In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are finding themselves on lockdown at home. Practising social distancing is so important to help prevent the spread of the virus, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop travelling. We are so lucky to be living in an age where there are ways to travel without leaving the comfort of your couch! From virtual tours to nature livestreams, here are 47 ways you can keep your love of travel alive without leaving the house.
Dream of travel
1. Write a bucket list
We’re probably all dreaming of taking a trip right now, and once we’re able to travel again, there will be a lot of destinations that need tourism. While you’re stuck at home, start a new bucket list or update it if you’ve already got one.
Maybe you love to travel the wonders of the world or discover incredible destinations off the beaten track. You could even get on Instagram to find some beautiful travel pictures for inspiration. Where will you go next?
2. Plan your next trip
While we may not be able to travel, nothing is stopping us from planning to travel. You can start creating your dream itinerary with things you want to see and do and then pick your specific dates once it’s safe to travel again. The anticipation of an adventure is often the best part of the journey, so boost your mood and your love of travel with a spot of planning.
3. Gawk at some of the world’s most beautiful destinations
We love looking at travel photos and videos of the world’s most stunning destinations, and Instagram is definitely the best place to do this. Instagram accounts such as @earthpix and @CondeNastTraveller are great for inspiration.
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4. …. And create a mood board to gather travel inspiration
Make a Pinterest board with all your favourite travel photos and videos to get you excited about your next trip. Or get crafty at home and create your own mood board to look at whenever you need to inspire your love of travel.
5. Discover the world’s most unique stays
While you’re in travel planning mode, have a look at some of the world’s most extraordinary accommodations. From quirky hotels to regal residences, you’re sure to find some travel inspiration for your next special trip… or at least some home decor inspo.
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6. Need to relax? Plan a trip around 2020’s Pantone colour of the year
The colour experts at Pantone chose ‘Classic Blue’ as their 2020 colour of the year, saying that mellow shade will “bring a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit”. If you need some of that peace and tranquillity, take a look at some of our favourite blue destinations where you can see this calming colour in real life.
7. Call up a friend
Do you have any friends or family members who have been on some amazing trips? Give them a call and ask them to share their love of travel with their favourite experiences. You never know what you’ll discover, plus it’s a great way to stay connected with friends and get inspired for your next trip.
8. Find a festival you’d love to attend
The world is filled with weird and wonderful festivals. From throwing tomatoes in Spain to tossing colourful powders in India, you’ll find a festival to inject some brightness into your day.
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9. Camp in your backyard
Spending a night in your tent in your backyard is a great way to have an adventure without leaving your home. Don’t have a backyard or camping gear? Build a pillow fort inside! You’re never too old to make a pillow fort, and there’s nothing better than snuggling up inside with popcorn and a movie.
10. Travel to outer space
Feeling cooped up? Check out some of the biggest sights on Earth that can be seen from space. From massive man-made structures like the ancient pyramids to giant natural wonders like the Himalayas, there are some pretty spectacular places that can be seen from the space stations orbiting the Earth.
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11. Feeling lucky? Spin around Google Earth
Head to Google Earth and click the I’m Feeling Lucky button (fourth icon in the left-hand sidebar). It’ll spin you around the world to a random location. So far we’ve been to a historic monument in Cyprus, a ski area in France, a walking trail in Melbourne, and the Dubai Waterfront. Warning: it gets addictive.
12. Check out the world’s best swimming pools
We’d love to travel to a faraway destination and dive into a pool right now. If you’re dreaming of sunny days and cocktails by the water, get inspired by some of the world’s most beautiful swimming pools.
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13. Start a Google Maps travel list
One of the best things to do on Google Maps is to star (bookmark) all the places you want to go. You can star restaurants, cafes, museums, galleries, markets, bookstores, parks, famous sights… pretty much anything. When you finally get to visit that destination, you’ll have a handy map of all the spots you’ve dreamed of visiting.
14. Plan your next flight through the world’s best airports
A long layover is usually the worst part of travelling, but these days you’d give anything to be in an airport. Prep for your next trip by checking out the world’s most incredible airports. From cinemas and pools to golf courses and ice skating rinks, these airports are full of thrills. If you choose your next flight carefully, you might have your best layover yet.
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15. See how the World Heritage Sites have changed
Another great Google tool, called Heritage on the Edge, allows us to virtually monitor climate change at five of the world’s most precious UNESCO World Heritage sites. The project uses 3D mapping to show how climate change is damaging each monument, including the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, the ancient city of Chan Chan in Peru, Kilwa Kisiwani on Tanzania’s Swahili Coast, the Mosque City of Bagerhat in Bangladesh, and Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
You can explore 50 online exhibits including street view tours, 3D models, quick guides on climate change, and interviews with local professionals on how this affects the local communities.
16. Plan a celebration
With so many events being cancelled to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, we’re sure we’ll all be itching to celebrate life once the pandemic is over. Start planning a weekend away with your friends and family to let loose!
And if you make it through the quarantine with your partner, you’ve probably found a keeper. If a proposal is on the horizon, why not join your love of travel with your love for your partner? Check out the world’s most popular proposal spots for inspiration.
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17. Brush up on your history
It’s a great time to read up on the history of destinations you’d love to travel. It’ll be a surreal feeling once you’re standing in the places you’ve read about, plus our Local Specialists will be sure to add to the experience with insider stories only a local would know.
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18. Learn about a new culture
It’s also a great time to get to know more about the culture of a destination you’re dreaming of visiting. It’ll help you become a more culturally sensitive traveller, plus it’s so enriching to learn about different customs and beliefs around the world.
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Travel from your couch
With most tourist attractions closing their doors to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, a bunch of museums, orchestras and other sites have stepped up to offer virtual tours and live streams. Now you can explore exhibits all over the world without leaving your house. Here are some of the best virtual travel experiences happening now.
19. Watch an opera performance at the Metropolitan Opera, New York
After cancelling upcoming performances, the Met Opera has announced it will stream performances of some of its most iconic shows starting from 16 March – and it’s completely free to the public.
“We’d like to provide some grand opera solace to opera lovers in these extraordinarily difficult times,” said Met General Manager Peter Gelb.
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20. Venture underwater at Boston’s New England Aquarium
Boston’s New England Aquarium is bringing the life of their underwater residents online, with tours, behind-the-scenes access, and scheduled Facebook Live–access to feedings. You can learn all about sharks and stingrays, and even watch Myrtle, the green sea turtle, eat breakfast (she loves broccoli, lettuce and brussels sprouts).
21. Blast a symphony in your bedroom
Symphonies have closed, but rather than cancelling their performances, they’re streaming their shows for free online. The Philharmonie Berlin has opened its digital library of over 600 shows to the public. Use the code BERLINPHIL by March 31 to get 30-day access to the orchestra’s beautiful work.
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is live-streaming performances on Youtube, but if you miss it, you can re-watch the shows later on their Youtube channel.
22. Go to Disneyland
Forget the long lines and huge crowds – now you can visit the Disney Parks on Google Street View. Keep your eyes open for some of your favourite Disney characters. You never know when you might run into Mickey, Donald or Goofy.
23. Watch a dazzling digital art display on Ireland’s Connemara mountains
Finnish light artist Kari Kola has created Savage Beauty, a magical art experience you can now watch in a special online edition. The display has transformed the Connemara mountains into a glittering show of colour and light, with 1,000 pulsing lights spread over five kilometres. It’s the largest site-specific light artwork ever created and you get to experience it right in your living room.
24. Take a virtual tour of the world’s best museums
The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre has its own site, YouVisit, offering a realistic 360-degree tour of the Paris museum. From remains of the Louvre’s Moat to artefacts from the Pharaonic period, this is a great way to explore the world’s most famous museum.
The Rijksmuseum is home to the masters of the Dutch Golden Age like Rembrandt and Vermeer. Take a Google Street View tour of this iconic museum, and you’ll feel like you’re actually wandering the halls.
British Museum, London
Discover the Great Court and see the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies, along with hundreds of artefacts with a virtual tour at this world-famous museum.
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Tour the Guggenheim’s iconic spiral staircase with Google’s Street View feature, then wander the wonderful works of art from the Impressionist to Contemporary eras.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
You can virtually explore the history and archaeology of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage, with 23 rooms filled with ancient treasures.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
If you’ve always wanted to see the works of the French greats like Monet, Gauguin and Cézanne, now you can take a virtual walk through the Musée d’Orsay.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The Van Gogh Museum holds the world’s largest collection of artworks by Vincent Van Gogh, with over 500 drawings, 200 paintings, and over 750 personal letters. Take a Google Street View tour to get an insight into the life of this gifted artist.
Dive into nature
25. See brown bears in Alaska
Katmai National Park & Preserve is home to around 2,000 brown bears. They come to feed on the wild salmon in the rivers in the spring and summer months. It’s prime time to tune in to the park’s livestream that often shows the massive bears catching fish from the churning waters. You might even get to see some adorable bear cubs!
26. See Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is a big bucket list destination for many, but did you know you can see it from the comfort of your house with a livestream? The park is home to nearly half the world’s geysers, and if you wait for around 90 minutes, you’ll get to see the famous Old Faithful erupt.
27. Watch the pandas at Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington D.C.
It doesn’t get much cuter than a giant panda cam. You can watch the Smithsonian’s two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, go about their day on a livestream. They love to play in the trees, roll in the grass and munch on bamboo, and you’ll get to see all the adorable panda action up close.
28. Relax on the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Bring a moment of magic into your day by watching the sunset over the Cliffs of Moher online. The beautiful cliffs are one of Ireland’s most visited tourist attractions, and now you can visit them from the comfort of your home.
29. Meet the Atlantic puffins of Seal Island, Maine
There are thousands of pairs of Atlantic puffins on Seal Island off the coast of Maine. From April to September, you can watch these sweet birds flapping, foraging, feeding and taking care of their babies in a stream that features live video and highlight reels. You might also catch a glimpse of the lives of other seabirds like terns, razorbills and common murres.
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30. Find a new hobby
Travel is an incredible teacher. It pulls you out of your comfort zone and challenges you like never before. But you can also challenge yourself at home. Why not enrol in an online class to learn something new like photography, sewing, painting or even a musical instrument? Now’s your chance to get creative and expand your skills, just like you do when you travel.
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31. Learn a new language
If you’re planning a trip, try learning some of the local language before you go. There are plenty of apps and online classes to help you on your way (DuoLingo is an especially good one), and it’s an invaluable skill you’ll carry for life. It’s also sure to earn you a few extra smiles from locals who appreciate your efforts in speaking their language.
32. Journal about your travels
If you don’t already keep a travel journal, now may be a good time to start one. You can write down all your travel memories and paste in your favourite photos or souvenirs like ticket stubs. It’ll be a wonderful memoir to look back on in years to come.
33. Learn to dance
There are so many incredible dances from all over the world to try. The flaming Flamenco of Spain, the sensual salsa of Cuba, the racy tango of Buenos Aires, the lively samba of Brazil… whichever one you pick, you’re sure to have a blast. Find some tutorials on Youtube and start twirling around your kitchen.
34. Get cooking
Bring the world to your kitchen by recreating your favourite dish from your travels. Maybe you’ve been eyeing some recipes from an international cookbook, or you’d love to try a new dish from somewhere you’ve never been before. You could even cook a meal and eat it off a tray while looking out the window, just like in an aeroplane.
Here’s some food inspiration from some of our favourite foodie destinations.
35. Make your own happy hour
There’s no better time to crack open that bottle of wine you bought on your last trip.
Binge on pop culture
36. Listen to the world’s top music hits
You can search the top 50 hits in each country on Spotify and get a taste of the world’s most popular music right now. Right now we love the funky sounds of Spain and the pop sensations of South Korea.
37. Stream a random radio station
With the Radio Garden project, you can stream a radio station from almost anywhere in the world. You never know what you might find.
38. Read some inspiring travel books
Books have the power to transport us to another time, place, or even somewhere that doesn’t exist. Order books online, download books for your kindle, listen to audiobooks, or even flip through your old travel guides… however you like to read, you’re sure to find a window to another world and spark your love of travel.
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39. Explore our Blue Planet
This real-life nature documentary showcases some breathtaking footage of locations around the world. Plus, who doesn’t love listening to the soothing tones of David Attenborough?
40. Watch Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain was a world-renowned chef, author and beloved explorer. He travelled all over the world to little-known places to learn about food in different cultures. His show offers an incredible insight into dining rituals around the globe, and you’ll likely learn a thing or two about the importance of adventure. It’s a fascinating and moving watch for any avid traveller.
41. Check out some scenic films and discover the real-life locations
The iconic story of the boy named Harry may be set in the wizarding world, but you can find most of the extraordinary film locations in Scotland. Settle in for a Harry Potter marathon to feel the magic of Scotland, with beautiful mountains, lakes, forests and a real-life Hogwarts Express.
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The Star Wars films remind their audience that the story takes place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” But you can see many of the filming locations of our very own planet Earth. Rewatch the series to get inspired by the coast of Ireland, the mountains of Switzerland, the national parks of the US and the desert of Tunisia.
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The Lord of the Rings
Have you ever watched the spectacular scenery in The Lord of the Rings and thought it can’t be real? Well, many of the filming locations of Middle Earth are real and can be found across New Zealand. Expect sweeping fjords, sparkling rivers and enchanting forests.
42. Travel around the world through movies
Watching a movie is a great way to escape to faraway lands while you’re on lockdown. Here are some of our favourite movies that are sure to inspire your love of travel, plus check out the 50 best travel films of all time.
This musical-turned-movie tells the story of a woman preparing for her daughter’s upcoming wedding. Drama follows when her daughter secretly invites three men from her mum’s past to try and meet her real father. You’ll love the gorgeous landscapes of Greece amidst all the singing and dancing.
Based on a real-life story, a woman takes on the Pacific Crest Trail hike after the loss of her mum and the end of her marriage. It’s an incredible tale of adventure on one of the most challenging trails in the world.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Pour yourself a glass of Italian wine as you watch a story about a woman who finds out her husband has been cheating on her. She decides to take a trip to Italy and starts a new life for herself in a small town around the stunning landscapes of Tuscany. What could go wrong?
Watch Leonardo DiCaprio play a young, adventurous backpacker in Thailand who goes in search of a dreamy hidden beach. Once he arrives with his new friends, he finds that life in paradise is way more complicated than it seems.
Get ready for your next trip
43. Stay fit with a home workout
From yoga to cardio-packed routines, there are plenty of workouts you can do at home. Whether you want to take on the beloved hiking trails of Cinque Terre or walk in the footsteps of an ancient community in Tasmania, you’ll need to stay fit for your next adventure.
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44. Discover the latest travel tips and essentials
Prepare for your next trip by stocking up on all the essentials that make travel easier. From new travel apps to the best reusable coffee mugs, there are tons of handy gadgets out there to ignite your love of travel.
45. Perfect your packing technique
Do you use a suitcase or prefer a backpack? Do you fold or roll when you pack your clothes? Now’s the time to settle these age-old travel debates and nail down your perfect packing method. You’ll be ready to go as soon as it’s safe to travel again.
46. Learn some useless travel facts
Impress your friends and family or use them at your next trivia night… we love filling our brains with useless but fascinating travel facts.
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47. Organise your travel photos
If you’re really missing the outside world, take a look back through your travel photos. Now is a great time to organise them all and bring back happy travel memories.
You could even choose your favourites to print off and hang in frames around the house. Every time you look at them, you’ll remember your love of travel, and get excited about the adventures to come!
How are you keeping your love of travel alive without leaving the house? Let us know all your best home travel tips and favourite virtual travel experiences in the comments below.