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Whether it’s because of a worldwide pandemic, family medical issues or financial reasons, sometimes we find ourselves unable to travel for an indefinite period of time. If you are anything like me, this is usually when the desire to travel hits the hardest! These are the times that I want to travel so badly I can almost taste it! So, how do you scratch that travel itch? What do you do when you can’t travel? Here are 8 tips to satisfy your wanderlust when you are grounded from taking trips.
Tip #1: Do Your Research
One of the best ways I’ve found to curb my inner travel bug is to do some research for future trips. Use this time when you can’t travel to become familiar with all your options so you will be ready to book your next trip when the time comes. For instance, I really want to go on an African safari. So, I’m using my time now when I’m stuck at home to research exactly where in Africa I want to go, lodging and transportation options, available tour companies, and other things I need to know about Africa. Not only will researching future trips satisfy your wanderlust, but it will also put you ahead of the game once you’re free to start traveling again.
Tip #2: Plan a Trip
Another thing you can do when you can’t travel is to plan a trip. Now, I’m not talking about actually booking flights and hotels or anything. But, you can plan out an itinerary, look at possible dates, plot out potential routes, make a list of must-do activities, and get a general game plan in place. Talk with your family during this time and get their input into what you should do on that next trip. Planning, like researching trips, will help you be a step ahead once your circumstances improve and you can begin taking adventures once more. (Want help planning your ultimate dream trip? Get our FREE worksheet that shows you how to take your trip from bucket list to “been there, done that.” See the box at the bottom for details.)
Tip #3: Save Some Money
One of the biggest benefits to not being able to travel is that it allows you to save some money and grow your travel fund. Take advantage of being at home for weeks or months and really conserve those financial resources. Your frugal ways now will pay big dividends in the future! Additionally, if you are grounded because of a widespread crisis, you can save even more money by booking future travel when the cost of airfare and other travel components are extremely low.
Tip #4: Make a Wish List
Another great thing to do when you can’t travel is to make a wish list (or bucket list) of places you want to visit in the future. Write it down on paper. Or, even better, talk to your family and come up with a family wish list. This will get everyone talking about travel. It will also make it easier to plan out future trips. Plus, your family may just surprise you with where they want to go!
Tip #5: Invest in Travel Gear
Many times, we don’t think about buying travel gear until it’s time to go somewhere. Then, we spend a good chunk of our travel budget on things we need for the trip, like new luggage, camping gear, headphones, and other travel necessities. Instead, make the most of the time in between trips and buy needed travel gear. For instance, if you know you will be taking a beach trip in the future, buy your snorkel, beach umbrella, and sand toys now instead of right before you leave. If your family is saving for a trip to Disney World, buy your mouse ears and matching shirts months in advance. Stock up on sunscreen and travel-sized toiletries during routine trips to the grocery store.
Spend excess funds you have while you’re grounded on things you will need when you do get to travel. This will allow you to have more money later to spend while on your trip.
Tip #6: Take Some Day Trips
If the itch to travel is not going away, even after you’ve tried the above tips, then take some small day trips. Explore places in your home town that you’ve never been to. Venture to a neighboring town that you’ve never seen. Pretend you are a tourist visiting your area for the first time. Try out a new restaurant or two. I find that taking some day trips is a great way to cure my wanderlust temporarily. Plus, you never know what gems you will discover that you’ve always missed just because they were close to home!
Tip #7: Dream of Future Trips
One of my favorite things to do is daydream of future trips. Whether I’m actively planning a trip or not, I like to take time to just sit and think about being on a highly anticipated trip. I imagine my family checking into an awesome hotel, going on adventures, and eating in delicious restaurants. Sometimes, I pull up maps or pictures and look at them while dreaming of a particular trip. Daydreaming gets me excited about future trips. It also helps me with planning and researching travel. It allows me to really think about what I want to see and do when we finally get to go to a particular place.
Tip #8: Relive Past Trips
My last tip for curbing the travel bug is to relive past trips. Talk to your family about your favorite memories. Look at photos from those vacations. Put together a photo book for each trip you loved. Pull out your souvenirs and momentos and put them in a shadow box. Write a story based on a favorite trip. However you do it, reliving past trips allows you to transport yourself there all over again. And this can go a long way to satisfying your urge to travel until you can get out there again.
Sometimes in life, for a variety of reasons, we find ourselves stuck at home unable to travel. This can be a difficult time if you are itching to see the world. Hopefully, the above tips will help satisfy your desire to explore until you get the green light to go again. For tips on traveling better, see how to take amazing vacations on any budget and how to travel when you can’t afford it. And until your travel ban is lifted, see how to plan the perfect staycation. Happy travels!
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