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Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you need to be stuck in routine.
Sure, we may not be able to physically travel at the moment but there are tons of international experiences we can have right here in our own backyards.
Explore the world through food, art, literature, languages, and more with this list of 49 easy, cheap, and fun ways to travel from home this weekend!
Travel From Home Through Food
1. Explore your own culture and cook a traditional recipe from your home country
2. Try your hand at cooking your favorite dish that you’ve tried abroad. Some that come to mind for me are coco locos from Colombia, tamales from Mexico, and dumplings from Ukraine.
3. Spin a globe or throw a dart at a map. Whatever country it lands on, try your hand at cooking their international dish. (If it lands in the ocean, you’re having seafood for dinner.)
4. Create a new fusion food between your two favorite cuisines, like a Mexican / Japanese sushi roll with Barbacoa beef or Chinese / America spring rolls filled with buffalo chicken dip.
5. Plan an international potluck with your family – have every member in the household cook a dish from a different country and eat your way around the world together.
6. Break routine and skip your local grocery store to visit an international or ethnic supermarket instead. Buy ingredients you’ve never seen or cooked with before and try your hand at a brand new dish (as long as you’re ok with laughing at yourself when you fail).
Travel From Home Through Art
7. Take a virtual museum tour at the top art, science, and cultural museums around the world. You can find a list of many free virtual museum tours here.
8. Draw your self portrait in a few different ways. First, learn about the cultural art styles of your home country and create a self portrait in that style. Then, create one in the traditional art style of your favorite country to visit, and finally, spin that globe again and create a third one in the traditional style of wherever your finger lands.
9. Go for a walk and photograph your neighborhood like you’re a tourist who’s never been there before. Then, caption and share your photos online like you’re showing off an exotic vacation.
10. Order this pretty Lonely Planet travel coloring book and spend some time relaxing and coloring in scenes from the most beautiful places on our planet.
11. Learn how to write your name in five languages with alphabets different from your own, like Arabic, Korean, or Thai. Once you’ve got them down, get creative and turn them into an art piece!
12. What would your house look like if it was built in a different country? Try your hand at drawing your house in different traditional architecture styles of cultures around the world.
Travel From Home Through Literature
13. Explore the world by proxy and follow in the footsteps of great explorers in my eight favorite adventure books that everyone should read in 2020.
14. Have your travel plans been suddenly changed or canceled? Read a book by a famous writer from the country you planned to visit next (or read a book set in it so you can at least visit in your mind). You can get them delivered to your door from Amazon or rent ebooks from your local library.
15. Write your own travel guide for your country and include all your favorite cities, hikes, foods, and cultural tips. Then, add photos, print it, bind it, and put it on your shelf!
Travel From Home Online
16. You don’t need to be an established blogger to share information with travelers in your city. Medium makes it easy for anyone to publish articles and share them immediately – create a profile and write a guide to your hometown for future travelers that visit!
17. Even if you can’t use it right now, you can always buy gift cards for the future. Change up your routine and buy a gift card to an ethnic restaurant in your city you’ve never tried before.
19. Explore Facebook groups and join a travel community in your city like hikers, an outdoors club, day trippers, etc.
20. Read some travel blogs! Whether it’s for destinations you’re planning to visit soon or places you’re only dreaming of at the moment, travel bloggers around the world can really use your support right now.
Travel From Home By Getting Outside
25. Outdoors? Not canceled. Hike somewhere in your home state that you’ve never been before or, better yet, create a top 10 bucket list of hikes for your area and vow to cross them all off before this is over.
26. Make a checklist of outdoor sites you can still see in your state / community and then visit as many as you can. For me, in Ohio, that would include caves, Indian burial mounds, and more. What does it mean for you?
27. Go on safari in your hometown. What would be on the must-see list if an African safari company started operating in your neighborhood or state? Create it, and then go out with your family to see if you can spot it all.
28. Grab your iPhone and create a virtual tour of your home, neighborhood, or city to share with friends and family who can’t come visit anymore.
Travel From Home Through Languages
29. Sign up for a free language app like Duolingo and start learning the basics of the that language you keep putting off.
31. Meet native speakers and help someone learn your language as you study theirs on these free language exchange websites.
Travel From Home Through the Local People
33. Make a new international friends online on these eight websites where you can meet and talk to people around the world for no other reason than just to expand your horizons.
34. Sign up for an international penpal and start an old-school paper-based relationship.
35. Send a letter to that person you’ve been meaning to for years, whether it’s your host family from study abroad in college, a family member who’s made an international move, or a friend you made on vacation in another country that you haven’t seen in years – they’d all be happy to hear from you!
Travel From Home Through TV and Media
36. Visit India through the screen and watch a Bollywood movie (if you’re not sure where to start, this top 20 list will put you on the right track).
37. Watch a movie from an under-represented country in the media, like the top 20 films from Nollywood, Nigeria’s growing movie scene.
38. Create movie lists based on different factors, like a US list with one movie set in each state, or an international list with one set in each country, and then work your way through them.
39. Watch nature documentaries like:
40. Watch true adventure documentaries like:
Travel From Home Through Virtual Travel Planning
41. Just because you can’t travel right now doesn’t mean you can’t make plans for the future! Now is the perfect time to decide exactly where you want to go so when everything blows over you’re prepared to hit the road again. Start with the Country Comparison series to discover which one you should visit next.
42. Create Amazon wishlists for upcoming vacations, dream vacations, or vacations you know you’ll never take but are fun to window shop for anyway, like an imaginary trip to Siberia or the Sahara desert.
44. Then get creative and do the opposite by planning the cheapest one-week vacation you possibly can, with couchsurfing, camping, budget eats, and more.
45. Plan a trip to Antarctica, because why not?
46. Plan a trip through the longest overland route in the world. Where would you stay, what would you see, what foods would you need to try in each country?
47. Plan an around-the-world trip with stops on every continent – where would you go, what would you see, and what would you eat?
48. Plan a road trip to the top sites in your state / province / country. Even if you can’t take it, you can post the route on Medium for future travelers to do!
49. Plan themed walking tours through your city, like a brewery walking tour, a street art walking tour, or eve a donut tour. Publish it on Medium, or keep it safe in a Google doc to do with your friends in the future.
Looking for more interesting travel stories?
Stick around to discover out the most expensive restaurants on every continent, the craziest places where people really live, the man who lives in his Prius, and South America’s deadly suicide showers.
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