We want to begin by saying we hope you are safe and healthy, wherever you are right now. It seems like the world is changing at an alarming pace. It’s an entirely different world than when our February newsletter went out. As your fellow-travelers, we understand the impact this fast-spreading virus (COVID-19) is having on individuals, businesses and our world at large.
For those of us healthy and safe, quarantine life can begin to take its toll. As a result, we wanted to share some of our tips this month on how to keep your wanderlust satisfied while you’re at home.
Create Scavenger Hunts
This requires a bit of imagination and creativity, but if you have children in the household, it’s an excellent way to keep them occupied. You can do both indoors and outdoors depending on your living space. Here are a few printables to spark some ideas:
We realize some of these are meant to be done while you’re on travel, but we think substitutes can be made around the house/neighborhood/park (if you’re able to go out for nature walks keeping the 6 feet of distance required from others). Also, some are just great to bookmark to use for when we are able to travel again as well!
Do Crossword Puzzles and Word Searches
Sometimes you just want to spend some time alone and crossword puzzles and word searches are a wonderful way to keep your mind sharp, occupied and entertained. These are also excellent ways to keep kids calm and engaged.
- Camping (more Camping)
- U.S. RoadTrip
- U.S Cities and Towns
- USA Today Crossword Puzzles
- New York Times Crossword Puzzles (more NY Times Crossword Puzzle)
- Seven Wonders
Reading a book can feel like a luxury we never have time for. With more time on our hands staying indoors, reading is an excellent way to offer your mind the much-needed escape it so desperately needs. Below is a list of some of our absolute favorite books that will readily carry you to another land:
- Afghanistan – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Africa – The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
- Antarctica – Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of the World’s Most Mysterious Continent by Gabrielle Walker
- Australia – In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
- Burundi – Small Country by Gael Faye
- Denmark – A Year of Living Danishly, by Helen Russell
- Europe – Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
- Everywhere – Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton
- Everywhere – Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers edited by Don George
- Everywhere – The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
- France – A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
- France – The Davinci Code by Dan Brown
- India – Along the Ganges by Ilija Trojanow
- Italy – Inferno by Dan Brown
- Italy – One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Ramprell
- Italy, India, Indonesia – Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Morocco -The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah
- Spain – Origin by Dan Brown
- United Kingdom – The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
- United States – Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
- United States – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- United States – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
- United States – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
But if you’re looking for books that will inspire you with fewer words and more graphics, then here are our top picks:
- 50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do by National Geographic
- Destinations of a Lifetime by National Geographic
- Journeys of a Lifetime by National Geographic
- The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World by Lonely Planet
- The Bucket List by Kath Stathers
- The National Parks by Dayton Duncan
- World’s Best Travel Experiences: 400 Extraordinary Places by National Geographic
Maybe one of the most visual ways to be transported to another place is to see that place. No easier way to do that than to immerse yourself in some amazing travel-themed movies! Here is a list of some of our favorites! We’ve included the corresponding country/region of the world the movie covers to help you pick the perfect one for you!
- Antarctica – Encounters at the End of the World
- Australia – Tracks
- Vienna, Austria – Before Sunrise
- Bruges, Belgium – In Bruges
- Egypt – The English Patient
- Everywhere – The Bucket List
- Paris, France – Before Sunset
- Paris, France – Amelie
- Paris, France – Midnight in Paris
- Greenland, Iceland, Nepal – The Secret Life of Mitty Walters
- Greek Isles, Greece – Before Midnight
- Rome, Italy – Roman Holiday
- Tuscany, Italy – Under the Tuscan Sun
- Lombardy, Italy – Call Me By Your Name
- Italy – The Talented Mr. Ripley
- Tokyo, Japan – Lost in Translation
- Kenya & United Kingdom – Out of Africa
- Oaxaca, Mexico – Y Tu Mamá También
- Singapore – Crazy Rich Asians
- Barcelona, Spain – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
- South America – The Motorcycle Diaries
- Thailand – The Beach
- Los Angeles, USA & English Countryside, UK – The Holiday
- Appalachian Trail, United States – A Walk in the Woods
- Pacific Northwest, United States – Wild
Board games are a great family fun way to spend time together. Did you know there are several classic games that have travel-themed options?
- Ticket to Ride
- Scholastic USA Tin
- Where in the World?
- Who Knows Where?
- Table Topics to Go Road Trip
- Table Topics Travel Topics To Go
- Spark Adventure
Additionally, there are a few travel-themed games that can be played on the many devices we are constantly logged into every day (computer, phones, tablets):
Who doesn’t like a game of charades, right? It’s such a fun and uplifting way to spend hours with the family! Here are some categories to get you started on a round of travel-themed charades.
- Airplane Charades
- Camping Charades
- Modes of Transportation (made up by SN)
- Pick Up Truck
- Hot Air Balloon
- Jet Ski
- Horse Carriage
Whether it’s photos you’ve got lying around from your travels or postcards adorning a drawer somewhere, gather them together and create a collage or two! Here are some ideas we like, but check out Pinterest for a plethora of additional ideas and inspirations!
- Punch holes in each postcard and put them in a binder ring for easy display (example).
- Hang a string on the wall and use clothespins to display photos/postcards (example).
- Find an unused wall in your home and decorate it with photos/postcards from floor to ceiling (example).
- Frame your favorite photos/postcards in a big frame and hang it on the wall or place it against a wall if you want more flexibility to relocate it (example).
- Create a colorful wallpaper backdrop with your postcards (example).
Cook Favorite International Dishes
Eating your favorite dishes from around the world is the most tangible way to be transported back to place. There are a ton of great dishes available online from every cuisine in the world that you could try your hands at. Cooking and baking are also excellent ways to spend quality time together with the family where everyone can be involved in the process.
- Chinese – Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop
- French – Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
- Indian – The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Authentic Flavors and Modern Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker by Archana Mundhe
Indian Fusion – Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family by Priya Krishna
- Italian – Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
- Mexican – Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen by Gonzalo Guzmán and Stacy Adimando
- Mediterranean – The Completed Mediterranean Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen
- Thai – Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home by Pailin Chongchitnant
- Little Bit of Everything – Half Baked Harvest Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard
Online Recipe Resources
Color, Paint or Both
This is not just for kids, but equally calming exercise for adults. It can provide stress relief. Focusing on painting or coloring allows a person’s mind to relax and shifts attention from other things that may be a stress inducer. While coloring is often associated with calmness, painting is associated with sparking creativity. Don’t know what to paint? Grab a postcard, a photo, or a favorite location on Google images and have at it!
Order some coloring books on Amazon (see some of our favorites below) and some painting supplies at Michaels. They are offering curbside pick up for all online orders (they will bring it to your trunk).
- Travel Between the Lines Adult Coloring Book: Inspirational Coloring for Globetrotters and Daydreamers
- Coloring the West: An Adult Coloring Book for Travelers
- Ultimate Travel Coloring Book
- Around The World In 50 Pages
- Splendid Cities: Color Your Way to Calm
- Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined
- Vintage Travel Postcards Coloring Book
- Passport to Imagination
- Wonders of the World Coloring Book
Learn a Language
Learning a new language can be a time-consuming task and being able to practice is key when trying to retain the skill. Therefore, this is a great time to pick up a new language! You can use free tutorials available online like Duolingo or sign up with Rosetta Stone.
Listen to Podcasts
Listening to podcasts can be one of the easiest multi-tasking things you can do during the quarantine. If you need to do some spring cleaning around the house, a podcast can be a great companion. Here are some of the best travel podcasts out there. They are all readily available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and are free!
- Flight of Fancy
- The Thought Card
- The Thoughtful Travel Podcast
- Women Who Travel
- Wild Ideas Worth Living
- Indie Travel Podcast
- Amateur Traveler
- Zero To Travel
- This Week in Travel
- Extra Pack of Peanuts
- Andy Steves Travel Podcast
- On She Goes
- Chronicles Abroad
- As Told by Nomads
- Women on the Road
- The Offbeat Life
- The Globetrotter Lounge
- Travel Diaries
- Armchair Explorer
- The Rough Guide to Everywhere
- Travel with Rick Steves
- The Big Travel Podcast
- We Travel There
Please stay home, please practice social distancing, please stay safe and please think of all those in the front line (especially our healthcare systems around the globe) and give them a fighting chance to treat the ill.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices)
- Novel Coronavirus Map (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html)
- USA Foreign Travel Advisory (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html)
- UK Foreign Travel Advisory (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)
- Canada Foreign Travel Advisory (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories)
Until then, sending you all much love and positive vibes!