8 Ways to scratch the travel itch, without actually traveling

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

As we continue to go through this rough time of quarantine due to COVID-19, I thought I would take a minute to see how we can scratch that travel itch without actually traveling. It's been so rough with all the travel restrictions and things changing daily! But for now, let's scratch that travel itch together:

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1. Read travel blogs/Watch travel vlogs

Well, you're already doing this so great job! One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to browse travel blogs. I'll just click on their destinations page and browse for hours- places I had never thought about going to, places I've always dreamed of, or even places I've already been to compare their experience to mine. It can really transport you to another place when you're reading all the cool things someone else has done when traveling- and it can inspire you to plan your next trip!

Nearly the same as blogs, but of course more visual! These video blogs (VLOGS) can show you a quick glimpse of what a certain city or country is really like. It can quickly help you decide if this is a place you want to learn more about and eventually go visit, or if you'd rather go somewhere else instead.

2. Join online communities

There are lots of websites and Facebook groups that allow you to join a community of travel-loving people! You can share photos, swap stories, or even meet up with travelers around the world. It's a really unique way of staying in touch with traveling the world, even though you're sitting behind your computer screen.

Some awesome Facebook groups like Girls Love Travel offer a great community of women sharing their stories and encouraging one another to travel. Or find one that's specific to a place like Prague Expats- when I was living in Prague, I was able to get the latest news on things happening in the city and make friends from abroad at events.

If you decide you want to move abroad you can join some online communities like Expat.com where you can meet other foreigners who are also living there, join an event, find a home or other services, and so many other things. It really envelops the word "community."

3. Make a bucket list

Even when I'm not traveling, making bucket lists makes me so excited! I start researching a certain part of the world or specific country and get so excited to see it one day. It's also a great way of giving yourself something tangible to try and achieve one day. There really is something so satisfying about crossing things off a list you have- might as well be your bucket list!

It even helps to put a time limit on things, to make them more attainable. So if you know it's not possible for you to do any big trips within the next 6 months, that's fine! Make a bucket list of close weekend trips you could do over the next 6 months. If you know you're able to go on 1-2 vacations this year- awesome. Make a list and then decide!

I always make a list for the upcoming year of places I HAVE to see and places I'd LIKE to see. Basically this means anytime I have an open time to travel, I look up flights and book the cheapest one on my HAVE TO list. That's the beauty of the list- it doesn't have to go in order. You know you want to see all these places, so you might as well just book whichever is cheapest at that time of year.

4. Watch travel movies/TV shows

Now this definitely isn't as accurate as watching a travel vlog from someone without the Hollywood editing and glamour, but it can still help scratch the travel itch for a little bit. Here are a list of some good travel movies/TV shows I can recommend:

  • The Kindness Diaries: a man travels the entire world with no money, just the kindness of strangers

  • Wild: a woman hikes California's Pacific Crest Trail on her own for 3 months

  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: a man's journey all over the world

  • Into the Wild: a man who hiked across North America into the Alaskan wilderness

  • The Way: the pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago Trail in Spain

  • Under the Tuscan Sun: a woman decides to start a new life in Tuscany, Italy

5. Read travel books

You can find completely fictional travel stories or more accurate representations of travel- whatever suits your interest the most. I personally prefer memoirs or books that are at least based on true events that happened to someone. So here is a list of travel books I recommend:

  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: a woman's journey through Italy, India, & Bali

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: a young shepherd's journey from Spain to Egypt

  • Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road by Kate Harris: a woman's journey spending a year cycling the silk road

  • World Walk by Steven Newman: a man who walked his way across 22 countries and 5 continents

  • Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux: a man's voyage from the top to the bottom of Africa

  • Wild: same as described above

6. Reminisce on your old travels

This is actually a lot of fun. You start scrolling through old photos (or in my case, old blog posts too) and you start to remember all the amazing memories. You can picture the exact moment when that photo was taken: where you were, what you were doing, who you were with. It might even spark a story you forgot all about and you can share with family and friends.

You'd be surprised at how fun it can be and how you can get caught up scrolling through all your old pictures. I was just doing it the other day (searching for one photo in particular) and ended up reminiscing on all my old travels for almost 2 hours. It really made me happy and reminded me of all the good times I've had traveling- it made me excited for the next trip!

7. Buy some new travel gear

This might seem crazy- why buy travel things if you can't currently travel? I'll tell you why! 1) It's fun to research items that would be super useful when traveling 2) so when you're able to travel again, you're fully prepared and ready to go! We're all waiting for that world map to turn green again & have any country on our bucket list ticked off- so might as well be ready for whenever that day comes. Check out my travel shop!

8. Start planning your next trip

This is personally my favorite way to scratch the travel itch. Either based on a bucket list item or something I read in someone else's blog, I choose a location and just start researching. It's okay if you don't even have dates of when you're going or even if you can go soon, it's still fun to plan. I have dozens of trips planned that I don't know when exactly I'm going to go- but I just know I will go one day!

For example, for years I have dreamed of going to Iceland. I'm hoping to go soon, but still don't have any official plans for going. But I have had my road trip planned for YEARS. The route of where I'll stop, how many days in each stop, what to see in each stop, and everything in between. I have a google doc & map made with all the information and whenever I see something new I just add it to the list! Every time I look at the document I'm so excited to go- whenever that may be.

You can do the same thing! Create a Google map with all the things you want to see somewhere, or type out a document with a list of things, or even just save inspirational travel pictures! Anything that helps you plan, so when it's time to buy that cheap flight, YOU'RE READY!

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