in person last December. You can see them on this website. Here are a few more of my favourites:
- Elvis’s Graceland home
- An eagle’s nest in the wilds of Decorah, Iowa, United States
- Sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California
- Yosemite Falls in California, United States
- Ride along with Big Rig Steve as he travels the U.S. highways delivering his load
- Watch the playful Giant Panda toddlers at the Wolong Nature Reserve in China
Read travel blogs
Written by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
Reading travel blogs is a great way to plan for future trips or just do a bit of armchair travelling while you’re stuck at home. There are thousands of blogs out there, so with a bit of searching, you’re sure to find a blogger who resonates with you and your style of travel.
Even very narrow travel niches have blogs of their own, with plenty of itineraries, lists of top things to do, and other useful resources for like-minded travellers. For example, you can find blogs about traveling as a vegan, travelling with a dog, travelling with a disability or travelling by way of hitchhiking.
Visiting travel blogs is also an easy way to support folks in the travel industry without spending any money. Many bloggers depend on display ad revenue and are really struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. If you turn off your ad blocker while browsing these sites, you can help keep them going during these hard times.