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Due to the global pandemic, travel looks different right now depending on where you're going from/to. Please check for travel restrictions and adhere to all local guidelines before planning a trip to any destination you may read about on this site. Please note: this post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something by clicking the links, I will get a small compensation, at no extra cost to you.

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  • Staycation Idea – Check out Resort Pass, which gives you day passes to resorts so you can use their pool, spa, and fitness center, a great staycation idea!
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    What a strange time for the world right now during this pandemic. I honestly feel like I’m living in a movie with the amount of mass hysteria and panic, but also wholesome, kindness. It’s a crazy mix and while my PhD progress is getting thrown around like it’s a bouncy ball, I’m grateful for the financial stability. I know that isn’t the case for many of us. Nikki from She Saves She Travels has some great tips for handling the financial side of the pandemic. And, check out this cool virtual subscription box to virtually travel with kids — a great addition to homeschooling, when you can’t be out worldschooling. However, just because we’re home, doesn’t mean we can’t experience a little travel! Whether you’re social distancing for the pandemic, looking for staycation ideas, or hunting for travel inspiration, read on for 10 ways to have travel experiences at home!

    at home travel experiences, staycation ideas, virtual travel, social distancing, homeschool ideas, for kids, for families

    2. Virtually explore a National Park

    Google Earth is amazing and now you can walk through US National Parks including Arches, Big Bend, the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Joshua Tree, Virgin Islands, Yosemite, and many more! Click this link to get to the list on Google Earth and play around with it because there is so much more you can do! Try hitting the “voyager” button on the left panel (it looks like a pirate ship wheel) to do things such as virtually visiting Literary Locations in Real Life and learning about the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia. Super cool!

    Yosemite valley



    3. Take a virtual tour of your favorite museum

    If you can’t physically visit museums in person, you can still learn about the art pieces housed there. On the pages linked by Google, click on a piece you’re interested in, then click “street view” to see the piece as it sits in the museum. That makes the virtual experience a little more realistic. Here are some museums that have virtual tours:

    The British Museum (London) – This one is fun and interactive. You can travel through time to see when the pieces were made.

    The Musée d’Orsay (Paris) – While the building is amazing by itself, the beautiful artwork is just as magnificent!

    The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles) – You know I have to shoutout a Los Angeles museum. The Getty is one of LA’s best!

    Van Gogh Painting

    4. Read a travel related book

    I could feel the TV-lovers’ eyes roll through the screen. Yes, you can read a book…especially if you are stuck at home for 2 weeks due to a pandemic. Travel books are a great way to bring more travel into your day to day life from home! Here are some recommendations:

    Little Paris Bookshop                  The Art of Travel                            The Alchemist

                               

    5. Say hi to your favorite animals at the zoo via live cams

    Technology is amazing! Truly, if now is a good time to be socially distancing ourselves. With access to the live cams of many zoos, we can now watch pandas, penguins, koalas, and so much more! Here are some zoos that have live cams:

    San Diego Zoo

    Smithsonian National Zoo

    Houston Zoo

    Goat at zoo
    Saying hi from the San Diego Zoo!

    6. Watch the fish at aquariums with live cams

    Don’t forget about our sea creatures! With live cams, we can say hi to the dolphins, whales, fish, and jellyfish. Here are some aquariums that have live cams:

    Georgia Aquarium – below this live stream of the Ocean Voyager exhibit, you’ll find the other streams

    Aquarium of the Pacific – my absolute favorite aquarium in Long Beach, CA!

    Tennessee Aquarium – loved by the local community in Chattanooga, TN

    Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium



    7. Surround yourself in a fantasy world

    If the news has been getting to you, giving you anxiety, or just stressing you out in general, I have a temporary solution. There is a YouTube channel called Ambient Worlds that has moving pictures and calming music straight out of your favorite fandoms – Harry Potter, Disney, Skyrim, Lord of the Rings, and more! It really relaxes you and makes the perfect background music while you relax or work. Check these out:

    Wakanda from Black Panther

    Jurassic Park

    Rivendell from Lord of the Rings

    Walt Disney World’s Pandora from Avatar

    travel from home

    8. Watch a broadway show from home

    Postpone your NYC dreams by bringing Broadway into your home, right now! Here are some recorded performances that you can stream:

    Springsteen on Broadway – Netflix

    Shrek the Musical – Netflix

    You can also access many more titles like An American in Paris, Kinky Boots, Miss Saigon, and Oklahoma! with BroadwayHD. There is a free 1 week trial, then after it costs $8.99/month.

    Watch Broadway from Home

    9. Cook travel-inspired meals

    Let’s be honest. One reason most people travel (myself included) is for the food. I love Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, you name it! Bring the travel food to you by testing out some new recipes. Here are some of my absolute favorites:

    Frankies (aka the Bombay burrito) – This recipe is to die for. It’s vegetarian and can be made vegan. It has some serious kick and feels straight out of India.

    Homemade Spanish Rice – So you heard there was a pandemic and you bought lots of grains and random canned food…well this is the recipe for you! With only a few ingredients you can make authentic, delicious rice that will last a good while!

    If you need something to pair it with, try this yummy carnitas recipe.

    Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles – Tastes very Thai and so very delicious

    Taco truck food Los Angeles


    10. Plan to explore your own backyard

    Now is the perfect time to plan future exploration of your own state or city! I have a full guide on how to do so – click here for that. I recommend taking the time to research what you can do around you that you haven’t yet. Maybe there’s a National Park (or State Park) within a couple hours drive. Maybe there’s a museum you’ve never been to. Whatever it is, figure it out now so when you can get out and explore, you have an idea of what to do!

    I’ve really been doing my best to explore the top 100 things to do in Georgia during this time including the waterfalls of North Georgia, Jekyll Island, and I’ve even spent a day in Atlanta!

    Last Bookstore

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    at home travel experiences, staycation ideas, virtual travel, social distancing, homeschool ideas, for kids, for families
    10 ways to experience travel from home, staycation ideas, budget travel ideas, social distancing ideas, for kids
    at home travel experiences, 10 things to do at home when bored,
    10 Ways to Travel without Leaving Home, ten travel ideas to bring travel into your quarantine routine

    Stay safe and never stop exploring!

    My Travel Essentials

      • Travel Insurance – Going on an international trip? Don’t forget travel and medical insurance with SafetyWing.
      • Travel Card – If you’re new to travel hacking, fear not! My favorite card for beginners gives you $750 in rewards when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, plus lounge access, 10x points on hotel bookings, and free TSA pre-check!
      • Get Your Guide – Check out Get Your Guide for a one-stop-shop for booking travel activities.
      • Booking.com – This is my favorite hotel search aggregator, specifically for reading reviews. On Booking.com, the reviews can be searched for keywords like WiFi, breakfast, pool, amenities, etc.! So helpful!
      • Anti-pickpocket bag – Worried about having your valuables swiped? PacSafe makes the best travel bags with zippers and straps that lock and with mesh steel enforced fabric.
      • Merino Wool – Where are my chronic over-packers? Merino wool is the material you’ve been looking for. It’s naturally anti-microbial, so you can rewear it…so, less clothes to pack! I’m a fan of WoolX Merino.
      • Give the Gift of Travel – This is the perfect gift for travelers in your life! Tinggly allows you to gift experiences around the world, perfect for birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries.
      • Staycation Idea – Check out Resort Pass, which gives you day passes to resorts so you can use their pool, spa, and fitness center, a great staycation idea!

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    Recent PhD graduate and hyper-planner of Periodic Adventures, my goal is to share travel inspiration, budget tips, detailed guides, and fun travel stories!

    Comments:

    • thanks for the ideas! I’m going to use this social distancing time to research and plan future trips!

      reply...
    • Aunt Rozi

      This is one of the most interesting blog posts you have written. I love the links you have included, particular those for the museums. I hope you will be able to go to France. What are the expectations?

      reply...
    • awesome ideas! just because we can’t physically travel doesn’t mean we can’t pretend and have a staycation travel from home! I was actually planning on putting on the zoo animals live for my son tomorrow, they were supposed to have a field trip so im sure he would enjoy. thanks for this!

      reply...
    • I was watching Season 2 of WestWorld (I know, I’m behind) on the weekend and immediately had to look up where it was filmed so I could visit! So I totally relate to your first point.

      reply...
    • That’s a cool list you have here!

      reply...
    • These are some really unique and fun ideas! I’ve been looking at museum tours but didn’t know about animal cams and National park views. Thanks for sharing!

      reply...
    • Love this! I recently wrote a similar post as I believe that is SO IMPORTANT to stay busy during this time!

      It really is amazing how much the world is offering at the moment to keep us all entertained!

      I didn’t know that you could tour National parks so thanks for sharing that tip!

      I have also been doing a lot of cooking, reading and working on my business 🙂

      reply...

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