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10 Things Travelers Can Do While Grounded

Packing Travel Tips Trip planning

March 31, 2020 by Andrea Szyper

As we stare into the unknowns of the COVID-19 situation, one of the few things we can say for sure is that we will not be traveling internationally for the next few months. For those of us who live to travel, being grounded indefinitely can make us antsy. 

Add to that a request or mandate to stay at home, and our feet are really itchy! For our own health and the sake of our communities, we need to withdraw and shelter in place. Here are some suggestions to help you pass the time until you can fly again!

Look through old vacation photos and memory books.
Pull out old photo albums and picture books. Scroll through images on your laptop or computer. Fling them to your TV and run through them with your spouse or partner, and enjoy shared memories. Did you keep a travel journal, log, or blog? Revisit it.

Enjoy movies and books set in Europe (or other destinations).
Try a little armchair travel, and immerse yourself in a place by reading fiction set there or by watching movies filmed on location in interesting places. Here is a list of some of our favorite books to get you started. I am crowdsourcing a list of movies on Facebook. Join our conversation there or add your own ideas in comments. I’ll post a list soon!

Keep social distance, but keep exercising.
You’ll want to stay active so that when life normalizes, you’ll be ready for the rigors of travel. Stay in shape with daily walks or jogs, always mindful of other people and keeping your distance. Your first priority is to stay well. Don’t be exposed, but don’t forgo the boost of basic fitness and fresh air.

Learn about a new place each week.
If you are housebound, why not hunker down and choose a new destination of interest to study each week. Jot notes, learn about its culture and history, watch travel specials, and read all you can. If you have grandchildren who are home from school, maybe share your research with them on a Zoom or FaceTime call so they can learn too (and so their parents can have a break).

Taste your memories.
If you have the right provisions in your larder, prepare a recipe from one of your favorite places. Maybe ribollita and a nice Chanti from Tuscany or a simplified paella and cava from Spain. Try a new recipe or recreate a favorite dish you had in your travels, even if you have to lean on frozen foods or swap canned beans for haricot vert.

Write about a past trip.
As you think back on your travels, consider writing down a favorite memory or story. You can journal, type it up, or even post it on a blog. Consider how you can share your travel tales! People are hungry for the wider travel world and eager for content. And please consider sharing your stories with us here at UnTours ( I might even publish them here on our blog!

Start a travel dream board.
Browse your travel magazines, catalogs, and the newspaper for planning inspiration and grab images and ideas that excite you. Whether you do it on Pinterest or on an actual bulletin board, collect ideas for the travels you hope to do next year and beyond.

Reconnect with friends from your travels.
Maybe it is a couple you met on a hike in Switzerland, friends you traveled with in the past, or your hosts in an UnTours farmhouse or cottage. Take the time to reconnect with an email or a card. These connections mean so much at a time of stress and isolation; they can stoke warm memories of happier days.

Organize travel gear.
Take a little bit of your free indoor time to organize your packing for that next trip, whenever it will be. Consolidate travel toiletries, organize your bags and gadgets, purge the things you don’t use, and make lists of what needs to be replaced. If you can, why not order what you need from a small online shop?

Plan a trip for 2021.
Goodness knows small tour companies like us are concerned right now. Make your vote for a brighter future by reserving a trip. At UnTours we are in the process of getting new properties up on our website for 2021, and we have live options up and are adding new destinations and new apartments daily. Sign up for updates.

What are your suggestions for passing the time and quelling that wanderlust?