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TRAVEL FROM HOME: Top 10 ways to travel without leaving the house!

Top 10 ways to travel from home without leaving the house pinterest imgae

Well friends, it’s been a bit of a garbage fire year for the travel industry. Not only due to the economic impact travel restrictions have had because of the pandemic. But on us frequent travellers who have been stuck at home in lockdown for most of it! But there are still lots of awesome ways to satisfy your wanderlust from the comfort of home, so let’s dive in! Here are my top 10 ways to travel from home without leaving the house.

1) Watch your favourite travel movies   

So many of my best trips have been booked off the back of seeing amazing places in movies. I went to Iceland after seeing, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and Las Vegas for my 30th after watching epic party scenes in movies like, ‘The Hangover’ and ‘What Happens in Vegas’.  

So why not escape for a while and indulge in your favourite movies set in some of your favourite places? Or, compile a list of travel movies you haven’t got round to watching yet and get binge-watching!  

Watching my favourite travel movies is hands down one of my favourite ways to travel from home without leaving the house. ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Into the Wild’ and ‘In Bruges’ are my go-to travel movies if you’re looking for a little inspiration to get your list started.

Woman standing on the edge of a huge waterfall in Iceland with mountains and blue skies behind her

2) Plan your next trip  

I know this seems like a big ask after the number of trips you’ve no doubt had to cancel in the last year but friends, we won’t be in lockdown forever. There will come a time when restrictions are lifted and we can travel freely again.  

So why not start tentatively planning your next trip? Dare I say, luxuriate by allowing yourself to think further than next week! Put a non-committal plan together of where you’d like to go and things you want to do next.  

It doesn’t even have to be a big trip that you plan. It could be shortlisting some potential weekend staycations to book for later in the summer when restrictions are loosened. Some of my favourite staycations have been low-key off-grid getaways in the countryside like in this awesome cabin and treehouse in Wales.  

Planning your next trip will get that wanderlust blood pumping and get you excited to travel again.   

Mel sat in front of a small, off-grid cabin in the woods in Wales

3) Cook national dishes from your favourite countries  

All of us have memories of food that take us back to a certain time and place. For me, whenever I eat crispy spring rolls and Thai red curry, I’m transported back to my time in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I had a cooking lesson there with a local chef and loved it. I even went food shopping with her to a local market to get fresh ingredients so this is a very sensory memory!  

No matter the importance of the memory though, any memory involving food is vivid and sometimes feels more evocative than other types of memories because they’re linked to our senses.

When I think of that time in Thailand, it conjures up feelings I had at the time too. The feeling of freedom as I was part-way through backpacking South East Asia on my own for the first time. Enjoying travelling to places I had never been before and meeting people I never would have met otherwise.  

So next time you’re about to hit ‘Order’ on Uber Eats – don’t! Spend some time preparing and cooking a national dish from one of your favourite countries and let those sweet travel feelings wash over you.  

Mel wearing a blue apron and chef's hat in front of a table of ingredients to make a Thai curry

4) Listen to music from your favourite countries 

Don’t you just love going to another country and listening to all the different sounds and music in the background of the bars and restaurants?  

In the same way that taste evokes travel memories, sound also has the same effect. So next time you want to take a trip down memory lane, play music from a country you have travelled to and enjoy that feeling of nostalgia. This also works really well whilst you’re cooking dishes from other countries too. You get the full sensory experience! 

I also use music to feel closer to a country’s culture even when I’m actually able to travel. I wanted to learn more South Korea when I started getting into K-Pop for instance. If you haven’t experienced K-Pop yet, download any playlist with Jessi or Psy songs. It’s just banger after banger!  

Woman holding headphones and her phone with Spotify on the screen

 5) Read inspiring books about travel  

I find myself doing this a lot after Christmas. I usually get a couple of new travel books from friends and family and I like to sit down after the busy festive season and thumb through my new books for inspiration.  

My favourite travel books are usually from National Geographic and Lonely Planet. The photography is stunning and the tips and tricks inside are second to none. I always feel inspired and want to up my travel photography game when I’ve read one of their coffee table books.

Mel's hand picking a book from a row of travel books on a shelf

6) Watch documentaries from around the world 

Ooo I do love a good documentary! Especially when it’s going behind the scenes of places you’ve never been before, taking you on a journey of exploration you’d love to be part of. With the joys of widescreen HD TVs rivalling modern day cinemas, watching documentaries can make you feel like you’re right there!  

If you’re looking for some interesting travel documentaries, there are tonnes on Netflix for binge-watching, including: ‘Dark Tourist’, ‘Down to Earth with Zac Efron’ and ‘The Kindness Diaries’.  

But hands down my favourite travel documentaries featuring our incredible world are done by David Attenborough. In his latest documentary ‘Perfect Planet’, he takes an awe-inspiring look at life on planet Earth and how humans can be a force for good.

…His documentaries are also a reminder that this man is a national treasure who we must protect at all costs!

I love the way his documentaries make you feel like you’re right in the thick of the action. Whether it’s running alongside some wildebeests in Africa or diving with turtles in the Great Barrier Reef, they’re just candy floss for the travel junkie’s brain.

A dark room with a mountain on the tv screen and someone's feet in the foreground crossed

7) Go on a virtual tour  

With tourism at an all-time low at the moment, tour operators are all jumping on the virtual tour bandwagon. They do seem to have a marmite effect though – people seem to either love them or hate them. I’ve got to say though, I kind of love them! There’s something gratifying about taking a tour from the comfort of your own home in lieu of being able to travel, giving you access to things in real-time. 

You can take a tour of the Louvre in Paris, go on virtual theme park rides at Disney World and even walk the Great Wall of China! Forbes have ranked the world’s 15 Best Virtual tours to take during coronavirus and included links on where you can sign up to the experiences.  

Chester Zoo here in the UK have been doing virtual zoo days since the early days of the pandemic and they’re so good! They cover different animals at specific times in the day and it’s almost like you are getting a private tour from the experts themselves.  

Of course it’s not the same as being there in person and seeing the real thing but it’s one of the greatest alternative ways to travel from home without leaving the house.

The Great Wall of China from the point of view of an archway with a woman wearing a red hoodie and black backpack in the foreground

8) Learn a new language  

One of the greatest ways of connecting with people from another country is by speaking their language. It deepens your connection to their culture and fosters an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language which is so fun to learn.

There are so many cognitive benefits to learning a language as well, including: improved memory, enhanced concentration and better listening skills. What’s more, as we age, being bilingual helps stave off mental ageing and cognitive decline. If that isn’t reason enough to start learning a new language, I don’t know what is!  

You don’t even have to pay for an expensive course or anything. There are plenty of free online resources, videos and apps to help you learn languages right from the comfort of your home.

If you’re looking to learn a new language I highly recommend duolingo. I learned more German from practising on the app 10 minutes a day than I ever did being sat in a classroom for an hour a week.

Duolingo's website homepage.

9) Organise a Zoom chat with friends and family from around the world 

This is not only a good way of staying in touch with friends and family overseas but a great way of keeping your finger on the pulse of what is going on in different places around the world. The kind of stuff you’re not going to get informed about on a top level from the main news sites. Things like, what the general mood is, what people are talking about and what’s going on day-to-day. 

My parents live in Dubai so I get all of the ground level goss on what is going on in the UAE as well my friend Vicky who lives in Mexico and runs Buddy the Traveling Monkey. She’s originally from Florida so when I video call her I get updates on North and South America, which is so interesting! Especially how differently they’re handling the pandemic.

Woman laying on her white bed video calling friends from her laptop.

10) Read Travel blogs (like mine!)   

Ok – cheeky little plug there. But in fairness I did wait until the end of the post 😉  

Travel bloggers have been a bit lost the last year (understandably!). Many have been cautious about continuing to create travel content and have diversified as a result.

So, when I started blogging again at the beginning of the pandemic, I did a poll on Instagram to investigate this. I asked people if they still enjoyed reading/ hearing about faraway destinations. A whopping 81% of people said yes! Which just goes to show how much people use travel blogs as a form of escapism (especially me!).

There’s nothing I love more than sitting down with a brew to catch up with all my favourite travel blogs at the end of each week and get inspired for new adventures. Even if we are in the middle of a pandemic, we can still enjoy travel blogs as a great way to travel from home without leaving the house. 

Pssssst! If you’re looking for more vegan travel blogs to follow, check out these 10 awesome vegan travel bloggers.  

Mel sat on the ground looking up at the camera with a view of Dubai's busy city in the foreground from the top of the Burj Khalifa.

Do you have any ways to travel from home without leaving the house? Let me know in the comments below 😊 

About the author

Hi, I’m Mel! The adventure-seeking vegan travel blogger behind Footsteps on the Globe. On this blog you'll find my latest adventures, travel inspiration as well as tips and tricks on how to be vegan around the world. You don’t have to give up being vegan to follow your travel dreams and I’m here to show you how!