11 ways to satisfy your love to travel when you can’t travel

11 ways to satisfy your love to travel when you can’t travel

For those of us who love to travel our next trip is a big event that we look forward to. We plan, save and eagerly await our intended trip, helping us get through the ups and downs of daily life.

But what happens when that reality is taken away and becomes just a travel dream?

There are many reasons beyond our control why our travel plans may be ruined (medical reasons, illness, travel company collapses, bad weather etc.).

However, nobody could have anticipated the invisible enemy that is Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its devastating effect on the travel and tourism business. Suddenly our freedom to travel far and wide was banned and many of us faced the prospect of cancelled trips.

Whilst the safety of ourselves and our families exceeds everything, a cancelled trip or just not knowing when we can travel again can have drastic effects on our mental wellbeing.

Being tied to my desk working from home whilst trying to juggle feeding, entertaining and home-schooling my kids has been challenging!

It’s really reinforced our love to travel and highlighted the fact that our whole family needs the stimulation and adventure that travelling gives us.

Freya (aged 7 years) has many memories and experiences that she talks about all of the time. Even Florence (aged 3 years) keeps asking if we can go back to the hotel from our previous two holidays (a skiing trip to Poland in February and a city break to Dublin in January).

Families Can Travel - We love to travel

If like me, you are struggling to overcome travel envy whilst we can’t travel, then here are some tips to help:

11 ways to satisfy your love to travel when you can’t travel...

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1. Start a travel bucket list

If you love to travel you may already have a travel bucket list but now is the perfect time to review and add to it!

Mine seems endless but includes places like Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Borneo… but also places closer to home like Scotland, the Netherlands, France… oh, the list goes on!

Include both the dream destinations but also the smaller trips that are closer to home and perhaps more realistic for the near future.

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of the paradise beaches and lush jungle that Thailand has to offer? Maybe it’s a hiking holiday in the Tatra Mountains or a city break in Dubrovnik. Dream big and small but capture them all in an app like Evernote or maybe you prefer a traditional notebook?

If you have a creative side, then bullet journals are an innovative way to organize thoughts and plans and also great for the mind.

2. Read travel books for inspiration

I love learning about all things travel!

Reading books and looking at photos of the amazing places on our planet has inspired so much of our travel to date. I see an incredible photo and immediately think I HAVE to go there!

There are plenty of books out there to open your eyes to the world, fuel your wanderlust and give you plenty of inspiration.

Some of our favourites are:

3. Watch travel documentaries

Watching other people who love to travel the world to both popular destinations but also the lesser travelled corners of the earth is truly eye-opening.

Don’t get me wrong, there may be dangerous places that you wouldn’t want to visit but watching others experience is still fascinating.

But for many destinations, watching documentaries will not only make you want to visit but also make you realise that it is possible and may be easier than you thought.

Some of our favourite travel documentaries include:

4. Join Facebook travel groups

Facebook groups are a great place to meet others who love to travel, ask questions and get travel inspiration.

Simply search for them on Facebook and request to join. There are lots of different groups out there for all kinds of travel niches, so be sure to tailor your search to suit.

Family travel is our thing and here are some of our favourite groups:

Families Who Love to Travel – click here

Family Travel Inspiration – click here

Travel Community – click here

5. Start planning your next trip

Now that you’ve fuelled your inspiration and created a bucket list of where you’d love to travel to, start planning your next trip now.

If like us, you like to create your own itinerary and book your own travel, then you know how much time and research goes into the planning stage. If you start now, you’ll be fully prepared and ready to book when you can start travelling again.

Pinterest is my go-to app for all things travel planning. Create a Pinterest board and save itineraries and inspiration from other travellers to it. We have plenty of world travel and country-specific travel boards over on our Families Can Travel Pinterest account.

Travel blogs and YouTube videos provide plenty of detailed information on things to do, how to do them and top recommendations. These can all be pinned to your relevant Pinterest board.

6. Prepare now for safe travel

As lockdown measures start to lift across the world, we’ll gradually start to resume our travel plans. Whilst some things may start to feel a bit more ‘normal’, the world and travel as we knew it will not be the same and hygiene will be more important than ever.

If you’re a lover of lists, add those all-important items to your travel lists now to ensure your next trip keeps you safe and well.

Hand sanitiser, face masks, anti-bacterial wipes and tissues will enable you to practice good hygiene when travelling.

Always check your planned destinations for up-to-date travel information and possible restrictions.

7. Start saving now

When we can’t travel we are unable to spend money on travel, so why not put the money you would have spent aside for your next trip?

Coronavirus has hit economies hard and many have suffered financially. However, some may be experiencing savings from their change of circumstance. Working from home may be saving you money in fuel, public transport or parking costs.

Lockdown restrictions mean that we are spending less on socialising and many kids clubs have been cancelled.

Start keeping a note of any savings and putting aside savings for your next trip.

8. Create photobooks and reminisce over previous trips

Gone are the days when we return from a trip and eagerly wait for our photos to be processed after sending off our disposable cameras.

Digital cameras and phones have made it so much easier to capture the perfect shots but these visual memories often stay on our devices.

Personalised photo books, canvasses and other products make it easy to produce creative keepsakes with your photos.

My girls love getting the photobooks out – we sit and talk about the adventures we’ve had and they remember the stories we tell.

There are lots of companies that make it easy to produce your own customised products. Their websites offer creative templates, layouts and effects to help display your memories in a fun and permanent keepsake that you’ll treasure for years to come.

Take a frugal approach and use Groupon to find deals on photo books of 70% of or more.

9. Appreciate where you’ve been so far

Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have been the places we’ve been and experienced the things we’ve done. Not being able to travel is the perfect opportunity to stop and appreciate our travel experiences so far.

You can simply create a list of everywhere you’ve been, ticking off countries or continents you’ve visited. For those of you who are creative, try documenting your past travels in a bullet journal.

Buy a pin board world map or scratch off world map and make a feature in your home of your travels.

There are plenty to choose from but I’m completely in love with this personalised pin board map which is definitely on my wish list (my husband just doesn’t seem to have taken on board the subtle hints)!

10. Try something different

Even if you can’t go to the usual type of destinations you love to travel to or in your typical style, why not consider something different that you can do?

It took me a while to finally be persuaded to go camping but when we finally did, I actually really enjoyed it and there’s just something fun and exciting about sleeping in a tent that kids absolutely love.

Camping also means that you don’t have to venture too far from home and doesn’t cost a fortune.

If getting on an aeroplane is not possible, then choose to visit destinations in your own country.

Whilst Coronavirus (COVID-19) has restricted our movements, the easing of lockdown measures will favour overnight stays in cottages, campsites and other types of accommodation over travelling abroad.


11. Plan a staycation

When a vacation is off the cards, plan a staycation instead!

Book some time off work and plan a schedule of days out and fun activities close to home.

Love to travel - plan a staycation schedule

Ask yourself whether you really know your local area. I’ve lived where we do all of my life and yet being in lockdown has forced me to explore and there are places I didn’t know existed.

Check out FootPathMap website for all of the local footpaths right on your doorstep. Without even having to step foot in the car, we’ve found some real hidden gems and didn’t see another soul in sight.

Final thoughts...

So many of us love to travel yet the thought of travelling again may seem a distant reality. BUT it will happen again and we’ll look back on this as the experience that made us value our freedom to travel the world even more.

In the meantime, I hope you find some of the tips above useful in overcoming your travel envy and help you prepare for when that time comes when we can embark on our next adventure.

Recommended Resources

When you’re ready to finally book your next trip, here are our top recommended resources:

This is our favourite search engine for booking flights because of their extensive searches and flexibility to search cheapest dates. For more info read our post on how to use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights I love using this site to search and book our accommodation because of their extensive selection and usually find them to be the cheapest. Although Booking.com is normally the cheapest I always compare prices with Hotels.com and occasionally have found them offering a special deal that’s cheaper. For more space or more unusual accommodation try Airbnb. I love the personal interaction you get and the photos and reviews are so genuine and of the actual room or property you will be staying in