How to Travel when You Can’t Travel: A Social Distancing Survival Guide

Disclaimer: This is not intended to make light of the situation around the world currently. Please adhere to CDC guidelines for quarantine and social distancing and be safe, wash your hands, and stay home as much as possible!

Are you one of the unfortunate ones that had to cancel your trip? Getting stir crazy in your house? Feeling the social distancing blues? You are ABSOLUTELY not alone. Us adventurous souls are really feeling the crushing weight of this lock down lately but there are ways to add some travel spice to your life without hopping on a plane!

1. Read a Travel Themed Book

There are the well known ones like Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Wild by Cheryl Strayed which will help light your soul on fire. Or break out of the norm and try some lesser known books like Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts or The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner.

read a travel themed book. social distancing
Photo by Zsuzsa N.K. from FreeImages

2. Learn a Foreign Recipe

The cereal aisle may be wiped out but the international foods aisle might not be! Try a new recipe, learn about spices from different cultures, or even create a cultural theme night with a collection of different foods!

3. Learn a New Language

Apps like Babbel or Duolingo are great places to start with learning the basics of a new language. Or if you’d like to make it social, find an online tutor to teach you. Not only will you be supporting someone’s business but you’ll be learning also!

4. Create a Bucket List Vision Board

We all have bucket lists in your head but take it to the next level and really make it visual. Print out images, cut out magazines, sketch sites that you would like to see and put it all together in a vision board. Not only will it inspire you, but vision boards a proven to help manifest your dreams into reality!

5. Plan your Future Trips

Websites like or help to organize and plan different types of trips. Wanderlog also let’s you collaborate on trip planning, which could be a great way to keep in touch with friends or family during the social distancing! Whether you want to plan a road trip across the country, or a European getaway, might as well start planning now while we have the free time!

plan a roadtrip

6. Binge Watch a Travel Show

As enticing as it is to watch The Office for the 34th time, try out shows like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, Somebody Feed Phil, or Our Planet. Guarantee your bucket list will grow!

7. Sign up for Travel Rewards Cards

Once the travel industry picks up again, we’ll be itching to get out and go places, so take the time now to start working on building some points on travel reward cards. There are tons of resources online to learn about beginner travel hacking, and if not, at least try to score yourself one free flight! (My favorite to start with is Capital One Venture Card!)

8. Try Wines from Around the World

Do you consider yourself a wino but not quite a connoisseur yet? Take this time to try out some new wines from other countries! If you’re lucky, your local liquor store may actually deliver during this period of social distancing! Learn about different wine regions around the world, which grapes they grow, and which tastes you prefer.

9. Get Outside!

Social distance yourself right into the woods! Go for hikes in new areas, get on a bicycle and explore, scope out a new sunset spot, take your pup for a nice long walk! Just stay away from groups of people, and be cautious if feeling any symptoms.

social distancing get outside and hike

10. Reminisce on Old Trips

In the days of Instagram and Facebook, our travel photos tend to end up on the internet and then nowhere else. Take some time to create scrap books or memory books for trips that you’ve previously gone on! Check out websites like Shutterfly to help you consolidate your photos and memories into a book that you can show your grand kids someday!

10a. Create an Underground Railroad System
Organize a communication network with friends and family for when our country inevitably implodes and we need to get around and exchange goods without being seen, heard or caught. Just kidding! (Or am I?) If you’re interested, I’ll put you in touch with my brother Justin who suggested I add this tip in! Don’t tell Trump πŸ˜‰

Have any ideas that I missed here? Please share them in the comments below! Let’s all find ways to help make this travel shut down a whole lot less painless. Be safe my friends and I’ll see you in the airport on the other side! Until then…

Stay Wild and Virtually Adventure On!

Social distancing will be a hard time for a lot of people, especially ones who had to cancel trips! So here are ways to travel without actually traveling!
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  1. These are such great ideas. I think I will reminisce about past trips while drinking wines from around the world! πŸ™‚

  2. You had my attention with #8! All kidding aside, your article made me look up The Geography of Bliss on Amazon (exclusively based on the title) and add it to my Audible wish list. Hopefully, all of the extra time hunkered down at home will allow me to get to it faster! Stay safe!

  3. I needed this right now! Thank you. I was lucky enough to get away in February right before the madness hit. Since I live alone the social distancing has especially taken its role on me. I have been doing a few of these….planning a road trip for my 60th in oct ( hopefully the borders open), reading travel magazines and brushing on on my spanish. And always out one trail. That helps the most!

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