Unfortunately, we can’t all get up and travel whenever our hearts desire. So what should you do in the meantime, in-between travel adventures? This list will give you the top things to do at home when you can’t travel.
Whether you are unable to travel because of finances, kids, or inability to get time off of work, you can still find ways to scratch that travel itch, at least a little bit to tie you over until your next adventure!
Regular day-to-day life can become boring and make you feel like you are on autopilot. Fortunately, there are ways to spice up your days, even without a huge adventure across the country.
Grab your notebook, and jot down these awesome ideas of top things to do at home when you can’t travel! Just because you can’t leave right now doesn’t mean you can’t get a little travel fix- we all know it is addicting!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
How to Scratch your Travel Itch when you Can't Travel
If you are unable to travel at the moment, take advantage of these awesome ideas you can do in your own town, or even your home! Get through your travel desire while you wait for your next vacation!
Scrapbook your adventures
One of the top things to do at home when you can’t travel is to make a scrapbook of all your previous travels! We do this after each vacation, and it is a great way to reminisce on old vacations. Check out this cute travel scrapbook you can use to jump-start your crafting!
On each vacation, save scraps and bits as you go along: ticket stubs, business cards, brochures, even napkins with restaurant names on them. Anything you can find that you can easily pack (and paste in a scrapbook), bring home with you!
Print out a bunch of pictures from your trip, and paste them in the scrapbook along with the bits and pieces you brought home with you!
This is a great way to go back and remember specific details about your trip you might have otherwise forgotten like restaurant names, events you attended, etc.
When you are feeling down, you can look back at your book and remember the good ole times!
Just because you can’t go on vacation, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the vacation to you! Having a staycation can be a great way to bring the family together for some quality fun! There are tons of ideas to transform your home, to make it feel like you are somewhere new!
Here are some ideas of things you can do at home to go on vacation without leaving your home:
- Cook a vacation-inspired meal- or get take out from a local restaurant
- Pitch a tent in your backyard, have a bonfire, and make some smores!
- Make a fort in your living room with couch cushions and blankets. Watch a movie and bring some popcorn!
- Go to your local park and have a picnic. Bring a frisbee, or take a walk after.
- Get a kiddie pool and have a pool day in your backyard
For more fun ideas of what to do at home, visit our guide on how to go on vacation without leaving your home!
Be a tourist in your own town
Maybe you can’t go on vacation, but you still want to get out of the house. Why not become a tourist in your own town? Even if you have been there for half your life, I’m certain there are still some things you haven’t done yet!
Here are some ideas of things to do in your home town:
- Check out your town’s welcome center- there will be plenty of brochures with ideas of things to do, and maybe even some coupons or deals!
- If you can, stay the night at a hotel for a more authentic vacation feel. Or, stay at a cute bed and breakfast or Airbnb
- Take a tour- maybe your town has walking tours, ghost tours, or wine tours
- Try a new restaurant or the most “touristy” restaurant in your area.
For more ideas on what to do in your hometown, visit our guide on how to plan a trip in your hometown!
If you are craving a vacation, chances are you are seeking something new and exciting. Make a deal with yourself to say yes as much as you can (think of the movie Yes Man).
If a friend asks you to join them doing something you normally wouldn’t, try saying yes! You never know where your “yesses” might take you- and maybe you will find you enjoy a new activity!
Or, reverse the rolls. Ask your friends to do something new with you, and you’ll be surprised how many people will say yes!
Get that adventure side out and try something new and exciting- get the adrenalin flowing!
Do something exciting!
To go off the previous tip, do something exciting! Maybe your town has a park with a lake or river you can go kayaking in- or even rent a boat for the day!
Perhaps you go for a hike, and have a picnic at the top, or even go rock climbing (with help, of course!)
What if you went zip lining through the trees, or even went skydiving! Try to learn how to surf, go white water rafting, or take a long bike ride somewhere new. The possibilities are endless!
Maybe you are seeking relaxation- have a spa day, relax at the beach, or lay in a hammock reading all day- whatever your body and mind needs!
Replicate a meal
Of course, one of the best parts of vacation is the food! If you had an amazing meal on a previous vacation, see if you can replicate it! Take a trip to the grocery store and get all the ingredients, and have some fun cooking with your family or friends! If it doesn’t come out great, there is always take out! Maybe even get a bottle of wine from that location!
Try making some homemade pasta with a pasta maker, and take your shot at some homemade pasta sauce!
You can also consider having a travel party, where everyone brings a dish from either different countries or the same place! Find some creative decorations, and enjoy each other’s company!
Plan your next trip
What to do when you can’t travel? Plan your next vacation of course! With all the extra time on your hands, spend some time looking into new vacation spots! Do some research and see how much it might cost, when you could go, and what to do there!
Even if you do not end up going, you can still learn more about the area, fun facts, and a little more about the area. If you even do go there in the future, you will know a little more about it!
If it is reasonable that you can go, maybe you actually book the trip! This will give you something to look forward to, even if it is over a year away. Start creating your daily itinerary, and learn everything you need to know about the area! Maybe even start shopping for new vacation clothes 😉
If your travel halt is due to lack of funds, consider starting a vacation fund! Even if you have the finances, it can still be a good idea to start a fund for some extra spending money on your trip! Get a travel box, or a space to dedicate to placing all your spare change.
Anytime you have cash or change, put it in the box, and try not to touch it until your trip! There are some great ways to save money for travels, so try your best! Even if you only end up with $100 at the end, it is still better than nothing!
Something we try to do to save money is every time we go grocery shopping, we take out some extra cash- $20, $40, whatever the budget allows for that week. This cash goes straight into the travel fund! Having cash out of your bank account is less tempting to spend when it is put away! Try not to touch it- maybe put it out of sight so you are not tempted to spend it!
Take a weekend or day trip
Maybe you can’t leave the state or country, but you can leave your town! Find a city nearby, and make a weekend out of it- or just a day if it is close by! Getting out of your town even if just for a day or two can help scratch that travel itch!
Maybe plan a road trip for a long weekend! Explore a new city, or take a relaxing, quiet retreat in the mountains or at the beach. Pack a bunch of snacks, make a good playlist, and hit the road! Maybe don’t use the map or GPS, and just see where the road takes you!
Wherever you go, don’t forget to pack your road trip essentials!
Watch a travel show & read books
What better way to pretend you are somewhere cool than to watch a travel show! There are tons of documentaries on Netflix and Youtube to choose from for destinations all across the globe. Choose somewhere you have always wanted to go (or are planning to go) and learn more about the area.
While watching, take note of any recommended restaurants and attractions, so when you do go there someday, you will have a better idea of what to do and see!
You can also go to your local library and check out some books about different vacation spots. Read all about the culture, history, and fascinating facts! If you are not planning to go anywhere, simply peruse the geography aisle and flip through anything that catches your eye!
Go to a festival
Especially in the summertime, many cities have festivals dedicated to different cultures. Check out your town’s event schedule, and see if there will be any this year! There might be a Greek festival, an Italian food festival, and much more!
Going to festivals is a great way to learn about different cultures, try new foods, and a fun activity to take the kids to. Make a day of it, and immerse yourself in the culture!
Another great idea on our list of top things to do at home when you can’t travel is to go camping. Maybe you are craving peace and quiet, with plenty of relaxation- camping is just that! Take your friends or family to a quiet spot in the woods, pitch a tent, put up a hammock in between the trees, and build a bonfire!
Getting away from your city and home, even just for a night, and spending time in nature can be just what you needed to recharge!
Learn a new language
With some free time on your hands, why not learn a new language? Maybe you are traveling to Italy in the next year- it can be very helpful to learn some basic phrases and questions in their language.
Apps like DuoLingo are great for learning new languages. Practice labeling things around your home, and speaking the language as much as possible to practice!
Once you get to your vacation spot, impress the locals with your new skills! We have found locals to love when tourists at least attempt their language- they will be much kinder, and even help you annunciate better!
Thank you for reading the top things to do at home when you can’t travel. It can be a real bummer not being able to travel when you want to, but there are plenty of things you can do in the meantime! What are some things you do to scratch your travel itch in between vacations? Let us know in the comment section below- we would love to hear from you!