Sometimes in your life, you’ll have periods of time when you won’t be able to travel for different reasons. But in a situation like that, when you’re forced to stay at home, your wanderlust might become extremely high.
I totally get it. If I only could, I would travel all the time. But the game of life sometimes dictates different rules.
So to make your life more exciting in this hard situation I prepared for you a list of fascinating things to do to travel without leaving home. It helps you to satisfy your wanderlust and even prepare for your future trips in better times.
Read this list carefully and choose the activities that will give you the most fun!
This post is a part of the Travel Planning Series.
You can find more clever tips on how to plan your next trip by clicking here.
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. That means that if you click on them or make any purchase via them, I receive a small commission. But don’t worry, this will not cost you anything and in a few cases, you can even receive a special discount! And I will still be able to chase my dreams. So thank you!
How to travel without leaving home? The list of creative ideas:
#1 Create your own travel bucket list
The number one of the ideas for traveling without leaving home is dreaming about your future trips.
After indulging your wanderlust with many inspiring ideas from this list, it’s time to write them down. You can simply take a paper sheet, and create your own bucket list in an old-school way.
But you can also use online tools for this. The most popular one is probably Pinterest. It has this feature that allows you to fill your list with tons of new ideas in an organized way. Click here to visit my Pinterest profile and save from there some inspiration to your own boards (and remember to follow me on this platform!).
#2 Create your travel album
Staying at home is a perfect opportunity to finally deal with things we procrastinated for too long.
So why not finally browse your pictures from the latest vacations? Dig them up from your camera’s memory, pick up the best one and save in a separate folder so you can come back to them in moments when you’ll be in need of travel inspiration.
And the even better idea is to print them and finally create your own travel photo album. This kind of souvenir will bring much more sense to your travel photography. And you more likely will be coming back more often to it.
#3 Stalk your favorite travelers in social media
These days we can invite the traveler’s world to our home without even leaving a couch. Even if you can’t leave home now, there is plenty of travelers out there who share their adventures online almost every day.
I hereby invite you to follow me on Instagram, where you can see some memories from my last trips.
And here are some other travelers that I personally follow and love to hear about their new adventures!
#4 Read travel blogs
Many travelers not only exist on social media platforms. But they also write their own blogs! Travel blogs often tell personal stories but many of them provide also useful travel information about how to visit the chosen destination.
If you’re interested in visiting a specific place in the future, go beyond the big commercial websites and guides, and start to read the traveler’s blogs. You’ll find there much more human and intimate thoughts about the place and also practical guidelines about how to visit it as an independent traveler.
#5 Read a travel book
Reading builds up the imagination. And reading travel books threatens to unbridled wanderlust. But this is the effect that we’re looking for.
For many travelers, reading travel books was the first incentive to start their travel journey. So moments, when you’re forced to stay at home, are perfect to dedicate to this activity.
The travel book that had an incredible impact on me was “Tracks” by Robyn Davidson. It tells the story of a solo female trip through the unfriendly Australian outback. Truly inspiring and adventurous.
#6 Watch travel movies
Watching travel movies, more or less real, is a perfect way to spend long evening hours at home. Lively videos will make you feel like travel without leaving home. Today, with video on demand, you can access hundreds of good travel movies. Here are some that I personally recommend watching:
#7 Watch travel documentaries and vlogs
Sometimes there is no need for the ambitious plot in a travel movie. Because travel documentaries speak for themselves. Movies showing nature and culture are soo rich in the information and colors that they create an adventure without any additional elements.
Similarly to travel documentaries, you can browse thousands of travel vlogs on Youtube. Simply look for your dream destination there, and you’ll find plenty of wonderful clips.
#8 Explore Google Earth
Sometimes, when I hear the name of a city I didn’t know it even existed before, I like to search for it on Google Earth. And then simply wander around.
Thanks to satellite pictures you can visit almost any distant place in the world. From Europe to Australia, through the Caribbean and Northern Syberia. Discovering the world this way is truly inspiring and definitely gives a lot of fun without leaving home.
#9 Visit a museum online
These days more and more popular museums share the virtual walks through their interiors on the Internet. Thanks to this feature, many people who don’t have the possibility to visit the museum personally, are able to take a look at how they look inside. It’s an interesting alternative to travel without leaving home.
Here are some of the museum that offers this kind of entertainment:
- Palace of Versailles, France
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- British Museum, London
- Pergamon Museum, Berlin
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
#10 Listen to music from around the world
This is something you can probably do all day long while staying at home. To take a musical trip, simply go to Youtube and search for the music from a country that interests you. You can also add words “folk music” or “traditional music” to find some cultural value.
You might be surprised by the variety of sounds you’ll find. And your traveling soul will be delighted with the fresh new vibes in your head.
#11 Cook foreign kitchen dishes
Discovering new recipes was never easier than in the era of the Internet. Today, to try out your kitchen skills, you can simply browse Youtube to find videos with practical tips about how to prepare almost any dish from any country.
#12 Explore new travel possibilities
Sitting at home might be also a good opportunity to rethink the way you usually travel. It’s a perfect time to discover some new options and to feel the spirit of travel without leaving home.
There are a few online platforms that allow you to travel in a very specific way. If you didn’t try them yet, it’s time to create your profile there and browse endless travel opportunities!
Couchsurfing – one of the most popular free accommodation platform among travelers. It connects you with local people who are open to hosting travelers in their house for free. In exchange, they only want to get to know you, your country, and culture. It’s a perfect way for budget traveling and getting to know the visited place from the most intimate side – from inhabitant’s homes.
TrustedHousesitters – this platform allows people who’re leaving their houses to find a person to take care of their property or pets. What’s the advantage for you? For a period of time you live alone in someone’s house, take care of his pets, and get the opportunity to stay in a visited country in comfortable conditions and for free.
Find A Crew – this platform is just like Couchsurfing but for sailors. The sailing yachts and motorboats owners look there for crew members for a trip from point A to point B. Sometimes the costs of a trip are shared and sometimes captain pays all the bill (if he’s mostly looking for a good company and some help on a deck).
#13 Plan your trips ahead
Long days spent at home are a perfect opportunity to create draft plans for your future travels. Why not do them now?
If you’ve got already some destinations on your bucket list, you can then create a list of things that you want to do there, and attractions you’d like to visit. This is a perfect way to almost travel without leaving home.
You can also plan some initial itineraries. You can come back to those ideas later on when you’ll be planning your real trip in the future.
And if you’re stuck at home now, it’s a great time to learn some new travel tricks. Below you can download my cheat sheet with 21 Advanced Travel Planning Tips. It’s totally free and will land directly in your inbox if you’ll subscribe below!
Download the free list of
21 Advanced Travel Tips
and improve your travel planning process
with these easy steps!
#14 Create a travel saving plan
A time spent at home can be well used in creating your personal travel saving plan. Traveling always requires money. Sometimes more, sometimes less, it depends on your travel needs.
But if you’re at home, you can use this time to take a closer look at your budget and write down how much money you would like to save each month. Sticking to this plan will help make your travel dreams come true.
Click here to read more about the 15 saving hacks that allowed me to live for two whole months in the Caribbean.
#15 Complete your travel equipment
Free time between trips is ideal for supplying your travel backpack. It’s a perfect moment to make a checkup of your travel equipment and purchase some necessary travel items. These days you can do it even online.
To make it easier for you, I’m leaving here links to some of my packing list and buyer’s guides:
- the Caribbean packing list
- the sailor’s equipment
- how to pack in hand luggage only
- zero waste travel toiletries bag checklist
#16 Learn new travel skills
If you dispose of a lot of free hours now, it might be a perfect time to learn some new travel skills.
Now it’s a perfect time to take an online course and learn some new stuff. Udemy is a perfect platform to do it. You’ll find there many travel-related courses from which you can choose.
#17 Start a travel blog
Travel blogs gain more and more popularity each year. And in fact, they can be an additional source of income.
But even if you do not aim to earn on a blog, maybe deep in your heart you always wanted to write down your travel adventure stories and share them with the world?
Staying at home might become the best moment for starting a blog. If you want to try, first of all, you will need your own blog domain (www address) and a hosting where your blog will find its home. I’ve chosen Bluehost because it’s a proven company that a lot of travel bloggers use. I’m really happy with them cause their tech specs saved me a few times from technical disasters.
Once you’ve got your blog, you will probably want to get things right from the very beginning. Here is one of my favorite resources for starting writing a blog and convincing people to actually read it: a blog of Stray Curls – Blogging and Creativity. I highly recommend you to sign up for her free email course on starting a blog!
#18 Learn a new language
The moments when you cannot leave your home are ideal for personal growth and learning new skills. One of my passions is learning new languages. And in fact, it’s a very travel-related thing to do from home.
I love to listen to polyglots podcasts on Youtube. One of my favorites is Lindie Botes (click here to watch her Youtube channel). Videos like these inspire me in my own polyglot journey, so this year (2020) I took the challenge of learning Italian and Greek. Fingers crossed I’ll manage to reach the European B2 level in both of them!
When I learn a new language, I love to do it with the method of total immersion. So I try to contact the language anywhere I can. In radio, in a TV series, in an online game, on my phone, in podcasts… It’s hard in the beginning but after while the brain gets used to it and catches up more and more word meanings.
But the number one tool that I use at the beginning of a new language journey is Duolingo. This free app helps you get the basics of a language in a fun and gaming way. It also provides many different languages (including Navajo, Hawaiian, and even… Klingon and High Valyrian).
#19 Chat online with people from other countries
You can treat it as a part of your language learning journey or as a separate activity. By chatting directly with people living in other countries you get the opportunity to learn some new things about their culture. And vice versa.
To find the people to chat with, you can find a dedicated Facebook group. You can also use Couchsurfing (which I mentioned before) or apps for a language exchange (for example Tandem). Many people from different places all over the world look for native English speakers to practice their English. This way you will have an opportunity to hear interesting stories and help someone to master English skills.
I hope this list will help you go through the time when you cannot leave a house.
Maybe you also have some tricks on how to travel without leaving home? Share them in comments! I’m sure curious to hear your ideas.
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Dominika is a founder of Sunday In Wonderland and she recently switched her life to be local independent. She aims to travel the world and admire all of its wonders. She is much focused on sustainable life, self-development and making this world a better place.