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travel without leaving home

20 Ways to Travel Without Leaving Home During COVID-19

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By now, most people in the world are staying at home. Our attempts to flatten the curve are necessary, but at times boring. That’s why I decided to find as many ways as possible to travel without leaving home!

Since co-creating the Coronavirus Traveler Support Group, I’ve realized how many of us have had to cancel highly-anticipated travel plans. We’re finding new ways to enjoy time with family and friends, celebrate anniversaries, and more all at home.

Here are 20 ways to travel without leaving home, which doubles as a look at how I’m avoiding extreme boredom as a productivity addict.

Please note that some affiliate links are included on this page. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission whenever you purchase through the link.

1. AirBnB Experiences Online

Travel to South Africa, Mexico, and more….from your couch! Airbnb now offers online experiences. Some of them are even free!

One of my friends rows at Cambridge, so we’re looking forward to the personal training session with an Olympic rower.

Many of the online experiences are under $20, so there’s no need to break your budget in the process of fulfilling your travel bug.

I wrote a full review of Airbnb online experiences, which you can read here.

If you’re ready to book an online experience, click here!

2. Read Books from Around the World

I’m using my time in lockdown to create new habits, including reading more.

Over the next few weeks, I will travel without leaving home thanks to books! On my daily walks, I listen to an audiobook borrowed virtually from my public library with the app Overdrive. Every night, I read for an hour with my Kindle. Bonus: I’ve discovered reading before bed helps me sleep!

Check out my favorites here.

How To Support Small Bookstores & Still Shop Online

I love supporting small businesses, especially small bookstores. The money you spend at small businesses directly benefits a family!

However, supporting small businesses has become less accessible in the technology era. We want things now!

Thank goodness I discovered Bookshop.

Bookshop is an online bookstore that links you to small bookstores across the country. When you buy a book online from Bookshop, you’re actually buying that book from a small bookstore!

If you create a profile on Bookshop, you can set which small bookstore you want to support with all your purchases.

I created lists of all my favorite books in Bookshop, which you can see here. I update it regularly with my new favorites!

3. Bake Bread

Who doesn’t love carbs?

Recently, a friend and I baked focaccia (an Italian bread) over a video call. It was a fun bonding experience, plus we explored a traditional Italian bread recipe!

Here’s the recipe, if you want to give it a try.

Take this time to expand your cooking skills and try new breads from around the world!

4. Plan Your Next Vacation

While it might seem like we may never travel again, we won’t be in lockdown forever! One day we’ll be back on the road. Use your time to plan that vacation now!

I don’t recommend you book anything yet, but start picking out activities and accommodations. If you do choose to book now, be sure to purchase travel insurance and opt for the more expensive Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance to ensure you have flexibility.

5. Host A Movie Night

Gather your friends via the internet, pop some popcorn, and watch a movie from another country!

A few on Netflix that I recommend are: Chasing Coral, A Plastic Ocean, and Mission Blue.

6. Picnic or Camp in Your Backyard

Do you remember doing this when you were a kid?

Sleeping under the stars in nature has always brought me serenity. With all the craziness right now, we need that sort of serenity more than ever.

Whether you picnic or camp outside, or both, I hope you still get plenty of fresh air during this lockdown period!

If you’re not much for the outdoors, how about building a pillow and blanket fort in your living room?

7. Go Outside

Spend some time walking outside, whether it’s around your neighborhood or a local park. It’s important to spend some time outside daily for mental and physical health.

Stores might be closed, but the outdoors is always open!

To give yourself as much distance between other people, I suggest exploring the outdoors early in the morning during the workweek. In my experience, there have been less people outside at this time.

8. Learn a Language

Do you have a favorite country or language? Now is the time to perfect those language skills! It’ll only make your next visit more enjoyable.

Duolingo is one of my favorite language-learning platforms. It’s a free app for your phone. Each lesson takes about 5-10 minutes.

While I doubt you’ll become fluent with Duolingo, it’s more accessible for many people than group lessons, tutors, or formal classes.

9. Order International Food

Although most international foods in the U.S. are “Americanized,” they’re still yummy!

I love Chinese and Indian food, so there will be lots of it in my lockdown. Plus, you’re directly supporting small businesses in a time of need.

You can make a theme night. Travel without leaving home to China, India, Brazil, or wherever your next destination is by eating traditional foods, listening to popular music, and learning about their culture for a night. You’ll be experts by the time you actually visit the country!

That’s what I call food good for the heart and soul!

10. Purchase A Gift Card

Is there a restaurant you’re dying to visit, tour you’re anxious to attend, or other travel-related business you’re simply obsessed with? Purchase a gift card!

Travel businesses are struggling with the massively decreased cash flow. By purchasing a gift card, you’re promising yourself to actually do the thing one day and supporting a small travel business. Win-win!

11. Make Pasta with Nanna Nerina

Nanna Nerina, an Italian grandmother, has hosted pasta-making classes for years in her adorable Italian house. The pasta recipe has been in her family for over 150 years! Now she’s taking her famous pasta classes online!

Travel without leaving home to Italy for the night (without actually leaving your house), spend time with the Italian grandmother you wish you had, and get cooking!

Sign up here!

12. Join Wanderful Women

Wanderful Women is one of the leading female-travel groups on the web. Their Facebook group brings together women travelers from around the world.

Now they have an online membership platform that includes a community app, events, workshops, language circles, and more.

This community has been my quarantine obsession and, now that life is slightly more reopened, I find myself constantly returning to Wanderful to connect with other traveling women!

During these crazy times, Wanderful has moved everything online and offering way more value than what you pay for the annual membership. Join in on virtual travel community events, dance classes, language circles, workouts, book clubs, travel trivia, movie nights, happy hours, coffee chats, and more!

This membership really makes travel without leaving home a possibility.

If you’re a creator, like myself, then you can also join their Creator Collective. The price of membership includes educational opportunities to grow your business, virtual open houses, and more.

Membership only opens up a few times a year to ensure the community can really get to know and integrate the new members. If membership isn’t open yet, follow them on Instagram or Facebook to know when they reopen!

Get your Wanderful Women membership here!

13. Tour A Museum Virtually

Many museums are offering virtual tours for patrons. Visit Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Louvre in Paris, British Museum in London, MASP in Sao Paulo, National Palace Museum in Taipei City, and more!

Google “virtual tour {insert museum name}” to see if the museum you had planned to visit is online.

14. Make A Travel-Inspired Drink

I’m not a food and drink travel blogger, but this post might have you thinking twice about my niche because I’m mentioning a lot of edible travel inspiration!

This blog post from Wanderful explores a variety of drinks from around the world. Try out a Sour Cherry from Japan, Dawa from Kenya, and more!

I see a few travel-themed evenings with friends in my future!

As always, please consume responsibility.

15. Play GeoGuesser

If you haven’t played this online game before, prepare to be addicted. It’s the ultimate travel without leaving home game.

GeoGuesser “throws” you into an unknown location and you have to guess where you are in the world!

The game may sound dumb (I thought so when a friend first described it to me) but, trust me, you’ll get addicted fast.

16. Buy a Trip In A Box

This is the item I’m most excited to share with you!

Trip In A Box is a surprise vacation delivered to your doorstep. You fill out a survey so that the team can better understand your travel style and match you with the perfect vacation. You can also choose between a domestic or international vacation, which is perfect right now as we all navigate travel restrictions!

A physical box is shipped to your doorstep that announces your destination. It includes the perfect itinerary for your destination, a magazine describing all the amazing things you’ll be doing at your destination, plus gifts from local businesses!

My favorite part?

The entire business was built with sustainability in mind!

All the recommended businesses are small and locally-owned. The itineraries skip spots with too many tourists and send you to less-touristed, but equally amazing, spots. Everything is printed with plant-based ink and on recycled paper.

Trip In A Box is truly revolutionizing the travel industry by making it easier and cheaper for you to travel sustainably while also enjoying a custom travel experience.

Although we might not be able to travel now, Trip In A Box is still the perfect quarantine activity. The gifts and custom magazine will make you excited about your future trip. You’ll have an entire itinerary already prepared for when you’re ready to travel again. Buy the box now and book the adventure later!

Check out the website here to learn more about this amazing travel product!

17. Print Your Travel Photos

Many travelers dream of a wall filled with pictures from their travels. With Mixtiles, you can.

You can stick and restick the picture frames, so they’re perfect for apartments in case you have to move!

Alternatively, you can make your own photo album with Shutterfly. I made a photo album with Shutterfly as a gift for my grandmother and it turned out beautifully. When I visit her, she loves to listen to my travel stories as we flip through the album.

18. Do Yoga in Beautiful Locations

After years of my doctor telling me to try yoga, I finally began my at-home practice in 2020.

I’ve never attended a formal class and I rarely know exactly what I’m doing. Mostly, I’m cursing as I push deeper into a stretch. And I love it!

Now, a few times a week, some other yogi friends and I video call each other and do Boho Beautiful yoga videos together.

Boho Beautiful yoga videos are great for all levels, are filmed in beautiful locations around the world, and are a great mini-workout and stretch combined in one.

Virtually grab some of your favorite yoga friends, pick out a Boho Beautiful video, and get moving!

19. Attend A Concert

Many musicians, composers, and concert halls are offering virtual concerts and shows.

John Legend had one on Instagram. The Metropolitan Opera hosts virtual concerts on their website. Andrew Lloyd Weber hosts several on Facebook.

Google “virtual concert {insert artist, composer, troupe, or concert here}” to see if there’s one you’d be interested in!

20. Explore Nature to Travel Without Leaving Home

Turns out, it is possible to hike, explore nature, and travel without leaving home! explore.org is the largest network of live cameras in nature. You can hang out with manatees in Florida and swim through kelp forests.

Check it out!

This long list is bound to keep any traveler happy while stuck inside! We might have to find creative solutions to travel without leaving home, but it’s certainly possible. Which one of these will you do next? Comment below!

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