Many of us are in a travel limbo of sorts, waiting for the day when we can freely roam the globe again without worry. We want to rebook our canceled trips to Europe or the Caribbean, begin planning our nomadic gap year across Asia, or celebrate a big anniversary or retirement with an African safari or wine romp in Australia.
While a few countries are slowly opening up their borders, many travelers are staying put for the foreseeable future to protect themselves and others, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Now is the time to research different destinations, learn about interesting cultures and languages, and map out your future plans. Remind yourself why you love traveling in the first place. Is it the food, the art, the different weather, the sense of adventure, or the unknown? The good news: there are many ways to travel the globe without ever leaving home—here are 50 to get you started.
Satiate Your Wanderlust
1. Map out where you’ve been and where you’d like to go next with a push-pin travel atlas. Seeing the countries on the wall will inspire you every day.
2. Learn about different foods from around the globe, including creative ice cream desserts.
3. Make a bucket list of all of the pie in the sky destinations that you’d like to visit, alone or with someone you love.
4. Create a vision board—print out colorful images, tack up charts and maps, and write out your hoped-for plans in detail.
5. Write a travel-inspired poem, perhaps drawing inspiration from Walt Whitman, Audre Lorde, Jack Kerouac, Li Bai, Rupi Kaur, John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, or Maya Angelou.
6. Collect postcards from around the world and send your travel anecdotes to friends and family.
7. Read travel blogs and sites.
8. Get engaged in a travel podcast. Zero to Travel; Kellee Edward’s Let’s Go Together; Women on the Road; and REI Co-Op’s Wild Idea’s Worth Living, hosted by Shelby Stranger are all worth a listen.
9. Practice drawing or painting maps, state flowers, global pottery, or birds from around the world.
10. Get a travel magazine subscription (you’ll be supporting print journalism) to read stories and engage yourself in the experiences of travel writers.
It’s Time to Get Creative
11. Learn about art created by black Americans through online museum exhibits, webcams, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
12. Drive-in movie theatres, located across the U.S., are a great way to socially distance with your family and friends.
13. Sample a variety of cheese from Wisconsin and learn about family-centric farming in America’s Dairyland.
14. Order fresh Alaskan fish, caught by the Salmon Sisters. You can talk about their journey around your dining table while enjoying the flavors of The Last Frontier.
15.Bring the culture, food, and scents of Hawaii into your home.
16. Indulge in a special at-home magic show date night with your significant other.
17. Learn a new language through an innovative app that is designed to ratchet up your learning at a manageable pace.
18.Here are the top travel-themed books to read right now.
19. Help kids travel around the world virtually through virtual museum visits, webcams, and Google Arts and Culture. And, if you want to celebrate a special teacher, while e-learning at-home, you can create a candy bento box from Sugarfina.
20. Travel to Australia, Mexico, Scotland, or Ireland through these cocktail recipes that you can make at home.
Think Outside. There is no box.
21. See America’s best idea up-close through Google Earth’s imaging of our National Parks—from Acadia to Zion. And, when you’re ready, book an adventure-filled RV trip through Outdoorsy, which connects RV owners to campers through an easy-to-use platform.
22. If you love ropes courses, zip lines, and mountain biking, here’s the largest aerial adventure park in North America. Bring along a Nixon Hauler backpack, constructed with recycled plastics, to carry sunblock, water, and essentials you’ll need for the day.
23.Here are six great hikes near Chicago to get you outside and under green canopies. Or, go backpacking with your family in tow. Eddie Bauer has everything you’ll need to explore the outdoors, or your backyard, including sleeping bags, outerwear, backpacks, and tents.
24. Exploring Chicago’s architecture, on foot, is a great way to feel the outdoor energy of the city.
25. Horseback riding is a fun way to explore the outdoors, on trails, beaches, and through the woods.
26. The Windy City, Chicago, has many outdoor adventures in and near the city to keep you busy, especially as the weather gets cooler.
27. Stay healthy and fit while on the road or when traveling to your next destination.
28. Learn about the aurora borealis, the northern lights, and where you can go to see them like Finland or Alaska.
29. Learn about Astrotourism and nighttime adventures, perfect for stargazers. Visit a Dark Sky Park, participate in Night Sky programming at National Parks, or celebrate at Nebraska’s Star Party.
30. Try geocaching, a fun family-friendly activity to get you outdoors, no matter what the season.
Give Yourself Space, Peace, and Good Health
31. Learn about the best bookshops for bibliophiles.
32. Have you ever considered training for a half or full marathon? Here are the most scenic routes in America.
33. Slow down and play a board game with your family. Asmodee makes timely games like Catan, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, and Spot It, all available on Amazon. Plus, you can utilize the free print-and-play versions.
34. Feel good about the gear you acquire from Cotopaxi—wind breakers, backpacks, activewear, where for every mask you purchase, they give one to someone in need.
35. Social distance and go kayaking with a portable, lightweight, and streamlined Oru Kayak. It’s foldable!
37. These travel-themed subscription boxes are ideal for gaining exposure to new book titles, adventure gear and supplies, and art from global artisans.
38. Learn about where you can travel with your dog in tow, like Michigan’s Mackinac Island.
39. Research new hiking boots, like affordable styles from Northside, and wear them in before your next adventure in the outdoors.
40. Protect your eyes with oh-so-cool sunglasses from Dragon Alliance, high-quality specs made for the everyday adventurer or the extreme athlete.
Dream of Travel Someday to These Destinations
41. Avant-garde meets traditional in Tokyo and you can find just about any kind of restaurant that you desire, including wild thematic restaurants.
42. Learn about Peru’s Children of the Rainbow, and plan future travel with the help of Abercrombie & Kent’s expert services.
43. Do you love llamas? Consider a future trip to one of these destinations—Peru, Chile, New Zealand, United States—where you’re sure to see one.
44. Read about the Greek sponge divers in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
45. Travel across the country, or through a new one, via train. Amtrak, Rocky Mountaineer, and Alaska Railroad provide indelible experiences in America. Speck Travel makes compact carry-on cases as well as travel backpacks that are ideal for train travel.
46. Dream of Bali, Indonesia’s top tourist destination with active volcanoes, stunning beaches, and a rich culture.
47. Discover Finland’s nature-filled capital, Helsinki, where a third of the city is designated green space.
48. Explore the City of Kings: Lima, Peru.
49. International food markets in Japan, Mexico, England, Israel, and Peru are eye-opening.
50. Canada, The Netherlands, Iceland, Japan, and Costa Rica are ideal for traveling solo.