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What do you do when you have a travel itch that you can’t scratch? What if you want to go on a trip, but – for whatever reason – you can’t travel? We are sharing our best tips for how to scratch that travel itch…even when you can’t get away.
Itching To Travel
Trust us, we’ve been there…we’ve all been there. Even as full-time travelers, there are occasions when we are desperate to travel to a new place, but something is keeping us from getting on a plane.
Time and money – or lack thereof – are two of the greatest travel inhibitors. However, there are many obstacles keeping travelers from taking trips. Family obligations, health concerns and economic uncertainty are travel impediments, too.
How To Cope with The Travel Itch When You Can’t Travel
Whether you are low on funds, can’t take the time off work or have commitments keeping you from traveling, you can use our tips for what to do when you want to travel…but can’t.
Plan Your Next Trip
Planning a trip – regardless of how far in the future it might be – is an excellent way to tame the travel bug. We enjoy every aspect of travel planning – from researching new destinations to delving into the nitty gritty details to booking adventures (we often start on Viator to find popular activities!).
We offer a wealth of resources on our Travel Planning Page that can help you get started with the trip planning process – including tips on booking flights, finding the best places to stay and Packing Tips.
If your biggest hurdle is deciding where in the world to go, start on our Travel Guides Page, where we feature top destinations around the globe. For each country, we share itineraries, lists of things to do, what to eat and more!
Pro Tip: If you are planning for a trip that is a year (or even two!) away, in the meantime you can satiate your travel thirst with short weekend jaunts or by discovering your own city like a tourist. If you are racking your brain for things to do in your hometown, check out the offerings on Viator for ideas…and maybe even book a tour where you will meet fellow travelers!
Save Money for Future Trips
While we are firm believers (and proof!) that you don’t need to be rich to travel, there is no doubt that travel costs money. And, for many people, coming up with the cash for trips is what keeps them from traveling.
To avoid having to ditch a trip due to lack of funds, travelers need to become savers.
There are hundreds of ways to buckle down and save money for travel – from opening a dedicated travel savings account to tracking your spending (which will likely unveil some unnecessary spends!). A fun way to physically watch your travel fund grow is with a decorative Adventure Fund jar. Even if you only fill it with loose change or small bills, it will stand as a reminder of the goal that you are working towards.
Pro Tip: People are often amazed by how little changes in lifestyle can add up to a whole lot of change in your pocket. Before our first year-long trip around the world, we saved for three years. We’ll send you our 25 top tips including the specific details of how we saved – and where we cut costs – when you subscribe to our blog.
Read Books About Travel
There is a saying that by reading a book people can travel without ever moving their feet – and we think there is a lot of truth in that idea! We’ve gotten lost in countries we have never physically visited by opening books and reading about them.
There are heaps of books about travel – in the form of personal stories and tales set in distant lands. Some must-read travel books – like On The Road by Jack Kerouac, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson – are classics that can be read time and again.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and Wild by Cheryl Strayed are also good for armchair travel adventures. Culinary travelers can read about a chef’s search for the world’s perfect meal in the book A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain.
Pro Tip: The book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die is an excellent book for people with the travel itch who are seeking inspiration for new destinations!
Decorate Your Home with Inspiring World Maps
If we walk into a room with map artwork hanging on the wall, we are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. From creative map wall decorations to accurate depictions, world maps ignite our wanderlust. With just one glance at a map, we remember the cities we have visited – and dream of the places we have yet to see.
In fact, whenever we are itching to travel, the first thing we do is look at a map. Whether to simply daydream or to focus on specific routes and destinations, maps are a go-to cure for that itchy travel bug – which is why they make the perfect home decor!
Pro Tip: There are thousands of maps – from artistic portrayals to pushpin maps to detailed wall-sized illustrations – that can be used for home decor. We recommend using World Map Wall Art to find the perfect map wall art for your home!
Make Destination Dinners
We think indulging in local cuisine is an essential part of travel. However, when travel is not possible, we like to bring international cooking into our kitchen.
A tried and true way to appease a travel itch is to feast on international fare. While we may not be able to expertly recreate the famous Vietnamese dishes of Hanoi or master the art of Pintxos from Basque Country in Spain, it doesn’t keep us from trying!
The world’s most popular cuisines – like Italian, Thai and Indian – are likely available at local restaurants…but we think it’s more fun (plus more economical when saving up for a big trip!) to cook meals from around the world at home.
Pro Tip: Need help with where to start? A cookbook, like My Street Food Kitchen, introduces an array of foods from around the globe. The Dirty Dining Adventurer’s Cookbook and Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites Cookbook are also raved about by fellow travelers.
Learn a New Language
Foreign languages are fascinating! A great way to gear up for a trip – or to feel a connection to a place you have visited before – is to learn their language.
To truly master a foreign language will take time and dedication – and a proven educational format. Rosetta Stone is a leader in language learning; they offer bundled sets (Lessons, Grammar Book and Dictionary) in French, Spanish and German – and many others, too!
Travelers interested in learning more than one language, however, will want to purchase the Rosetta Stone Unlimited Lifetime Access to 24 languages.
Pro Tip: Travelers who struggle with learning foreign languages should have a back up plan for the next trip! The Cheetah Language Translator Device can be useful when traveling places where you don’t speak the language.
Watch Movies Filmed in Afar Places
Just like books, movies have the ability to transport people to far flung places and on adventurous journeys. Anyone who is itching to travel can quell the impulse to pack a bag by watching a good travel movie.
There are hundreds – if not thousands – of travel films that span nearly every genre, which practically ensures that there is something for everyone. We have too many favorites to list, but a few that immediately jump to mind are The Way, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and French Kiss.
When it comes to series, the Indian Jones movies are adventurous classics – and the Before series (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight) is a good travel romance trilogy.
Travel documentaries are another good source of solid travel inspiration. A few of our top picks include 180° South, Street Food and No Reservations.
Pro Tip: Amazon Prime Movies – which is part of the basic yearly $99 Prime package – has heaps of travel TV shows, documentaries and movies, too! If you are not already a member, sign up for your free 30-day trial now!
Organize Travel Photos from Previous Trips
One of the best ways to vicariously travel is through your own past trips! If you were smart enough to organize your travel pictures, go ahead and dust off your old travel photo albums and take a trip down memory lane.
On the other hand, if you never quite got around to putting your travel pics in albums or frames (or never even printed them!), now is the time to finally do it! It is easier than ever to get photos printed (just upload them and have them shipped to your house!) and organized into photo albums. You can also turn your favorite pics into canvas wall hangings, posters or coffee mugs.
Pro Tip: Travel photos make the best souvenirs…but only if they are high quality pics! Use the time when you are unable to travel to work on your photo-taking skills – and consider upgrading your camera. We travel with a DSLR Canon Rebel – it’s perfect for beginner photographers and takes excellent pictures!
We Want To Know: What are your best tips for what to do when you can’t travel? Share your top tips in the comments below!
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