Staying at home during these frightening times is essential not only for your own sake but also to protect the people you love who might be at risk.
But instead of hating this whole situation, think about all the opportunities it gives you and all the free time you now have at your fingertips!
Being positive and optimistic is super important when it comes to staying healthy and sane during social isolation, so make an effort to find something good in every day when you are stuck at home.
To make this easier, I’ve put together a list of 18 travel-related things to do at home during a lockdown. If you can’t decide what to do when bored, choose something from this list and make the most of your solitude time.
This too shall pass. (Persian saying)
All this craziness will go away eventually and we’ll be able to travel again and live our life to the fullest!
So why not use this time to prepare for your next trip, no matter if it’s a few months from now or next year? The more time you have to prepare, the better travel experience you will have in the end!
Without further ado, here is my answer to what to do at home to prepare for your future trip!
18 Things To Do At Home When Bored On Lockdown
1. Look for new destinations
Pinterest is a great place to inspire yourself for future traveling!
You probably already have some kind of list on your mind of places you’ve always wanted to visit. For some, it includes Paris and Rome, for others maybe Everest or Machu Picchu. Whatever is on yours, I can guarantee that there are many more amazing places in the world you may have never even heard of. This is a great time to explore your options and find some new inspiration!
It might be a good idea to create your own board and pin all your findings for future reference. So when the time comes to travel again, you will have all the info about your dream destinations in one place!
You can also check out my Pinterest boards where I save the most inspiring places to visit and beautiful imagery from different parts of the planet.
Of course, Pinterest is not the only place to look for inspiration – it’s just my favorite visual one. You can also read blog posts, watch youtube videos and travel TV shows, browse physical travel guides or simply google what the best destinations are. One way or another, you might find some new cities you’ve never considered before.
2. Shop online for travel essentials
When you are stuck at home and all the local malls are closed, online shopping comes to the rescue!
There are some things which are useful for every trip – you most likely know about them, but never have time to find and buy them until you’re already on the way and face some trouble that could have been avoided.
Well, now is a great time for these!
Here are some essentials that I find very useful in my travels:
- Universal travel adapter
- Fast dry microfiber towel
- Collapsible Water Bottle
- Powerbank (look for 20000 mAh or more if you have many devices)
- E-reader (I don’t go anywhere without my Kindle!)
- Dual-SIM smartphone (I’m a Samsung fan, but any dual-sim smartphone will work – very useful if you need to buy a local SIM and keep using your usual one)
- Luggage scale
- Airplane set (eye mask, earplugs, blanket, and pillow – makes a huge comfort difference!)
- Carry-on bottle set
3. Research and plan your itinerary
When you got inspired enough and decided on your next destination, it’s time to plan the itinerary!
Now you can go back to your specific pins or bookmarks folder and start creating the plan for your journey. To make it easier try to search on Google or Pinterest something like ‘Denmark one week itinerary’, replacing the query with your preferred destination and trip length.
Many travel bloggers share their full well-researched and tested itineraries, so you can minimize your planning time and make a good use of someone else’s effort.
4. Learn a language
Of course, you don’t have to learn every language in the world just for the sake of traveling. But it’s always useful to know a handful of phrases like ‘Hello’, ‘Bye’, ‘Thank you’, ‘How are you?’ and other daily-used ones. Locals are usually more welcoming when you show some effort to speak their language! Even simple phrases may come in handy, open some new doors for you and/or enhance your overall travel experience.
In my opinion, learning a foreign language is one of the most fun activities at home if you do it right!
There are plenty of apps these days that help you learn a new language. I used to learn with Duolingo as it’s very popular and has a lot of languages for you to choose from. Currently, I’m learning Spanish and use Quizlet for vocabulary training, SpanishPod101 for podcasts and Babbel for lessons (you get a free month to your subscription if you sign up using this link!). I also had a good experience with Fluencia. If you prefer one-on-one online lessons with a real teacher, italki is a good place to find one.
Other than apps, Youtube has a lot of channels dedicated to one language or another – you can choose the teacher you like for the language you need! Another option is to enroll in some language course if you are serious about studying (more on course platforms below)!
Honestly, when it comes to learning a new language, opportunities are everywhere!
5. Buy some specific clothes
Depending on your potential destinations, you might need to purchase some clothing items that are not yet in your wardrobe.
Let’s say you want to go to some Asian countries. As most of them are very religious, it might be a good idea not to wear shorts and cropped tops all the time (or at all!), and also have something to cover your head if you plan on entering any temples. Consider getting a couple of flowy maxi dresses or coverall jumpsuits that cover your knees and shoulders and keep you cool no matter how hot it is. Jumpsuits are also great if you are planning to go on a safari!
Do your research first to learn about specific rules and advice on what to wear for countries on your list!
For less strict countries you might just want to find a new look to feel your best during the trip. Should you decide to escape to a beautiful tropical island, don’t forget to pack a nice swimsuit (or a couple!). A pair of cute leggings is absolutely essential for a yoga retreat.
In any case, check the climate and the weather and make sure you pack the right things! Moreover, consider your potential luggage restrictions before buying too much stuff.
6. Improve your photography skills
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t take pictures nowadays. Except maybe my grandma who still uses an old mobile phone that doesn’t have a touchscreen. Or colors. But enough about that, I’m sure you’re not like her anyway.
The cool thing is that these days you don’t need to own an expensive DSLR anymore to make nice photos! There are lots of thorough guides and courses on mobile photography that will teach you how to make the most of your smartphone camera. Believe it or not, a lot of famous Instagrammers take most of their pictures on their iPhones! And in some cases, you’d never guess.
As for selfies and food photos, your smartphone is your friend. But don’t just use auto settings! Learn a bit about what you can achieve with your Pro mode – you’ll be surprised!
Whatever device you have, now is a great time to explore its abilities a little further!
7. Read a book about your dream destination
I’m not talking travel guides here.
No matter which country you might wanna visit, it most likely has a unique culture that is somewhat different from what you are used to.
For me, reading will always make the top of the list of fun things to do at home – quarantine or no quarantine.
If Great Britain is on my mind… Well, British literature is quite rich in world-famous authors. From George Orwell and Jane Austen to Neil Gaiman and my favorite Jojo Moyes, when it comes to English writers you are never out of great things to read.
…Okay, okay, who am I kidding. If I need some England for my bedtime reading, I’ll probably just grab a Harry Potter book for the twentieth time.
But I think you get it, right? Try to immerse yourself into your dream destination, even if it’s only in your imagination for now. Fiction or not, snuggling up under a blanket with an interesting book is always a good idea.
8. Learn a recipe
This one is especially handy during the forced isolation.
When you can’t go to Spain, why not learn to make a paella? If you had to cancel your trip to Mexico, find a mouthwatering tacos recipe and make it at your own kitchen! Italian pizza, Indian rice and curry, Belgian waffles… you name it!
Gee, I’m already hungry just writing this. I hope you get the idea!
BTW, the best place for recipe inspiration is… you guessed it right, Pinterest! Search for your chosen country name + “traditional recipes”. Youtube has lots of options too if you prefer watching to reading.
Don’t forget to order the same dish when the traveling time comes and compare to how you made it!
9. Research cool activities in the city of your dreams
For every country in the world, there are things you can’t miss. Whether it’s watching a Flamenco show in Barcelona, exploring the Grand Canyon or taking a gondola ride along the Venice canals, you have to make sure you know about these must-dos in advance and consider including them into your itinerary.
I always explore all the options when I plan my next journey! The first place I look at is GetYourGuide as it accumulates a lot of guided tours, interesting cultural activities and sometimes skip-the-line tickets to popular attractions.
Lastly, I might take a glance at what Viator has to offer. Sometimes it might have more options than GetYourGuide and/or better prices for our specific dates.
Anyways, research is the king! Walking around the city is cool of course, but the emotions from unique local experiences are something that you remember years after.
10. Create a destination playlist
This one is simple. If you are into music, spend some time creating a playlist for your next journey! Whether it’s a local road trip or a long-distance flight, there is always a place for good music to define the mood. Don’t overthink what to do when bored anymore: listen to some good music and go with the flow!
11. Binge-watch Ted Talks for travelers
There is never too much travel inspiration!
On the Ted Talks website, there is a whole playlist created special for thoughtful travelers! I actually just found out about it and I’m excited to watch them all!
12. Listen to a travel podcast
Another way to inspire yourself, but a more habitual one. Podcasts are among the fun activities at home and you can also listen to them while doing other things like cooking, cleaning or relaxing on a couch.
Travel podcasts usually share a personal experience of professional travelers, tell some crazy road trip stories, give useful advice, and fill you with a strong desire to travel as much as possible.
Here are some of the travel podcasts to check out:
- The Thought Card
- JUMP with Traveling Jackie
- Chronicles Abroad
- The Globetrotter Lounge
- Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase
13. Shop cute suitcases online
So we’ve already covered all the essentials and the necessary clothes, now it’s time to decide on your luggage! Some short trips not very far away you might absolutely survive with a single hand-luggage backpack (although from my experience it might be sad sometimes when you can’t buy anything but a fridge magnet because of space shortage in your backpack).
But for longer trips, you will probably need a nice suitcase. I recommend choosing the one from a durable material and with a nice unique appearance that will serve you for years and will never be mistaken for someone else’s.
Just take a look at these cute designs! London style, Venice canals, tropical toucan, night city view, pink flamingos, turquoise patterns or vintage floral. So much cooler than those plain single-colored suitcases everyone else has!
Another option is to buy a plain one and a colorful cover to protect it. This also works if you already have a suitcase and don’t necessarily need another one – but want to make it easier to recognize your luggage on a belt. This option is cheaper and you can even create your own custom design that will be 100% unique!
14. Engage in local communities online
Don’t underestimate social networks! They can be a great source of new acquaintances and local events and can totally change your potential experience in the new place.
I find Facebook especially good for this as there are tons of groups dedicated to any country, city, or interest. It can be as simple as finding some active local group and leaving a quick message on the wall about your dates and intentions. You might be surprised to see that there are friendly people happy to get to know you and show you around!
Thanks to Facebook I was able to find an amazing language exchange community in Malaga (Spain) where we then spent a few evenings every week talking to locals and other travelers! And it was one of the most memorable experiences of our Spain trip.
Another similar place for communication with locals is Meetup.com. This portal is specifically created to unite people! You can find all kinds of local events and activities in probably any big city in the world. From yoga classes and marathon preparations to practicing languages and technical gatherings, everything people can possibly get together for can be found here.
BTW, check out your own city, you might find something interesting too!
15. Create a vision board with all your dream destinations
Creating a vision board is one of the most common ways to tell the universe what it is that you want exactly. And maybe to get some clarity for yourself too on the subject of your personal dreams and goals.
I won’t describe you right now how cool is this thing and how powerful it may be, but you can read this post for further explanation and inspiring real-life examples of how it works wonders in people’s lives. And then this post for some advice on how to actually create a vision board.
In terms of this article on isolation activities for travel preparation what I mean by this is that you need to add all your dream destinations to your board. It doesn’t have to be only about travel, but travel should definitely be a part of it!
Anyways, now is a good time to reflect on your life direction and define some goals to improve it. Creating a vision board is another cool idea for what to do at home during the quarantine! In any case, stay optimistic.
16. Open a new savings account
Create a savings account to get some money for your next trip!
With all the social activities being banned and restaurants being closed, now is the best time to save some money for your future travels!
Every time you would otherwise go out with your friends but can’t, put aside some money. Let it be the average amount you usually spend at your favorite restaurant. If you are used to going to the movies on Saturdays and can’t, next time put the average price of a ticket (plus popcorn and stuff that you usually spend money on at the cinema) to your savings account. And so on…
You might not see how much you don’t spend right now thanks to the lockdown. Try to do this every time you don’t go somewhere and see how much you can save! You’ll be surprised when it all passes and you end up with a good amount of money to cover your next trip (that you would’ve spent on going out otherwise).
17. Learn a new skill
These days you don’t need to apply to college to learn a new skill or profession. Amazing huge online course platforms got you covered. From small hour-long courses to full academic degrees, you can basically study whatever you want, whenever you want and however much you want.
My two favorite platforms for online studying are Coursera and edX. They both have thorough courses on a variety of subjects from business and computer science to art, health, and personal development. You can learn from professors from leading universities like Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley as well as directly from top companies like Google, Yandex or Amazon.
The coolest thing is that those courses aren’t nearly as expensive as the conventional education. A lot of them even let you enroll for free and get access to all the material if you only need the information and don’t care about certificates. This is the whole world of opportunities comparing to even 20 years ago!
Learning a new skill will not only broaden your horizons but also provide another potentially monetizable skills for you. Especially now, when a lot of professionals are getting replaced by the machines and a lot of offline workers are losing their jobs because of the lockdown, it’s never been more important to make sure you have a backup plan.
Another platform I love and use a lot is Skillshare. It is somewhat different from the previous two, cause you only pay monthly (or in my case yearly) for your membership and gain access to all of the courses. Check it out and use my link if you want to get the first two months of Premium membership for free. Believe me, it’s absolutely worth the money.
Skillshare is more on the creative side of things. Most of the courses are made not by professors but by practitioners. So if you are interested in photography, you get to learn from a professional photographer who actually shoots every day instead of just teaching. You can learn things like graphic design, illustration, animation, creative writing, web development, filmmaking and storytelling. You can also dive into business, management, marketing or entrepreneurship. There are even less technical courses on self-development and productivity. So many interesting subjects that you’ll struggle to choose one.
I personally have around a hundred classes saved in my account. I wish I had enough time to learn everything I wanted! Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day. Choose wisely!
18. Improve your health
On a final note, I wanted to mention taking care of your health.
Let’s be honest, healthcare in many countries is not nearly good enough. This is particularly true in Asia and Africa. I’m sure you don’t wanna check it by yourself.
That’s why it is extremely important to keep yourself in good shape both mentally and physically.
Drink enough water, exercise, eat the healthiest you can, sleep enough, and incorporate some good habits and a positive mindset into your daily routine. Let yourself be able to engage in any adventure and never skip a hike because you don’t have stamina!
I hope you found some new fun things to do at home during the lockdown!
When we face things that are out of our control, let’s focus on those that are in it. Choose some things from my list to keep yourself busy and not bored at home and learn something new instead of panicking and worrying.
Imagine how cool it will be when the time comes to travel again and you already have everything planned. More than that, you’ve picked up some new skills, learned a new language and found some new friends!
Do you like the sound of it? Then you have some work to do.
Stay healthy, stay at home and try to have some fun even when the whole world seems to go crazy! Remember, this too shall pass.
Pin this for times when you are out of things to do at home!