15 tips for travel lovers to cope with the corona quarantine
Where ever you are reading this from, chances are that you’re currently in Coronavirus lockdown mode in your home and feeling stuck. Not exactly the best scenario for travel lovers like you and me, although we just have to be grateful if we’re safe and healthy.
That said, the itch for travelling can become hard to deal with, but luckily there are many ways to find relief, entertainment and inspiration in these crazy times. I have compiled a list of ways you can “travel” anyway through memories, media and the wonder of the world wide web.
This can be a way to make the most of a tough situation whether it is educating yourself or simply passing time, so check out these tips and please share the post with like-minded travel lovers. And feel free to chip-in with your own quarantine-coping tips in the comments below…
1. Cherish your travel memories
If you’re stuck at home without having to go to school or work, you will have extra time for reflection. A good opportunity to “travel back in time” to revisit some of the travel memories you are most fond of.
Think about your favourite family trip, your first journey on your own, the time you were studying abroad or maybe your honeymoon? Take a look through old photo albums, check your memory cards or look for your favourite souvenirs around your home.
This might also be a good time to catch up with friends you met abroad, who are most likely in the same situation as you. Reach out to them through Facebook, write them a long e-mail or give them a call and ask how they’re coping.
2. Try your hand at travel writing
While you’re thinking about past trips and travel adventures, it might be the perfect time to try your hand at travel writing. You can write only for yourself, for your followers on social media, for your own or other people’s blogs or, if you got the skills, even try to sell an article to a newspaper or magazine, although these times might not be the easiest for business.
Writing about a trip or a destination is a great way to re-live your experiences and a good way to have it “stored” for your future self when you might have forgotten many of the interesting details. If you’re feeling poetic, you could even give travel-themed poetry a go.
3. Play ‘put the little man’ on Google Maps
Okay, so you’re stuck, you’re bored and you miss a spontaneous travel adventure. I know exactly who can help you – the little yellow man on Google maps! He can go anywhere anytime with a simple drag-and-drop movement. A “game” my partner and I call “put the little man”.
So, spin the globe and drop that lucky yellow fella somewhere to see where he ends up via the street view mode. Go and have a virtual walk in a random neighbourhood. It’s great fun and it will let you see just how diverse the world is.
4. Let yourself get lost the good old fashioned way
In today’s world of Google maps, the good old printed paper maps are often forgotten in our old backpacks or left deep in the drawers of our desks. Well, time to go look for them and dust off that atlas on the bookshelf, because sometimes these just gives us a different view on the world than we get online.
Let yourself get lost across borders and give the trusty globe a spin and stop it with a swift point of your fingertip. Where’s your next destination?
5. Brush up on your geography with Wikipedia
While the atlas and the globe might give you an overview of the world, it’s time to go deeper. Why not make the most of your extra free time to actually learn something? Just ask your new best friend, Wikipedia.
Boost your knowledge on the world’s capitals, the longest rivers and the tallest mountains – or try to finally memorise those flags. Your travel-themed browsing might just come in handy next time you challenge your friends or family to a game of Trivial Pursuit!
6. Disconnect with travel-themed movies and series
If you’re just looking to kick back and entertain yourself for a few hours, a travel-inspiring movie is your remedy. You might have your favourites lying around on DVD or dare I say… a VHS (look it up if you’re born in this millennium). If not, I’m sure you can find plenty of options on your regular streaming channels.
If you can find it, I’d also recommend the world-circumventing motorcycle documentary series Long Way Round featuring Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman. Top entertainment!
7. Sort out your travel photos
Time to get practical, while still enjoying your travel memories. Why not spend some time sorting out your photo archive? Maybe you still haven’t transferred the photos from your recent trip and maybe it would be good to get your archive categorized by years, countries or themes.
You can also free some space by deleting shots that you’re not happy with or spend time setting up and ordering a printed photo book online – whether for yourself or as a gift for a special occasion.
8. Experience the world through food
Hit the kitchen and travel through the flavours of the world. This might just be the time to experiment with something more exotic than your day-to-day meals. Of course, depending on if you can find the ingredients needed in these days of quarantine.
Skip the takeaway and try making some Indian food yourself, upgrade your Mexican meal from nachos to something more wholesome, learn to make pasta from scratch or look for unique recipes from far-flung corners of the world. There are plenty of Youtube videos and cooking blogs to help you get going.
9. Travel through Youtube
Youtube is not surprisingly one of our best means of “mental teleporting” when we want to travel through the screen. And you can find almost any destination featured either in random clips, vlogs (video logs) or full-on travel documentaries. Honestly, this is the perfect way to combine entertainment with learning about a place, without actually going there.
Most tourist organisations, whether covering countries, regions or cities, have their own Youtube channels with inspiring videos. Just like any big travel media outlet. One example of a channel that makes high-quality videos is the Vagabrothers where you will find hours of inspiration.
10. Learn a language
Why not spend your time in confinement by improving your language skills for future travels? Today, you have almost endless opportunities to do so whether it is through self-studying with your books, taking online courses or like me, by using the Duolingo language-learning app.
I’m trying to improve my Spanish and I’m currently on a 180-day streak of using the app. It’s free to use, although you can pay for upgrades, and it is made like a game which keeps it very motivating and fun to practice. What language do you want to learn?
11. Stock up on travel apps and games
Ohh, what would we do without our mobile phones? They’re lifesavers when it comes to fighting boredom or the urge for travelling. The amount of apps available today is incredible and you can spend a good amount of time researching and downloading your favourites. This is whether you’re looking for practical trip-planning apps or just a bit of fun through games and quizzes.
As for the practical stuff, you can keep track of all your trips with Places Been or research upcoming adventures via Rome2Rio – an app that lets you find means of transport between any destinations around the world. Get help packing for your next journey with PackKing or find some cool people to stay with through the Couchsurfing app.
If you’re just looking for some light entertainment, then check the (now suddenly limited) amount of planes circling the globe at any moment with Flightradar24. Test your knowledge with one of the many travel quizzes available or do some virtual travelling with the Backpacker game.
(I am not associated with any of these apps, they’re simply personal suggestions)
12. Read about travelling
As you can see, we often turn to technology when we’re bored and in need of an inspirational boost, but what better way to spend time (when you finally have it) by reading about other people’s adventures. Now you can finally get around to read those books that have been sitting on your shelf ever since you bought them. Or you might be able to order some new ones online. And what about a trip through your stack of old travel magazines?
I’m personally one to buy books and rarely take my time to read them, but through the years I have made it through some highly entertaining ones, like Tropic of Capricorn by Simon Reeve, The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely, The Wrong Way Home by Peter Moore, Interstate by Julian Sayarer, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and Twitchhiker by Paul Smith, just to mention a few.
(Simply suggestions, I’m not associated with Amazon)
13. Dream away with Instagram
If you’re less of a reader but more visually orientated? Then you already know where to go. Instagram seems like it was designed for travellers and travel bloggers wanting to share their life on the road, including myself.
You can spend hours just browsing through sunsets, waterfalls and close-ups of delicious meals that someone else was enjoying. Or you can go more specific and use Instagram to look for topics you’re interested in. Just search the hashtags and check the latest shots from cities and countries around the world – or spend some time posting your own.
I’d recommend you to follow my friends at WeLeaf who have been travelling the world for years. Last time I checked, they were sleeping in an igloo in Canada!
14. Take your time to actually read travel blogs
Like on Instagram, we often seem to slide, browse and skip our way through media to save time and get straight to the point. Well, now that we finally got more time than normal on our hands, maybe we should actually go deeper and let ourselves get lost in words for a change.
Find your favourite travel blogs, make yourself a cup of coffee (…or a mojito) and just take your time to read some inspiring travel stories and tips. I will, of course, recommend you to start right here at TravelooneyBlog.com, where you will find a ton of tips to Europe. But the options are endless.
Another blog I can recommend is Onceuponasaga.dk, which is written by a fellow Dane who is currently trying to visit every country in the world without flying. As you can imagine, he’s having a bit of a challenging time during this corona crisis.
15. Make lists and start dreaming
I end my list of tips by telling you to do the same. Make lists. This can be a good way to spend a bit of time and get your travel experiences and dreams in order. Make a list of where you’ve been and where you want to go.
Which are your favourite cities? How many of the world’s famous landmarks have you seen? Which European countries have you been visiting and which ones are on your to-travel list? You can also make a list of specific travel dreams you want to fulfil once the world gets back to normal.
Do you wanna go dogsledding in the Swiss Alps? What about whale watching in Tenerife? Or do you dream of exploring the Scottish Highlands by train? Whatever your travel desires are, get them on paper and start dreaming.
For now, stay home and stay safe!
How are you coping with not being able to travel?
Please share your tips in the comments below…