These are difficult times, not only for those who make a living in the travel industry. With more and more countries issuing severe travel restrictions and some coming to a near standstill as restaurants, bars, shops (thankfully except for grocery stores), schools and local attractions are closed, everybody is impacted by the current Convid-19 coronavirus outbreak in one way or another.
Whether you are actually in self-isolation or had to cancel your travel plans but hopefully still feel healthy, you will likely wonder how to stay active while staying most of the time at home.
There is Netflix, off course but at some point binge watching the latest series and movies might no longer make you excited.
Though nothing beats travelling in my opinion, thankfully there are some really good alternatives to keep you entertained until the situation will turn finally normal again.
Sign up to an online course and learn a new skill
Ever thought you really wanted to get better at something or would like to learn something new?
This is the time to sign up to an online course and make it happen.
Whether you want to learn a new language, improve your photography skills or want to learn more about wine (just an example really for any other interest you might have), there are plenty of online courses available.
For example, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust offers online courses covering various levels of wine knowledge.
The School of Photography offers various online courses and tutorials for every level of knowledge from beginners to advanced photography skills. They also teach courses about Photoshop and Lightroom.
So if you want to learn a new skill or improve on something you really would become better in, I urge you to have a look online for courses.
Get creative with your travel photos
What are you usually doing with all your travel photos? Are they saved somewhere on your laptop but otherwise you are not doing much with them?
In fact, with travel photography mainly digital now printing out travel photos is something that only few continue to do regularly.
Yet there are lots of ways to get creative with your travel photos, both digital and by printing them.
For example, select your favourite photos and have them printed in various sizes. You can actually do this through different online services and you will get them delivered to your door, hence you do not need to head to your local print shop.
Search for ‘printing photos online’ and you will find a lot of opportunities. I definitely recommend to check out offers from local providers (maybe the print shop in your home town offers such a service) to support local businesses.
Once you get the printed photos, get creative displaying them. You can put them in a photo book the old way, or even better display them at home in various styles.
For example, a really easy way is to clip your photos to a string. Or you could make a photo-collage, have them framed and so on.
Cook a meal from your favourite country
Learning more about the local cuisine is one of the big perks of travelling.
Not travelling, you can still bring back memories of places you’ve visited by cooking a meal from your favourite country.
You could even make it a culinary journey around the world, picking different destinations you have been to or that are on your bucket list and cook a meal from that destination.
Personally, it comes handy that I will usually buy a local cookbook when travelling to new destinations. I will definitely getting them out and try a few new dishes over the next few weeks.
Thankfully, if you want to try some international recipes there are also lots of great opportunities to find those online. Sites like allrecipes, real simple or food network are great to find easy to cook international recipes.
Plan your future travels
Now is the time to do research for your next trips.
Even though travelling is not a good idea right now, eventually things will calm down and it will become safe to travel again.
So why not have your next trips penned out for when the time is right to book your next trip.
Continue to read travel magazines and travel blogs to get inspiration.
Put together a bucket list of places to visit once these enduring times are over and start researching what to do, where to stay, where to eat and what local attractions you should attend.
Read travel books
I love to read and travel books are always high up on my list.
They are not only entertaining, you can also learn a lot about far away destinations, different cultures and how to master different situations while travelling.
I have rarely read a travel book without picking up new ideas, new destinations I’d like to visit or better understanding a particular culture or destination.
In addition, it is usually fun to read the stories of other travellers and seeing the world through their eyes.
Go a step further and actually find sites offering great video content and virtual travel experiences.
For example, go to Voyager in Google Earth to tour the world and learn about specific places, nature and cultures around the world. It’s a great tool to plan your next trip or simply getting some inspiration.
If you are interested in art and culture, seek out some of the world’s top museums online. Many offer virtual tours allowing you to see part of their exhibitions from your home.
Travelling virtually is a great new way to plan your future trips while being also a lot of fun.
There are a number of travel apps allowing you to travel virtually. Many of them will still require a VR headset but you will also find offers that you can access through Google Play or Android.
Then there are sites like Fullscreen 360 for which you only need Adobe flash on your PC or laptop.
Do you like these ideas and want to try one or more? Let me know what you did. I’d love to hear what you have accomplished.