What to do when you can’t travel

If you’re like me, when you’re not travelling you are itching to take your next trip. Sadly, everyone experiences their travel being cancelled for more than once. These cancellations can happen for so many different reasons and often these reasons are out of our control. Even though it can be out of our control it doesn’t make it any easier but there are so many things you can do when travel plans are cancelled or when you’re just not travelling.

Here is what I do when I am itching to go travelling:

Edit and sort past travel photos

On my last trip to Europe I took over 10,000 on my iPhone alone, not to mention the photos I took on my camera. I have been home from Europe for almost three months and I still have over 10,000 photos on my iPhone and I haven’t taken any photos off my camera yet…..procrastinating!

I know when I do start going through my photos it will be such good way for my partner and I to relive some of our travel memories, the highs, the lows and the things we have learnt.

Organise and edit your photos

Once I have deleted double ups or photos of the ground (I take soo many accidental photos, it’s ridiculous!) I get to go through the fun process of editing some of my photos. I love to edit photos because it brings the photo to life! Our cameras are never going to be as good as our eyes but editing photos can bring them closer to what we saw and how we felt in the moment.

Tip: My favourite presets to use were created by Helene In Between and The Blonde Abroad

Create photo books

How many times do we take photos and never look at them? We snap a photo, post it on social media and then upload them to a hard drive to never look at them again.

On my last few trips I have started making coffee table books of my favourite photos. It’s great to be able to rotate them and to occasionally flip through the pages or when other people pick them up and we can talk about our travels.

Make a photo book

The process of being able to create the books and to choose the photos that I love or the photos that look great on a page together is such a fun one. If I do this process properly it can take a week or so to finalise the book. I think one of the things I like the most is the anticipation of the book arriving, it’s almost the same anticipation of a trip arriving.

Make a photo book

Tip: I like to use Artifact Uprising so that I can fully customise each page.

Create a scrapbook

Tower of London, Prague train ticket, the Eiffel Tower, Harry Potter Studios, Eurail pass. These are just a fraction of the places that I collected tickets or receipts from.

Make a travel scrapbook

I just love to remember and reminisce on past adventures. On my most recent trip to Europe, I bought a few souvenirs but not many. I couldn’t understand why my bag was getting heavier and heavier, it wasn’t until I got home and sorted through my backpack that I realised just how many tickets and brochures I had collected along the way.

I have maps with exact routes drawn on them, coasters from almost every pub we went to, entrance tickets and public transport tickets that all have an amazing story that goes with them.

Make a travel scrapbook

This is where I can combine my love for stationary (which teacher doesn’t have a love for stationary?) and travel to create the ultimate Europe 2019/2020 scrapbook.

The time spent looking through the bits and pieces you have collected and finding the perfect photos to help create the story, will make it feel like you are revisiting those places.

Tip: When I create scrapbooks I like to buy books that have black pages and use a white pen to add in little anecdotes. The colours of your memories pop out so much more when they are on black pages.

Watch a travel inspired movie or a read a book

There are so many similarities between travel and movies or books. They all allow you to get lost in another world, whether you’re experiencing another culture in a new country or following a character into their world in a book.

There are so many movies that can inspire wanderlust and many books that transport you to another country, even if it’s just for a few hours. When you read a book your imagination really comes into play as you try and picture what the place might look like.

Read a travel book

The Hidden Europe: Explores 25 different countries around Eastern Europe
How not to travel the world: Follows a young English girl on her first travels around the world and all of her hilarious travel mishaps
10 years a nomad: Full of inspirational stories and reasons why we travel

Castaway: Chuck is stranded on an isolated island after a plane crash. He must find a way to survive
Eat Pray Love: After divorce, Elizabeth goes travelling to discover her true self
Wild: Cheryl decides to start a new life by hiking the 1,100 mile long Pacific Crest Trail (this is a great reminder of why we don’t over pack!!)

READ MORE: The Ultimate movies to inspire wanderlust

Recreate meals from your travels

One of the greatest things about travelling is the food! Most countries (or cities) have their own traditional meals. Trying foods – for better or for worse – is such a fun way to get involved in a countries culture. Of course, it doesn’t always go according to plan, some things sound so amazing and when they come out you wonder what the chef was thinking, or you’re sure your high school french has prepared you for this moment and instead of eating lamb you’re snacking on snails.

Recreate your travel meals

Either way, sampling foods is one of the main reasons to travel. Whether you are eating your way through the markets in Bangkok or sampling the fine dining in a hotel restaurant in Lapland, Finland, you are bound to have some great food memories.

Recreate your travel meals

One of my favourite memories of Thailand was taking a cooking class in Chang Mai. It was amazing to have locals help us buy the ingredients from the local market and take it back to their outdoor kitchen and cook some traditional Thai food. Thanks to their cookbooks we were able to take home, Massaman curry is now a staple meal at our house. My partner and I cook the meal together and reminisce on our afternoon at the cooking class.

Recreate your travel meals

Lately, I have had cravings for the Chimney cakes we had in Budapest, the warm Cinnamon Buns in Copenhagen, the dumplings in Poland, the amazing sausages in Germany or the tasty Crepes in Paris. I have been researching some of the best recipes and I can’t wait to try and recreate these at home.

Fuel your wanderlust

Gone are they days of having to buy big expensive travel guides (although I do still love to buy a travel guide!) to fuel your wanderlust.

All the wanderlust you could need is right in your hand (or pocket) as you scroll through Instagram and Pinterest feeds. I find so many ideas for travel destinations that I would never have thought of by scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest. Whenever I am on Pinterest or Instagram I have a notebook (yes I am old school!) where I write down cities and the places to see in these cities.

Since my trip to Lapland and my brief glimpse at the Northern lights, I have become even more obsessed with seeing strong, bright, dancing lights across the sky. I have even followed #NorthernLights on Instagram. Not only is this fueling my wanderlust soo much more, but it is also providing me with insights on the best time and places to see the northern lights (I have decided that from Late February until Early April is the time to see them!)

So not only can you find more places to add to your bucket list but you can also learn about how to get to these places, what to take and the best time to go.

READ MORE: Cesky Krumlov – the cutest town in Europe?

Plan your next trip

Planning travel adventures has to be one of the most exciting things to do. The anticipation builds of what the places are going to look like, what you will do, what you will eat and the adventures you are going to have.

Even if you don’t have a set date of when you will be travelling you can still plan your trip. You can pick the country you will visit, the cities you will see, the hotels you might like to stay in and some of the places you will see or activities you will do.

If you are planning on taking a road trip or visiting a few countries via train you can plan out your route (subject to change of course), how long it will take to get from point A to point B and how long it may take overall.

Plan your next trip

Take this time to create a rough budget and categorise your budget, I always categorise things into accommodation, transport and spending money. On our last trip, I had three separate bank accounts and towards the end of the trip I knew we could stay in a few “luxury” hotels because we still had quite a bit of money in our accommodation account.

READ MORE: The Best Guide to Planning a Trip

Start a travel blog

Most travellers love to talk about their travels and to share the tips and tricks they have learnt along the way. One great way of being able to share your knowledge about budgeting for a trip, tips you have or destination guides is to start a travel blog.

Start a travel blog

When I sit down to right a post I look back at all of the notes I have on a place and the photos I have taken for a couple of hours I get to talk (okay write!) about the amazing adventures I have been on.

For me, travel blogs help me make a rough plan for each city I am visiting or discover a destination I had never thought of. So why not put some of your experiences on…..paper?

Some bloggers who have some amazing resources to help you start your own travel blog:

The Blonde Abroad
Nomadic Matt
Helene in Between
Practical Wanderlust

Travel Virtually

There are so many companies these days that offer services to help us travel from our own home. You can use these live streams or live webcams to transport yourself to a new destination.

Here are a list of virtual travel experiences that will take you all over the globe:

Miami Beaches
San Diego Zoo
Melbourne Zoo
The Australian Ballet
The British Museum
The Northern Lights
The Seattle Symphony
The Museum of Modern Art
Sistine Chapel
Great Wall of China
Buckingham Palace
The Seven Wonders of the World
The Louvre
Great Barrier Reef
At home together concerts
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Borough Market Cooking Classes

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10 thoughts on “What to do when you can’t travel”

  1. Being unable to travel sucks! For the most part, I have been planning future vacations to satisfy my wanderlust and so far it’s working but I’m sure I’ll get bored with that soon – lol!

  2. I love these ideas! I don’t travel a lot, but I can still relate to it — especially the ones about organizing pictures!

    • Even when I’m not travelling a lot I seem to forget about organising my photos but I do love looking back over passed trips and reliving the memories 🙂

  3. This post was really helpful for me. Because of the pandemic, I probably won’t be able to travel this summer and this made me really unmotivated to do a lot of thing. This post really helps.

    • I know what you mean but please don’t get unmotivated! This will pass and when it does we will appreciate being able to travel so much more! Hang in there!!!

  4. I will get to the photo books once I finally get caught up on grading, I’m updating the blog, I’ve planned the summer vacation (keeping fingers crossed), and I’m working on writing a memoir. I just hope that our summer plans to Colorado don’t get cancelled!

    • I know what you mean about catching up on grading! I am a teacher also and it makes doing other things about challenging at times!! My fingers are crossed that you get to go to Colorado.


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