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How to satisfy your travel bug when you can't leave your house

In times of uncertainty, one thing is for sure: travel enthusiasts are travel enthusiasts - no matter if they can currently travel or not. Thus, we know you will keep thinking about your next trip, planning and staying positive about the future. That’s why we at Groupon Travel have brainstormed a bit to give you some ideas on how you can fight the travel bug & stay positive in those difficult times.

 

Update your bucket list

Creating a travel bucket list is a great way to keep track of all the inspirations you get every day and it will feel a little bit like ‘window shopping’ future trips. Your friends talking about a trip they took last year you want to take as well? Put it on your bucket list! Your favourite travel bloggers waxing lyrical about their favourite destination? Put it on your bucket list! You had to cancel a trip due to the current situation? Put it back on your bucket list! For more experienced ‘travel bucket list writers’: try to split your list into travel seasons straight away. As some destinations truly come to life when visited during a special season (for example tulip fields in The Netherlands or whale watching in South Africa) you might want to develop your ‘pro bucket’ list with top destinations to visit that month - this will keep you busy in a good way for a while!

We are aware that we cannot know right now which of those trips will be possible soon or which ones might need to be postponed for another year. But after all, keep in mind: having something to look forward to and planning something is a great way to produce endorphins. And while we're all social distancing: how about setting up a virtual ‘travel plans party’ with your best travel buddies? Enjoy a drink together (with everyone staying on his/her couch of course & ideally with your favourite drink from abroad) and chat through your updated bucket lists. Who knows, you might even be inspired to add an idea or destination to your list!

 

Live vicariously

For many of us, travelling means diving into new cultures, leaving the daily habits and routines behind, absorbing all the new and unknown around us. While you can not physically go on a trip right now, you can still ‘travel with your mind’. Cosy up with a cup of tea & your favourite travel book and let yourself be carried into those foreign worlds through pictures and stories. Immerse yourself: Put on your travel playlist and maybe recreate that street food you once so enjoyed as you 'travel with your mind'. Are you are dreaming about a safari trip? How about watching nature documentaries all day long that will take you into the heart of the Kruger National Park or the plains of the Serengeti?

You were looking so much forward to exploring some stunning cities this spring? We find Google Arts & Culture a fantastic way to go on a virtual museum tour - check it out: https://artsandculture.google.com/?hl=en

While it’s not the same feeling as getting a fresh stamp into your passport, those virtual trips will for sure stimulate those travel urges & maybe even inspire you for more places to visit for ‘real’ once possible again!

 

Learn new skills that will make future trips even more fun

Not being able to take your next trip doesn’t mean you cannot prepare for it! South America is top of your bucket list? How about learning or refreshing your Spanish to allow you to travel even more deeply next time you step foot oversees! Looking at your old travel photos makes you laugh out loud due to their very ‘special’ quality? How about enrolling for an online course to finally improve your photography and filming skills so that your next trip gets documented the way you remember it! Maybe you have been sitting in beautiful remote places in the past with a clear night sky full of stars but with NO idea what those constellations you're admiring are. Now is the time to take an online course or read an educational book so you can impress your travel companion with local knowledge, pointing out what is what next time you are someplace beautiful in this world, completely off-grid, marvelling at the stars. You see: possibilities are endless!

Learning new things allows us to view the world from a fresh perspective - and that’s positively something that lies at the heart travelling.

 

Make travel itineraries for future trips

Are you done with updating your bucket list? Great! Choosing destinations you want to travel to is one thing, but how about making a detailed travel itinerary for your trip? Select the top couple of destinations on your list and start planning your route and budget in detail: where do you want to visit, what should be the focus of your trip (active/mountains or chilling/beach - or all kinds of combinations). Planning longer vacations can often be very time-consuming. Now that you have this time - even if you don’t book any concrete dates yet - you can make sure you are prepared for the point in time when travelling will be safe and possible again. Read your favourite travel blogs for travel route inspirations, research what's off the beaten track, familiarise yourself with activities or special accommodations you could build into your trip (the treehouse hotel you always dreamed of, the surf lessons you could take and touring those remote areas to truly get to know the local life). Creating your travel itinerary now for future trips will not only make those trips even more awesome but also is a pleasant distraction away from all the negative news around right now.

 

Appreciate the trips you have taken in the past - time to create some photo books!

It’s in those crazy and uncertain times, that we start to appreciate much of what we have taken for granted for far too long. Let’s use the current travel hiatus to travel back in time. Do you still remember all the tiny details of the last city break you took? Can you recall the sound of the waves crashing and the feeling of sand under your feet whilst watching the sunset at the beach? What was your favourite song on your last road trip that you just could not stop listening to over and over again? We have so many good travel memories - let’s treat them like little treasures especially in those difficult times.

Creating your travel photo book will help you to better recall your past trips and you will create lasting memories that you can always look back to and that will most certainly cheer you up in difficult times.

 

Create your culinary trip around the world from home

Don’t we all enjoy culinary experiences abroad? The small local restaurants with their traditional flavours, locals inviting you spontaneously on the street to join them for a home-cooked meal, the unusual types of breakfast around the world, freshly cooked food that mirrors the beauty of the country you’re exploring. Those tastes you will remember long after your trip & that will always bring back beautiful travel memories. While you can not travel right now to experience new culinary things, you can recreate them at home. Now is the time for dusting off your cookbooks and start getting creative. How about themed cuisine days that will challenge your creativity: Monday is made for a French coffee & croissant breakfast (with some Edith Piaf music in the background of course), Tuesday is Italian pizza night, Wednesday lunch is for your favourite Pad Thai recipe - you get the idea. And while you are thinking about all your culinary experiences - why not create a travel cookbook in an online doc that you can share with your friends and travel connections from around the globe.

We are aware that nothing will ever replace the act of physical travel to new exciting places around the globe. But don’t underestimate the power of your mind to get you at least half of the way until conditions change and you can finally pack your suitcases again.