The Ultimate Armchair Travel Guide
Whether you’re a seasoned globe-trotter who finds themselves suddenly stuck at home or a home-body who prefers to dream from the comfort of their living room, we’ve got you covered. Staying home doesn’t mean you can’t continue to explore, learn, and grow through travel. In this ultimate armchair travel guide, we’re handing over an ultimate list of travel-related things you can from the comfort of your own home.
We’ve also got some fun ideas for exploring your own backyard as a means of scratching your travel itch. If international travel isn’t possible at the moment, we can use this opportunity to explore our homes!
Armchair Travel Guide
Explore Cultural Foods at Home
Authentic food is one of our favorite things about travel! We frequently come home from a new place and try and recreate the new foods we enjoyed on the trip. Remember that Mexican street corn you enjoyed in Tulum, Mexico, or the Chicken Tikka you had in India? When it comes to armchair travel, why not learn some of your favorite authentic recipes from around the world.
You could also order in! Many restaurants are offering take-out options so if you’re missing Japan why not order sushi at home (or learn to make it yourself)? Another way we’ve been exploring new flavors at home is watching cooking shows on Netflix. We’re big fans of:
- The big family cooking showdown
- Nailed it
- Nadiya Hussain’s, Time to Eat
Read Travel Books
The right book and sweep you away! There’s nothing better than finding a book you just can’t put down – am I right? And if you can’t be in a new place, the next best thing is to read about a new place. Here are a few travel-related books to spark your wanderlust and keep you occupied until you can travel:
Plan Your Next Trip
We all have that one big, bucket-list trip we’ve been dreaming of forever. The number of people who actually take their bucket-list trip is shockingly low…why? They don’t plan for it. There’s no better time to put pen to paper, do some research, read some travel blogs, and actually start planning out your dream trip. What have you ALWAYS wanted to do? Write it down and start planning!
Watch Travel Movies
I don’t have the stats to back this up but I’m going to wager that Netflix watch time is WAY up at the moment. Nothing screams armchair travel like movies that spark your travel lust. Make your next movie night travel themed. Here are some of my personal favorite travel movies of all time:
- Eat Pray Love
- Into the Wild
- Under The Tuscan Sun
- The Secret Life of Walter Witty
- Vicky Christina Barcelona
- Mama Mia
- The Bucket List
- 7 Years in Tibet
- Out of Africa
- Little Miss Sunshine
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Visit a Museum
We’re experiencing a moment in history that we will never forget. It’s uncertain, yes. It can be overwhelming, yes. But there are also really incredible things happening right now. There is more available to us virtually than ever before.
Museums, Operas, Plays, Aquariums, Safaris and so much more. Now you can experience all of these things from the comfort of your own home with a phone or computer and an internet connection. Here are a few we’ve checked out and highly recommend:
- The Louvre is offering free virtual tours
- The Vatican has self-guided virtual tours
- The Smithsonian Self-Guided Tours
- Take a virtual Safari (twice a day)
- Visit an Aquarium from home with live streams of the marine life
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are all kinds of virtual performances, tours, exhibits, and interactive experiences available online.
Learn a New Language
How many times have I said, “Man, I wish I knew another language”. How many times have you thought about learning a second language and put it off? I actually took Spanish lessons for a while and was making good headway before I got side-tracked by life and dropped it.
Why not take some of this newfound time and put it to good use?
Pick a language, set a deadline, and get to work!
Use an app like Duolingo or Babble or you could invest in a learning tool like Rosetta Stone if you really want to get serious about learning. Aside from that, one of the best pieces of language advice I’ve ever gotten was from my Aunt (she’s from Bolivia). Obviously immersion is the fastest way to learn a language, but if you can’t do that she suggested watching movies in your target language that have English subtitles.
If Spanish is on your radar, there are all kinds of Netflix shows right now in Spanish with English subtitles!
We've got some extra time, why not take up a hobby like colouring or puzzles. They're both great for managing stress and there are endless possibilities. I love pairing these activities with matching wines and snacks. For instance, if I'm working on a puzzle of Cinque Terre in Italy, I'll have a glass of Italian wine and bread with oil as well. Try it!
Drink Your Way Around The World
You didn’t think we’d publish this post without a boozy option, did you? If you don’t already know, we’ve been hosting daily LIVE happy hours on our Facebook page!
Trying new cocktails has been a fun way to explore the world through cocktails, wines & craft beers. If you need a little inspiration, check out our favorite cocktails we’ve made at home so far.
Learn to Dance
I love to dance! Brent does not. I’ve always been drawn to music and dancing but getting Brent to come to a physical dance class with me hasn’t gone over that well. Until now! There are thousands of virtual dance lessons, classes, and even one on one instruction available right now.
Whether you’ve always wanted to learn the Bachata or you’re drawn to the Highland Fling, YouTube that shit and get learning!
Here are some really great online resources if you love to dance:
The Fitness Marshall (YouTube) is hilarious and you offers curated workouts or you can build your own!
The Studio (YouTube) also offers a TON of free dance inspired workouts!
Create a Trip Photobook
You know those 50,000+ photos you have sitting on your computer? Why not go through them and make some memory books. We started using photobooks a few years back and it’s become a trip tradition.
Every time we take a big trip, we take our 50 or so favorite pictures and create a keepsake. They work great as gifts and coffee table books and having a physical photo book means we actually look at the pictures more often.
Become a Photographer
OK, so photographers will hate that I just said that but these days – everyone’s got a fancy camera! Even if that’s just the super-advanced camera on your phone. There are all kinds of places to take a course and sharpen your photography skills before your next trip. And, who doesn't want to take better photos?
Nikon is offering free online classes right now. Even if you don't have Nikon, photography fundamentals are the same no matter what camera you're using!
Add Travel-Inspired Decor to Your Home
In recent years we’ve been taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint. Some would call us minimalists. One quick visit to our home and you’ll see that we don’t have much “stuff” but what we do have is very intentional.
We’ve surrounded ourselves with things that spark inspiration and for us, that means travel themed decor. Some of the ways we’ve included travel decor in our space are:
- A wine rack full of wines from around the world
- Pushpin map where we track our trips and travels
- Exotic house-plants
- A custom gallery wall that used our own travel photography
Take Up Hiking
Hiking is a great way to explore your own backyard and most places have all kinds of trails for you to use. I’ve been an avid hiker all my life and while I love traveling to new, exciting trails outside of my home province there are plenty of hikes right here as well.
In fact, stunning (and challenging) hiking trails are one of Nova Scotia's best-kept secrets!
Build Your Local Travel Bucket-List
Staycation is going to be the theme of the year, I think. Day trips, road trips, camping trips…there has never been a better time to become a tourist in your own province (or city, for that matter). Just google “things to do in __________” and you’ll find what the tourists find!
If you’re in Nova Scotia, check out these 11 day-trip itineraries to take you to every corner of Nova Scotia. It’s also a great time to make a point of supporting local, even more than usual. Book local cottages, resorts, and Airbnb's. Check out local parks and beaches. Enjoy the slower pace of life we’re all experiencing right now while keeping your wanderlust alive and well!