17 Travel-Inspired Things to Do at Home: Fuel your Wanderlust!
Updated: Nov 27, 2020
With the current travel bans on international travel, we’ll have to find things to do from home. We’ll all have to put our travel plans on hold for a while… but that doesn’t mean that we can’t dream and think about traveling. Traveling is so much more than the actual trip itself. Whether we are searching the internet for inspiration on future trips, putting together a photo album of our past trips, or cooking our favorite dishes from abroad. Traveling is with us everywhere we go, even at home. And it’s those travel-inspired things that fuel our wanderlust and let us feel like we are someplace else for a moment. To help you reignite that travel spark, we have put together a list of 17 travel-inspired things to do at home. We hope that these will help you feel inspired to travel more in the months and years to come.
1. Create a travel bucket list!
Now is the perfect time to think about all the things you still want to see, try, and experience in your life. From visiting the 7 World Wonders to swimming with great white sharks and sailing around the world. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
Find inspiration on travel blogs or by watching travel videos online! Then, write down all the activities and places that you like in your travel notebook.
Once we are allowed to travel again, it is time to start ticking them off. Don’t just dream of going to these places, but get out there and do it!
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Want an easy way to start a travel bucket list? Download our free travel quiz! We match your personality with places around the world that you should travel to next.
2. Read travel-inspired books
Reading books are the perfect way to relieve stress from the daily pressures of life. It makes you forget about your worries and problems for a little while. This is something we all need right now!
Even more, travel-inspired books allow you to escape to another place without leaving your home. They are a great source of inspiration for your next adventure. Whether you choose a book that is completely fiction, based on a traveler’s own experience, or purely informational, the choice is up to you.
The following books are our personal recommendations for people who love traveling:
The alchemist (Paulo Coelho) – An inspiring story about following your dreams
Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City and a True Story of Deadly Adventure (Christopher S Stewart) – A true story about an exploration in the Honduras jungle in search of the ‘Gold City’
Wild (Cheryl Strayed) - A memoir of the 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery
Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer) – The true story of Christopher McCandless who left home to find some sort of enlightenment
On the Road (Jack Kerouac) – A story based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the United States
Hippie (Paulo Coelho) – Autobiography of Coelho traveling the world and believing in peace, love, and freedom
The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) - The story of a young Afghan boy during times of the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.
3. Create a photo book or scrapbook with all your travel pictures
If you feel like you have a lot of leisure time at home, it is the perfect time to go through all your travel pictures. Pick your favorite ones and collect them in a photo book or scrapbook. It is a great way to reminisce about your travels and relive your favorite times abroad. Besides, this collection of memories is a great visualization of your travel stories to share with your friends, family, and maybe even (in the future) your children and grandchildren!
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4. Watch travel movies or documentaries
This is a classic (and probably most powerful) way to reignite your travel spark. Take in the stunning panoramic views of the United States’ National Parks, the Amazon, or landscapes of far-off countries. These moving images combined with a captivating story may inspire your next adventure.
Thank God for streaming services like Netflix! Your travel movie or documentary is just a few clicks away. And there are SO MANY to choose from these days.
Our recommended travel movies (many of them available on Netflix!)
Into the Wild
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Motorcycle Diaries
Seven Years in Tibet
Up in the Air
Holiday in the Wild
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Endless Summer
Our recommended travel and adventure documentaries
Pedal the World
Night on Earth
The Call of the Wild
Tales by Light
The Dawn Wall
Losing sight of the shore
5. Cook your favorite international dish(es)
Are you craving a creamy coconut curry from Thailand, a spicy Indian curry, or a crunchy taco from Mexico? One of the best things about traveling is to try out the local cuisine! Food tells you a lot about a country. By sampling traditional delicacies, you introduce yourself to unique flavors, customs, and culture.
Why not try cooking these international dishes yourself at home? You'll feel like you're immersing yourself in the local culture again. Find a recipe online or in a cookbook, and go buy the ingredients.
Even if you aren’t an excellent cook, don't be afraid to try it out. There's no harm in trying. We are also not great at cooking, but with an easy-to-understand recipe and some patience, we have made some pretty tasty dishes lately!
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6. Watch the sunrise or sunset in your neighborhood
In order to stay sane, it is important to get outside, even if that means around your house or in your garden. And what a better way to start or finish off your day than with a magical sunrise or sunset? Watching the sunrise and sunset will help you feel more energized and relaxed. It doesn't matter if it's from a nearby hill or mountain or right outside your door. Sit back and relax. Bring some music, wine, and snacks, and dream about your next adventure.
7. Improve your photography skills
Do you ever get inspired to travel by looking at beautiful travel pictures on Instagram or Facebook? Imagine that on your next journey you are the one taking and sharing these photos. It is possible! Your pictures may be inspiring others to travel as well.
There are a bunch of online courses and books that will help improve your photography skills. If you just want to learn the basics, then National Geographic has a great beginner's how-to-guide. It covers all the essentials of taking great pictures with your digital camera or smartphone.
However, if you are looking for an in-depth course, it may be useful to look at online photography classes. Many platforms offer interactive courses at competitive prices that make the process of learning easier. Find a comparison of the top 30 Online Photography Classes for Beginners here.
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8. Learn a new language
Even though learning a new language isn't easy, it is a great addition to your resume and may be useful for your future travels. And if you are finally able to have simple conversations or speak the language fluently, it will allow you to connect with another culture on a much deeper level. Your travels will become more rewarding and fun! The local people will treat you differently and may teach you more about their country.
So now the question remains, which language should you learn? Well, it is entirely up to you! I would focus on a language that is widely spoken around the world, like Spanish or French. Both are relatively easy to learn and spoken in some of the most interesting tourist destinations, like South America and Africa. Besides, in many of the Spanish- and French-speaking countries, speaking English is not common. So knowing the local language is actually really helpful.
We use the application Duolingo to practice languages. It's free and offers a wide variety of languages and has practice sessions which only take a few minutes.
9. Plan your future trip – collect ideas and find inspiration
Do you also need something to look forward to? Then you can start researching and thinking about your next adventure! The shutdown of international travel will not last forever... rather sooner than later we will be able to travel again.
Use this time to think about the destination you want to go next. Find some inspiration on Travel Blogs, Pinterest, and YouTube. This doesn't mean that you need to book your flights and hotel rooms, but just get ideas of things you might want to do and places you want to visit. Research has shown that planning a trip increases your happiness!
10. Explore your own town on foot or by bike
When we think of traveling we dream of going somewhere far away. But this doesn't have to be the case! Travel can also mean to explore your own surroundings, whether that is your own hometown or country. There is always something to discover!
So why not explore your own town (or country) on foot or by bike? You will get some physical exercise while adventuring! Get outside and explore your park, town center, nearby towns, or nature. Just make sure to comply with the local restrictions and regulations. It is important for both our mental and physical health to get fresh air and sunshine whenever possible!
11. Visit your favorite National Parks or Cities on Google Earth
If your own neighborhood or town isn't entertaining enough, then don't worry. You can still explore some beautiful places without traveling! From the comfort of your home, you can "travel" virtually.
With Google Earth you can visit places all around the world, from the U.S. National Parks to European cities, all in 3D. If you want to explore something new and exciting, then take a tour with Voyager. This feature has a bunch of travel collections, like 'the Geometry of Castles', 'Impressive Waterfalls', or 'National Parks of the United States'. Google Earth is a great free tool that makes exploring virtually easy and accessible. These virtual explorations might also help in creating your travel bucket list or even planning your future trip!
12. Watch travel videos of your favorite or bucket list destinations on YouTube
Watching travel videos is not only inspiring for your next adventure, but also entertaining and fun! Unlike travel movies and documentaries, travel videos show you how the destination really looks. There is (usually) no heavy editing or acting involved. As such, it gives you a better picture of a destination. You will be able to experience the destination through the eyes of a fellow traveler. Being often short in nature, it is perfect for a small break in between work.
Our YouTube channel includes a range of videos of our own travels as well as inspirational videos. Check it out!
13. Try different wines or beers from around the world and compare
Are you also a wine and/or beer lover like us? Then this might be a fun and delicious travel-inspired thing to do at home! Rather than buying your 'standard' beer or wine at the store, search for different ones from around the world. Think about a Malbec from Argentina, a Pinot Noir from France, or a Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa. Maybe a beer from Belgium?
It is time to arrange your wine and beer tasting session at home. Get a notebook or install a rating app to rate the different wines and beers. You might find yourself a new favorite wine or beer! Untappd is a fun app that allows you to discover and share your favorite beers in the world. The application keeps track of which beers you tried and what you thought of them by checking in a beer and rating it.
14. Watch the stars at night
A clear sky offers an ever-changing display of fascinating stars, constellations, bright planets, and sometimes even meteor showers. It is a truly magical experience to watch the sky at night. And the good thing is... it's entirely free! Observing the night sky can be done without any equipment, even though binoculars or a beginner telescope enhance the experience and bring more objects into view. Keep an eye on the news about what special events may be happening during the night.
15. Treat yourself (or others) with a travel gift
During these uncertain times, it may a good idea to treat yourself or your loved one(s) with a travel gift! Not only will this brighten up your (or their) day instantly, it will also let you dream away about future travels. Besides, it is also a great way to support small businesses that are struggling.
Our Online Shop has a variety of travel-inspired apparel, like sweaters, shirts, hats, and flip flops. The home-made designs are inspired by our own travels and the different landscapes and cultures we've encountered. They aim to inspire you to travel more! Click on each item to see more.
16. Play travel-inspired board games
Our eyes and mind need a break from the screen once in a while! And what better way to entertain ourselves than playing board games? It is a great way to bond with your partner, family, or housemates. Above all, it is fun!
There are many board games with a touch of travel. Think about Ticket to Ride where you set up a rail network in a certain part or country of the world. Our favorite travel-inspired board games include Ticket to Ride in Europe, the Heart of Africa, and the Nordic Countries.
Another great travel game is 7 Wonders, in which you can raise a complete civilization and build the greatest Wonders of the World in about 30 minutes.
If you are just two people at home, then Lost Cities is a perfect travel-inspired game. Embark on a research journey to a remote corner of the world and explore the Himalayan mountains, the Central American rainforest, the Egyptian desert, a mysterious volcano, and the bottom of the sea!
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17. Go on a virtual museum tour
In addition to virtual tours of cities and national parks, you can also visit museums! Well-known museums like the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris, and the Vatican Museum in Vatican City all offer virtual tours via Google Arts & Culture. This online platform features content from over 2,000 leading museums and archives from all around the world. The virtual tours look pretty realistic, with great images. And they are a great source of inspiration for your travel bucket list!
>>> Check out our other best travel tips ever! We've compiled 50 tips just for you. All learned after traveling to 50+ countries.
Make sure to take our free travel quiz if you're trying to decide where you want to go next!
We would love to hear your favorite thing to do from this list or things we may have missed! Comment below.