An antique styled globe with copper rings around it
Travel Tips

Bitten by the travel bug? How to cure your wanderlust when you can’t travel.

Spread the love

So if you’re anything like me, you’ve well and truly been bitten by the travel bug. You’ve already got the next 10 places you want to visit mentally planned out and will find any excuse to travel. However, what happens when you can’t travel? Maybe due to work commitments or for financial reasons or maybe your country is in total lockdown due to this whole coronavirus situation. How can you cure your wanderlust when you can’t travel?

Last year, I bought a house and while I was super excited about this it meant that I had to tighten my belt a little. I had to cut down the number of holidays I went on to basically zero and when your whole life revolves around traveling this was very hard. So instead, I came up with some new ways to satisfy my wanderlust and travel without leaving home whichI’m finding really useful with everything going on right now! If you need this right now too be sure to keep reading to see how I’m doing this!

*Disclosure* The Travel Fairies are participants in the Amazon Associates program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases but all opinions are our own.

Reading a book while sat on the edge of the river Rhine with buildings on the other bank

Read a travel book

One of the best ways to travel without leaving home is to become an armchair tourist by reading a travel book. Whether this is fiction or non-fiction, reading is a great way to learn more about a different country or place and their culture. Rich descriptions can even make you feel like you’re there yourself. You can check out some of Jessie’s book suggestions here.

Watch a travel film

Similarly to reading a travel book, watching a travel film can also transport you to some extraordinary places (and now you don’t even have to use your imagination!) Films set in beautiful places can really make you feel like you’ve experienced these locations yourself. Some of my favourites are Mamma Mia, Like Father, Wild and 127 Hours and you can check out some of Jessie’s favourites on her post.

A plate of delicious foreign foods

Travel with your stomach

If you’re more of a foodie traveler and love finding unique local dishes why not try to recreate this at home. Find some authentic recipes from around the world and try your hand at a bit of cooking. If you check the world food aisle in your local supermarket they may even have some interesting snacks to try. Failing this, you could always get a takeaway somewhere a little different to where you would normally go. For example, my town has a Jamaican bakery. I’ve yet to go but it’s on my list of places to check out!

Wollaton Hall. A huge historical house with two wings and a central part of the building

Become a tourist in your own town

Exploring your local area (as long as you keep practising social distancing) can be just as exciting as visiting new places. You may even find something you’ve never noticed before when you’re looking at your own town through a tourists eyes. Look at trip advisor, Pinterest or blog posts to find things to do in your area that you may never have thought of before. I live in Nottingham and there are plenty of reasons to check out this city.

Live your life through other people

One of the best things about social media is being able to see and experience wonderful things without being there yourself. Instagram is a great platform for beautiful pictures and videos of the places of your dreams. Follow us on Instagram for our best travel photos although be warned this could have the opposite effect and give you major FOMO (fear of missing out) which leads me onto the next point.

Take a break from social media

If looking at other people’s travel photos makes you want to travel more you could instead take a break from social media. Constantly looking at others perfect curated feed can be bad for your mental health and getting away from it could really help you feel better about your life even without being able to travel. Without seeing those photos you don’t know what your missing so won’t feel so bad about not being there yourself.

Plan a dream holiday

One thing I like to do when I can’t travel is to plan the dream holiday you would never be able to afford. Start researching the trip you’d take if money was no object. Look into all those 5-star resorts and first-class flights and work out how much you need to win on the lottery before you could make it a reality! My dream holiday would probably be staying in an overwater bungalow on a tropical island like Fiji or French Polynesia!

A shot of Machu Picchu ancient city with a mountain in the background

Set a travel goal

If you saw my recent post about setting travel goals, you will know what I’m talking about on this one. Just because you can’t travel right now doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to so you can start planning for when you can. Use this time to start researching the next location you want to visit, when the best time to go is, things to do there and how much money you’ll need for the trip. That way when it’s possible to go you’re already prepared for everything.

Start budgeting for your next trip

Following on from setting your travel goal for the future, you can also start budgeting for it. If you know how much it will cost to get to your next bucket list destination you can start putting money away now. Save up a little each week or month even if it’s only £5-£10 and soon you’ll have a nice little pot to go towards your next trip when you are able to travel again.

A scrapbook with multicoloured sections of different maps in a patchwork pattern on the cover and a black elastic string holding it shut.

Reminisce over past trips

Since it isn’t possible to go to anywhere new, why not take a trip down memory lane instead. Now is the perfect time to have a good look through all your old photographs, souvenirs and random bits and bobs you’ve collected over your travels. You could even try organising these memories in some way. Why not create a kind of travel display wall in your home with box frames filled with things that represent each trip you’ve been on. Or perhaps start your own blog or vlog to document your previous trips. Personally, I like to fill a scrapbook with photographs of my journeys, ticket stubs, maps, receipts and anything else I can get my hands on to remind me of my trips. This really helps me to relive those moments and looking back over those scrapbook pages allows me to keep visiting those places again and again.

Go on tiny, budget trips (if it’s safe to do so)

If all else fails and you need to go away, try to go on budget day trips or weekends away (so long as it is possible and safe to do so) to limit the damage. Short holidays can be done very cheaply if you know how to and using the time you already have off work like weekends means you can travel even if you thought you couldn’t. Check out some of our budget guides for places such as Venice, Dublin, Sydney and Switzerland to get some ideas for how to travel for cheap.

You may also like...


  1. Great list. I am obsessed with travel planning. I think I have my next 5 years of trips planned 🤣. But planning a really good trip takes time so it’s kinda nice when I have a break from traveling so I can plan, enjoy a routine, and it lets me catch up on blogging as long as the break from travel isn’t too long, right?!

  2. Great post. Loved reading it 😊

  3. Loved reading this! Part of the joy in travel is planning, and I’ve been trying to take that in lately. Constant travel isn’t always possible, but taking some time to dream and plan can be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *