This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.Although it’s (hopefully) rare, there are times when you just can’t travel for various reasons. If you are a true wanderlust, had that dream vacation coming up, or just wanted to celebrate a special occasion, not being able to travel can be extremely frustrating. Good news! Lots of times there are ways around obstacles in life, right? This is one of those times. While it isn’t as good as the real thing, this armchair traveling guide is the next best thing!
Armchair Traveling Guide
There are 22 ways to guide you in armchair traveling below including travel-themed ideas for kids, adults, families, and couples. From destinations to activities and products, there is something for everyone!
1 | Take A Virtual Destination Tour
Technology is a great thing and thankfully, we have come a long way with it. So, take advantage of that with virtual tours of the following destinations:
Entrance to Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, The Netherlands (April 2019)
Times Square, NYC (February 2019)
Machu Picchu, Perú (May 2017)
Floralis Genérica, Buenos Aires (March 2019)
Eiffel Tower, Paris (July 2018)
Goðafoss Waterfall, Iceland (October 2018)
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna (December 2018)
Torii Gate-Chureito Pagoda, Japan (November 2019)
Chefchaouen “Blue Pearl”, Morocco (June 2018)
2 | Livestream Destinations
Taking virtual travel to a higher level, many destinations have webcams where you can see what’s going on in real-time. Try these out:
Northern Lights-Manitoba, Canada (seasonal)
The MOON (yes, I’m serious!)
3 | Take a Virtual Library, Museum or Palace Tour
It’s not just the outdoors we can explore virtually, but we can tour the indoors too. Try the following virtual tours of libraries and museums:
4 | Take a Virtual Arts Tour
Staying with indoor tours, one of my favorite places to explore when traveling is opera houses. Here are a few of my favorites you can tour virtually :
Vienna Opera House (December 2018)
For The Family
5 | Virtual Travel with Kids
Take time to assist your kids with armchair traveling. There are plenty of options out there to help them virtually travel or bring travel-themed ideas to them:
Little Passports (a great monthly subscription service for kids ages 3+ to “travel the world”)
6 | Play Travel-Themed Board Games
The olden days of playing board games are olden no more. They have made a huge comeback! Try out these travel-themed games for some family fun:
7 | Put Together a Travel-Themed Puzzle
Also making a comeback in popularity are puzzles. Satisfy your wanderlust by putting together a puzzle of a beautiful destination:
8 | Try Travel-Themed Activity Books
As a way to travel while simultaneously decreasing anxiety and stress, coloring books are great activities for adults. While kids like to color, activity books typically keep their attention longer. 😉 Check out these travel-themed books:
Couples and Individuals
9 | Make Travel-Themed Dinners
Vegan Ramen Bowl at The Fieldhouse in Montana (September 2019)
Food is one of my favorite aspects of traveling. I mean, food is the way to our hearts, is it not? Try out a travel-themed dinner and reminisce about a trip you’ve taken or where you’d like to go next! I will start you out with my own travel-inspired recipe for my favorite Spanish pizza.
Looking for more than just a recipe? Want to learn to cook like an Italian or bake like a champ? These chefs are hosting free online cooking classes (for now).
10 | Travel the World via Cocktails
Left: “Swimming Pool” cocktail in Paris (2018) | Right: Peanut Butter Cup Martini in Montana (2019)
For those who love to try the local drink when they visit a new destination, try these international cocktail recipes.
11 | Virtual Wine Tastings
Red wine tasting on a food tour in Paris (July 2018)
What? Yep! Wine lovers can actually do these virtual wine tastings that come with tasting kits! Don’t worry about traveling to Napa. Bring Napa to you!
12 | Light a Travel-Scented Candle
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. What is a travel scent? Well, that depends on you. It might be the ocean to take you to the beach, lavender to transport you to France, Mediterranean inspired scents or the smell of the great outdoors. Find your favorite scent and connect your sense of smell to your love of travel!
13 | Plan a Travel-Themed Spa Day
Spa at Palace Luzern in Switzerland (August 2016)
*Disclaimer: Significant Other optional. It’s okay if you just need a moment alone..especially if you have kids!
14 | Watch Travel Movies
Once you’ve had that relaxing bubble bath, carry that glass of wine to the bed or the couch and settle in for a great travel movie off this list.
15 | Watch Travel-Themed Netflix Shows
Maybe a movie isn’t exactly what you’re in the mood for. If not, try these Netflix shows to satisfy your wanderlust.
16 | Read Travel-Themed Books
If you are like me, reading is something you love to do but never have the time. Maybe it’s time to start back. Crawl into bed after your movie or TV show is over and wind down before going to sleep with a good travel read.
My personal favorite reads aren’t necessarily travel-themed but are set in London. This hilarious nine-book series is stress-relieving chic-lit. When reading these, I always imagine being in London and all of its sites. Penned by a British author, I enjoy the language and the London way of life.
17 | Read TRAVEL BLOGS!
My blog’s homepage 🙂
While we’re on the subject of reading, please keep reading travel blogs. You achieve several purposes at the same time: fueling your wanderlust, inspiration for planning future travels as well as supporting small businesses. Like mine, so many travel blogs are small businesses. Just by reading our blogs (which costs you nothing), you can help us greatly and we very much appreciate it!
18 | Bring Broadway Home
Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theater in NYC (February 2018)
19 | Learn a New Language
If you can’t currently travel, use the time to learn a new language. If you don’t already have a favorite, start with the language of the next destination you want to visit. No, learning a new language isn’t easy. Yes, it’s extremely useful. No, you don’t have to be fluent to make a difference. Just learning a few words in the language can make a huge difference when traveling not only in terms of helping you out but it’s much appreciated by the locals!
Maybe you already speak another language but you aren’t quite fluent yet. I fall into this category with Spanish. I’m between conversational and fluent and I am constantly learning especially when I’m not traveling.
My personal tips for learning a new language:
- Watch TV in that language
- Listen to music in that language
- Read your daily news source in that language. (Twitter is good for this because you can follow a news source in another language, read the tweet in the foreign language and view its translation to check your progress)
- Read books in that language (if you are far enough along)
- Practice with friends who speak that language
- Constantly think in that language
My favorite language learning apps:
20 | Participate in Virtual Travel Run/Walk Challenges
If you can’t travel, you can still be active with a travel theme. Try these virtual travel fitness challenges. They can be running, walking, biking, swimming, etc and you can complete them at your own pace. You can track your progress along the trail and even see a street view.
Sign up (there is a fee to join a challenge), download the app (iPhone or Android), connect your favorite fitness tracker and your outdoor activity will be recorded. It’s that easy. Once it’s completed, your medal is sent to you!
My Inca Trail Marathon Virtual Challenge t-shirt (April 2020)
I recently completed the Inca Trail marathon through Machu Picchu in Perú. I’m currently waiting on my medal and I even got the shirt (extra purchase). However, if you prefer something different, there is Route 66, Grand Canyon, Great Ocean Road, Appalachian Trail, or create your own!
21 | Drawing Disney
My drawing of Disney’s “Bambi” (2015)
Missing Disney World and wanting to visit? How about trying your hand at Disney animation drawing? I love to draw, had the opportunity to draw at Disney, and have both of mine framed on my wall. If you can’t get to Disney right now, this ultimate guide to Disney animation is the perfect tutorial to complete over 60 drawings at home!
22 | Airbnb Online Experiences
Last, but not least, if none of the above have piqued your interest, try one of Airbnb’s online experiences. For a small fee, you can participate in a number of different activities in many different countries. From family baking experiences to tango lessons in Argentina and snuggling with pets in the USA, there is something for everyone!
Sometimes, due to various reasons, you aren’t able to travel. So when you can’t travel then bring the travel to you! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? I hope you have enjoyed this comprehensive list and have already found an activity to try. Happy armchair traveling!
Have you been armchair traveling somewhere cool? If so, please post it below so we can all “travel” there!
‘Til next time…