Let's be real; Traveling is great! There is nothing like the excitement we feel when we have a trip coming up, we think about all the cool things we are going to do, all the yummy food we are going to eat and all the incredible places we are going to see.
But along with all that excitement comes anxiety. I mean, with all the logistics that go into planning a trip, it can get stressful and, at times, lead to cowering in a corner and crying (I hope that's just not me.)
Anyway, what if traveling without leaving the comfort of your home was possible? Well, with the amazing technological capabilities available and a little imagination, it is! You don't even need to gets dressed. Get your unicorn onesie on and travel the world with these 13 unique ways to travel from home!
Get Creative in the Kitchen
The kitchen is a great place to travel the world. You can get your creative juices flowing. I love to pick really obscure destinations and find recipes. I have cooked foods from Afghanistan, Albania, Jamaica, and more! Here are a few of my favorite websites to find recipes from around the world. Or if you want to find recipes from a specific place, just google search *place name* recipes. The internet is an endless hole of recipes, so pick a place you have always wanted to travel to or a place you have been and start cooking!
- Taste of Home: Authentic Recipes from Around the World: I have made a few recipes from Taste at Home, and every single one has been tasty! Here is a list of 80 international recipes for dishes like German Potato Dumplings, Finnish Pinwheels, Swedish Meatballs, Paella, and more!
- Global Table Adventure: Global Table has a fantastic, and might I say a delicious selection of recipes from around the world! Not only are the recipes tasty, but the pictures are mouth-watering. There are hundreds of recipes to choose from, and you can check out their map to make choosing a destination easier!
- 196 Flavors: 196 flavors was started by two very passionate chefs who have a love for travel and providing unique, authentic, and doable recipes that anyone can make from home. Whether you want to travel to Italy for Homemade Gnocchi, France for Creme Brulee, or Japan for Chicken Teriyaki, there will be a recipe for you! Check out their map!
- Taste Atlas: You won't find recipes at taste atlas. Instead, you will find an overview of foods eaten in different countries all over the world, so if you are dying for some French or Romanian food, you can check out what the local cuisine consists of, find recipes on google and make it yourself!
Take a walk on Google Earth
Take out that ever-growing bucket list of destinations you have and start going through them using Google Earth! You could spend hours traveling right from your bed if you wanted to. See the cherry blossoms in Japan, walk around Versaille in France, or Explore the crystal clear beaches of Croatia. The world is massive, and it's incredible that in today's day and age, we can explore most of it from home!
If you want to take your google earthing to the next level, Map Crunch is a pretty cool tool. You get taken to a random place on google earth and from there you can just explore.
Take a Virtual Vacation to Disneyland or the Beach
Lia and Jeremy Garcia, the duo behind Practical Wanderlust, have put together three incredible virtual adventures: Disneyworld, Universal Studios, and The Beach. They are all pretty great, and I highly recommend taking a day for each one because they are long and will require several hours to complete. The best thing about these trips is that they are magical and nothing goes wrong! Yep, unlike traveling in real life, you don't have to worry about cramped flights, passports, or having enough money because everything is free!
With a series of videos, music, and humor, sit back, relax, and enjoy these trips from the comfort of your home. Plus, Lia will walk you through setting the scene so you will truly feel like you are on vacation.
Get Creative with Alcohol
I don't know about you, but when I am home, I enjoy a cocktail now and again, and I love experimenting. Plus, the cocktail shaker is an excellent arm workout. Anyway, you are probably familiar with the Margarita (Mexico) Daquiri (Cuba) Mimosa (France) and Sangria (Spain). Still, there are so many cocktails out there you probably have never heard of. I mean there is a drink called the Singapore Sling? Now tell me that's not an awesome name for a drink? Excuse me as I head to my bar… I mean kitchen!
Here are a few recipes to get you started. After you master these recipes, you should invite your friends over for a dinner party and show off your new-found drink and food skills. They will love you for it!
- Brit.Co: Around the world in 20 Drinks:
- GirlsvsGlobe: 10 Mocktail recipes from around the world:
- I am Faith Leya: 8 International Cocktail Recipes
Or check out this cocktail recipe book: Around the World in 80 Cocktails.
Get Transported Through Literature
There is nothing like getting lost in a good book. You can travel anywhere your heart desires. When I start a book I get lost in those pages and sometimes hours fly by without me realizing it. Whether you want to travel somewhere you have always dreamed of going, somewhere you have been or to a place that doesn't exist, grab a book and let your imagination wander to far off places.
In case you don't know what to read, here are a few links to help you out!
- Penguin House: Around the world in 32 books
- Geediting: Iconic books set in 150 countries
- A Year of Reading the World
- 50 Travel-Themed Books That Will Inspire Your Next Adventure
Take a Virtual Tour or learn something new with Google Arts and Culture
Google has a fantastic app called Arts & Culture which makes traveling from home 100 times better. Honestly, this is one of the coolest apps out there.
You can take virtual tours of over 2,000 museums, including,
- The British Museums – London
- Musée d'Orsay – Paris
- Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam
- The State Hermitage Museum – St Petersburg
- The Museum of Modern Art – New York City
- Schönbrunn Palace – Vienna
- Museo Botero – Bogota
- Anne Franks House – Amsterdam
Or you can learn about food from around the world:
- TAPAS. A Story of Spanish Food Invention
- A Foodie Tour of Osaka
- How to Make Parmigiano Reggiano
- How to Cook Nigerian Style
- Tour of Toyosu Market
- A Bitesized History of Japanese Food
- A Place at the Royal Table
Or learn the history of the products we use everyday:
- The Hollywood Star that Helped Invent Wifi
- Invention the Wheel: How Getting Around got Easier
- X-ray: A fascinating Discovery that Changed the World
- Euguene Poubelle: Inventor of the Trash Can
- The Amazing Shoemaker: Fairy Tales and Legends
You could spend days getting lost on this app.
Go on A Virtual Walk
For a lazy potato like myself, there are times I want to be locked away from the world, cocooned in my blankets. This happens way more often then it should, but lucky for you, you can get some of that fresh air, virtually, of course! Wind Walk Travel videos on youtube show a city being explored on foot. You don't even see the person filming. It's almost like you are the one walking without any of the movement.
Here is one of their videos, and it just happens to be my hometown!
Another excellent channel is 4k Urban Life. They not only have tons of walking tours, but they also have aerial and nature videos.
Hone your photoshopping skills
Photoshop can be a fun way to travel from home. I mean, check out this. There tons of photoshop tutorials on Youtube if you aren't familiar with the program. I'll admit, there are some pretty bad photoshop pictures out there, but that is the fun of it! It can be something funny you share with your friends, or maybe you want to create something to put up on your wall. There is no limit to your creativity. Also, Skillshare is an excellent site to learn a new skill from, and if you sign up using my link, you get two months free!
Here are a few awesome youtube channels offering Photoshop tutorials
Take your senses on a trip
There is nothing like a smell to bring you back to a destination. A coconut from a trip to Thailand. The sea breeze from a beach in Hawaii. Or Lavender from the fields in France. Candles and incense are an excellent way to take a walk down memory lane. I always have candles stocked up, and I try and buy the ones that remind me of familiar places.
Homesick is a company that strives to make candles that bring the comfort and nostalgia of your favorite places to your home. They have candles with scents from all over the world, including different states, countries, cities, and national parks! Travel from home by taking your senses on a journey.
Try Snacks from Around the World
Snacks are the best! Am I right? Of course, I am! I wouldn't trust someone who doesn't like snacks. Anyway, snacks vary considerably from country to country and even from city to city. There is a fantastic monthly subscription service called Universal Yums. I have received their boxes in the past, and let's just say, I had to stop due to unintentional weight gain, but I plan on starting up again.
Each month you can look forward to receiving a box filled with snacks from a different country. My first country was Russia, and there were these salmon and dill chips that were the best chips I have ever had in my life!
There are different sizes you can choose from. There is The Yum Box (6+ snacks), The Yum Yum Box (12+ snacks), and The Super Yum Box (20+ snacks). Try them out for one month and see what you think. I guarantee you will be eagerly awaiting your boxes delivery every month!
Feel Wanderlusty with Movies
There is nothing like a good film to cure that urgent feeling of adventure. You can travel to places near, far, real and imaginary all from home! There are movies and shows available that can take you anywhere you want to go and can open your mind to new places as well. Here is a list of some of my FAVORITE travel movies.
- Amelie (France): Amelie is a french film about quirky women who makes it her mission to help the people around her and without trying to, ends up helping herself at the same time.
- Crazy Rich Asians (Singapore): After watching Crazy Rich Asians, I almost booked a trip to Singapore. This movie follows Rachel Chu who accompanies her boyfriend Nick Young to Singapore to visit his family for the first time and let's just say they are not what she expected.
- Eat Pray Love (Italy, India, Bali): Based on the popular memoir, newly divorced Liz Gilbert is facing a turning point in her life. Lost confused and trying to figure out what she wants in life, she takes a trip of self-discovery to India, Italy, and Bali where she meets a series of characters that help her along the way.
- My Life in Ruins (Greece): One of my favorite travel movies, My Life in Ruins is about a disillusioned Greek American tour director who feels as though her life has no direction. As she leads a group of hilarious tourists through Greece she opens the group up to the beauty of Greece and finds herself in the process.
- If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (Europe): This movie is a classic! It's about a group of American tourists who take an eighteen-day bus tour through 9 countries in Europe and the characters in this movie will make you smile the entire time.
- EuroTrip (Europe): After a brutal breakup at a highschool graduation party, Ohio teen Scott travels across Europe with his friends to meet his sexy German penpal.
- The Lizzie McGuire Movie (Rome): After making a complete fool of herself at her high school graduation, Lizzie McGuire heads to Rome on a school trip hoping by the time she gets back, people will forget about what happened. What she didn't expect was to meet a sexy pop star and become one herself.
- View from the Top (USA): Donna, a small-town woman with big dreams of being an international flight attendant. She will stop at nothing to make her dreams come true and soon realizes that success is rarely a smooth flight.
- Under the Tuscan Sun (Italy): A woman who finds out her husband is cheating on her takes a trip to Italy and while she is there, decides to impulsively buy a villa in the Tuscan countryside.
- Lost in Translation (Japan): An aging actor is in Tokyo filming a whiskey commercial. He meets a newly married woman and they form an unlikely, but meaningful bond as they explore the colorful city of Tokyo.
- The Bucket List: An unlikely friendship is formed when two men from different walks of life meet at the hospital. They soon realize they both have a few things in common. One of which is having a list of things they want to do before they die. They decide to take a Bucketlist trip together that will take them to France, India, China, Tanzania, Nepal, and the North Pole.
- Letters to Juliet (Italy): While visiting Verona with her busy fiancee Sophie, a young woman visits a wall where the heartbroken leave love notes. She comes across a note written in 1957. Sophie writes to the author of the note which begins a journey for both of them to find the women's long lost lover.
- Midnight in Paris (France): Gil Pender is a novelist and screenwriter visiting Paris with His fiancee and her family. His life is changed during one late-night walk when he meets a series of strange characters who take him back in time to spend a night with some of the Jazz ages most famous icons.
Watch Travel Vlogs
Youtube is a great way to cure that travel bug. There are thousands of videos available to watch that will take you all over the world through sites, food, road trips, and more! It will also give you the inspiration to start planning your next trip. Here are a few travel vlogs that I absolutely love!
- Cup Of TJ: This is an adorable food vlog that takes you to some of the best markets and restaurants in the world. TJ is hilarious and it won't take long to fall in love with her bubbly personality.
- Hey Nadine: This is one of the most popular travel vlogs on Youtube. Nadine's channel is packed with tips, guides, advice, and a sense of humor that will make you chuckle. If you want to get some wanderlust inspiration Hey Nadine is a great channel to watch.
- Allison Anderson: If you are looking for a dreamy vlog to take you away from your everyday responsibilities, Alison Anderson has you covered. With a focus on solo travel, she gives great tips and accompanies most of her videos with a blog post.
- Food and Footprints: Don't watch this vlog hungry because your mouth will water. Food and Footprints are run by Greg and Jumi, a couple who travel the world sampling local food and well…vlogging about it. Your stomach will grumble while watching their videos.
- Mark Wiens: Another great food vlog is run by Mark Wiens who takes viewers on a delicious journey trying street food from around the world.
- Drew Binsky: With a goal to visit every country in the world, Drew Binsky gained internet fame through his unique videos showcasing what local life is like around the world. If you have ever doubted the good in humanity his videos will put a smile on your face.
- PsychoTraveller: Aly is a hilarious Brit who vlogs about all sorts of things. What really makes her stand out from the rest is that she talks about very personal aspects of being a digital nomad and vlogger.
Take A Virtual Class
An awesome way to travel from home is by taking a class! There are so many to choose from whether you want to take a cooking class, learn a cool new skill or even take a virtual tour with a local through their city (Tour Prague with a Plague Doctor) you will be able to travel the world from home with these websites offering fun classes & experiences.
- Airbnb Experiences Online: I have taken a number of classes on my travels from Airbnb and none of them have disappointed. What I love about them is that anyone can sign up and offer a class. It's a great opportunity to meet locals and experience a city's culture through food, crafts, music, stories, and more! There are hundreds of online experiences to choose from and it's a great way to support the locals you are taking the class from and the best part is, you don't have to leave your home!
- Viator Online: Viator is another great company that has started offering online tours and classes. You can take a cooking class, go on a virtual safari, learn a traditional dance, discover a city's hidden gems, and more!
- Nonna Live: Grandma's tend to know just the right food to make that comforts us and gives us that feel-good fuzzy feeling inside. Nonna Nerina is the pasta-making comfort food nanna you never thought you needed. Originally offering her pasta making classes in person, her daughter got her set up so she could start offering classes online. If you have ever wanted to learn how to make pasta from a pro, take a class with Nonna Nerina!
Have a Country Themed Night
This is my favorite thing to do when I can't travel. I pick a country I want to visit and put together an amazing night filled with food, movies, music, and dancing! A couple of fun ideas:
- Start the night dressed up in your Dirndl or Lederhosen
- Grab a pint of your favorite German beer
- Learn some German drinking songs
- Make Homemade Pretzels with Beer Cheese Spread
- watch a couple of German movies
- Cook a traditional German meal of Schnitzel, Red Cabbage, Potato Dumplings and Apple Cake
- Learn a traditional German Dance
- Watch a slideshow of places in Germany
- Learn some German phrases
- set the mood by playing some traditional Japanese music
- light a Cherry Blossom scented candle
- Learn the art of Origami
- make yourself a piping hot bowl of Miso Soup and Onigari Rice Balls
- Warm-up with some green tea and learn all about Japanese tea ceremonies
- Watch some Anime or a Japanese film
- Learn how to make Sushi
There are so many different & creative ways to bring travel into your home. This is a great opportunity to try out your amazing cooking and cocktail making skills or gather a group of friends and make it a party and potluck. Whatever you decide to do and wherever you decide to go will be a “trip” to remember.
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Helpful Travel Resources
Book your Flight: Check out Skyscanner and Momondo! They can have great deals. Airfarewatchdog is also a favorite of mine. I get notified by email every time there is a good deal from my local airport.
Book your Transportation: Wanderu is usually where I check first. They check hundreds of different transportation companies all over the world and find you either the best bus or train deal. Flixbus is one of my favorite cheap options for Europe. The buses generally aren't too bad and they go to most countries around Europe. It's the perfect option for short distances. Train travel is my favorite mode of transportation and I always use Rail Europe to book my tickets. The Eurail pass makes Europe train travel super affordable.
Book your Accommodation: On a budget and looking for cheap accommodation? Hostelworld is my preferred site to book cheap and reliable hostels. Hotels Combined compares hundreds of sites to give you the cheapest hotel deal. If I know the hotel I want to stay at, This is the site I generally use. Hotwire has a fun mystery to it. It's a great site to use for last-minute bookings. They don't actually tell you the name of the hotel when you are browsing. You will just get the area of the city it's in, the price, and how many stars it has. I love the surprise aspect of it!
Book your Travel Insurance: Getting travel insurance is such a crucial part of preparing for a trip. You never know what could happen and why take the risk? Before I travel anywhere I always book my insurance through World Nomads.
Book your Activities: Now, you have planned all the logistics time to think about what you will do once you get to your destination! These are a few of my favorite trip planning sites. I always use Viator when I am looking for tours. I have booked cooking classes, day tours and so much more through them and absolutely love the immense selection they offer in cities all over the world! Pinterest is great to get travel inspiration and plan an upcoming trip or share inspo with friends and family. I use Trip Advisor to plan itineraries for what I want to see & do in each city. I also use them to read reviews on restaurants and hotels too.
Store Your Luggage: Do you have a long layover or a late flight and need to store your luggage? Luggage Hero has got you covered. You can book luggage storage in more than 35 cities worldwide for as little as $1 an hour or $8 for the day.