2020 will go down in history as the year-from-home when travel plans were canceled and cabin fever kicked in full force. Going on a spontaneous road trip around Central Asia, island hopping around the Caribbean, backpacking through Europe—these all became wishful fantasies when the pandemic put a halt on recreational travel.
It will be a while before most of us can hop on a plane without all the red tape, so in the meantime, we're building up a lot of pent-up wanderlust.
All this time at home has helped us find creative solutions to a number of things, including indulging our dreams of travel. Here are 50 ways to explore the world from the safety of our homes, (mostly) free of charge—and definitely free of coronavirus. Bring along the kids for these homebound adventures so they never lose their thirst to explore.
Table of Contents
1. Map Out Your Ultimate Travel Dreams
2. Live Vicariously Through the Internet
3. Explore the World Through Food
4. Catch Up On Global Affairs and History
5. Binge-Watch the Best Travel Movies, Shows, and Documentaries
6. Daydream About Staying in Hotels and Airbnbs Again
8. Decorate Your Home in Exotic and Foreign Styles
9. Read the Best Books Around the World
10. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
Travel the World - Map Out Your Ultimate Travel Dreams
1. Create a bucket list of all the countries and cities you want to visit in your life. Just because you can't travel freely yet doesn't mean you can't dream.
2. Map out your bucket list with push-pins on all the countries you hope to visit post-pandemic.
3. Create a travel dream journal to detail everything you love and want to explore about the destinations on your bucket list. Keep in mind that it's unexpect the expected when traveling with kids. To keep your travel dream journal into a dream journey here are 5 tips for stress free family travel with kids.
4. Make a vision board either on Pinterest or on paper, compiling all beautiful photos of places you want to see.
5. Print or order postcards from different countries. You might not be able to go to Europe, but who says you can't bring Europe to you?
Travel the World - Live Vicariously Through the Internet
6. Connect with people around the world online. Reconnect with old friends living in new countries or try out Slowly, a postcard app that lets you send delayed messages or "letters" to pen pals.
7. Bring the kids around the world through virtual museum visits of the British Museum in London to the Guggenheim in New York.
8. Visit a virtual amusement park online where you can go aboard roller coasters and boat rides like the one at Jurassic World.
9. Find the strangest and most fascinating locations on the planet via Google Earth, where you can spot everything from mysterious patterns in the desert to long-lost shipwrecks in the ocean.
10. Learn a new language using an online tool like Rosetta Stone or simply YouTube to prepare for your future adventures.
Travel the World - Explore the World Through Food
11. Order Chinese food, Japanese food, Mediterranean food, and every amazing cuisine the world has to offer.
12. Learn how to make pasta or pizza from scratch. You can even watch Italian grannies on YouTube bring Italian cuisine to your kitchen.
13. Master the art of chopsticks. If you one daydream of visiting Asia, you'll have to learn how to pick up on tiny grain of rice with only chopsticks.
14. Drink wine from around the world, whether it's from Spain to Argentina. (Adults only)
15. Eat healthy for a week and purchase exotic fruits and veggies to see how the rest of the world eats.
Travel the World - Catch Up On Global Affairs and History
16. Learn new facts and obscure history on Atlas Obscura, a book and website which will teach you all about the hidden wonders of the world.
17. Get updated on social issues around the world by watching the Vox Atlas video series on YouTube.
18. Explore NatGeo's wide array of informative articles about nature, animals, and clean energy or subscribe to its print magazine.
19. Binge the CrashCourse series by author John Green. This YouTube channel comprehensively covers everything from ancient history to the Big Bang.
20. Listen to history podcasts like Dan Carlin's Hardcore History that will travel you back in time to history's most crucial moments, from the time of the Spartans to Hitler.
Travel the World - Binge-Watch the Best Travel Shows & Documentaries
21. Take advantage of Netflix's wide variety of travel shows, including the hilarious series on comedian Jack Whitehall's adventures with his grumpy father.
22. Stream the best travel movies on Netflix, Hulu, or wherever you get your content. Our suggestions: Into the Wild, Amelie, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
23. Watch amazing food documentaries that dive into the culture as much as cuisine. Top picks: Street Food: Latin America, Ugly Delicious, and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
24. Introduce yourself to foreign language films like the Oscar-winning movies Roma (Mexico) and Parasite (South Korea).
25. Watch everything narrated and presented by the legend David Attenborough to learn more about nature, climate change, planet Earth and all the efforts to preserve it. We suggest: Seven Worlds, One Planet, Our Planet, and The Blue Planet.
Travel the World - Daydream About Staying in Hotels and Airbnbs Again
26. Hunt for the dreamiest Airbnbs to put on your bucket list. Sometimes your Airbnb can be so stunning, it beats any tourist attractions nearby.
27. Look for beach resorts with the best views and amenities. Plan to pamper yourself at these luxury resorts. Here are 3 little known tips to saving money on a beach vacation.
28. Plan a weekend staycation at a cabin in the woods. Browse the internet for the coziest cabins in nature.
29. Consider a holiday aboard a boathouse or even a cruise. Dream of the day you can hear the ocean outside your window.
30. Be one with nature with a planned camping trip with friends or family. Learn all about how to camp, and look for the best camping sites near you.
Travel the World - Travel the Universe
31. Explore the galaxy (and beyond) with NASA at Home, which lets you live out your childhood dreams of being an astronaut. Explore NASA's laboratories, rocket ships, and even the moon.
32. Look through the Hubble Telescope without leaving your house. The Hubble Space Telescope has uploaded a huge archive of space images online, and you can even search for what the Hubble captured in the universe on the day of your birthday.
33. Stargaze from your backyard. Pencil in meteor showers and eclipses into your schedule so you never miss a star show.
34. Memorize the constellations. Before the compass was invented, ancient travelers used constellations to navigate the land. Memorize the constellations and the legends that surround them.
35. Watch live streams of astronauts shooting into space. While we might not be able to travel across borders right now, astronauts get a special pass to cross the borders of the planet.
Travel the World - Decorate Your Home in Exotic and Foreign Styles
36. Bring indoor exotic plants into your home to add a touch of the tropics to your decor.
37. Purchase carpets with unique patterns reminiscent of Morocco or Turkey's famous carpet bazaars.
38. Consider revamping your home to fit minimalist Scandinavian designs or classy French decor.
39. Add more splashes of vibrant colors to your home like the lively houses in the heart of India.
40. Research feng shui to promote harmony and peaceful energy in your family's abode.
Travel the World - Read the Best Books Around the World
41. Add best-selling travel fiction to your to-read list, like Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and On the Road by Jack Kerouac, both of which follow travelers discovering other cultures as well as themselves.
42. Read novels with characters living in other countries to get a grasp of the cultural intricacies. Our picks: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, which is based in Afghanistan, and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, about a Korean immigrant in Japan.
43. Explore other worlds with fantasy books like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein who gives readers a thorough tour of Middle Earth.
44. Give sci-fi novels a go with books like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is the ultimate space travel book for those with limitless imaginations.
45. Grow your library by buying the best-selling biographies and memoirs about famous international figures like South African Trevor Noah's book Born a Crime.
For the best-selling guide to traveling with kids, be sure to check out our very own The Travel Book: A Guide To Traveling with Kids, an Amazon #1 New Release & Best-Seller.
Travel the World - Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
46. Look through old travel photos from childhood to adulthood and relive those happy memories abroad.
47. Then make a collage out of the best photos, old tickets, and mementos you kept from your travels.
48. Frame it so you can relive those memories often.
49. On a map, pin all the places you've been to.
50. And now, start to make plans for your next big adventure, so once travel is given the green light again, you'll be ready to jet off in a heartbeat.
We hope you have found this blog useful and a good read. If you enjoyed this article, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Have a wonderful day wherever you are and safe travels.
Be well, stay well and take care.