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How to Cure Wanderlust (When You’re Stuck at Home)

How to Cure Wanderlust (When You're Stuck at Home)

Whether it’s a lack of funds, not enough vacation time, an incurable travel bug, or a pandemic like COVID-19, sometimes you’re forced to satisfy your wanderlust at home. Here’s how to use this perfect time to plan for future travels and how to cure wanderlust by exploring the world without leaving the house.


How to Cure Wanderlust: Tour a Dream Destination’s Website

1. Tour a Dream Destination’s Website

Are you dreaming of the desert blooming in the spring, Montana in the summer, or New England’s fall foliage? One cure for wanderlust (when you’re stuck at home) is to visit your dream destination’s website.

From coast-to-coast and around the world, convention and visitors bureau (CVB) websites typically provide travel guides, trip itineraries, blog articles, and other helpful resources that will digitally transport you to their corner of the world without leaving your house.

Check out the best travel and tourism websites in the US to add amazing destinations, fun attractions, and delicious restaurants to your travel bucket list.

2. Read a Travel Blog

From young Millennials to midlife travelers, from solo females to families, travel blogs cover a variety of places and spaces around the globe. When you have to satisfy your wanderlust at home, reading a travel blog is one sure cure to scratch the itch caused by a travel bug.

Here at Everyday Wanderer, I know I enjoy exploring the world via the Everyday Postcards sent in from around the world. Explore the gorgeous Greek island of Crete, Japan’s sacred Mount Fuji, the sandy beaches of Bali, and other destinations that range from every day to exotic. 

How to Cure Wanderlust: Visit a Museum Online

3. Visit a World-Class Museum Online

As the world’s largest museum complex, many of the Smithsonian museums offer virtual tours that provide a cure for wanderlust. Explore the National Museum of Natural History’s permanent, current, and past exhibits through these virtual tours. You can also explore the Smithsonian Castle, Enid A. Haupt Garden, and Hirshhorn Museum via virtual tours.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, the Louvre holds the title of the world’s largest art museum. While there’s no substitute to gazing into the mysterious eyes of the Mona Lisa or looking up at the headless Winged Victory of Samothrace, you can cure wanderlust with an online tour of the Louvre.

Sage Advice:  Bring zoos and safaris to you with these 35+ live animal feeds.

4. Travel the World by Reading a Book

For thousands of years, books have been a cure for wanderlust. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, travel books or an engaging novel set in a bucket list destination, reading allows you to transport yourself to a variety of times and places. 

Some of my favorite wanderlust-curing books are:

    • Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck – Who doesn’t love a good road trip? Or traveling with a poodle?
    • Dogging Steinbeck – Because it turns out the Nobel prize-winning author made up his “non-fiction” Travels with Charley
    • James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club Series – Each thrilling novel takes me back to my high school years in the San Francisco Bay Area
    • Any of Dan Brown’s books featuring Professor Robert Langdon – They transport me to some of my favorite places in Europe, albeit with a bigger sense of adventure than I’ve ever experienced in real life
    • My Life in France by Julia Child – Although now I picture Meryl Streep as Julia every time I read it…
    • Two Lane Gems by Theresa Goodrich – Especially now that the queen of the great American road trip is currently serializing her books on The Local Tourist as America battles COVID-19. True royalty right there, people!

One of my favorite sites for reading recommendations is Book Thoughts from Bed. Written by a very dear friend of mine who used to travel the world and is now confined to a hospital bed, her book reviews have never steered me wrong! 

Here are some of Michelle’s favorite books to help cure wanderlust while stuck at home:

5. Watch a Movie

Forget the Target vs. Walmart, Coke vs. Pepsi, or any political debate. In my family, there’s no topic more divisive as book vs. movie. If a movie is based on a book, I’ll read the book and rarely see the movie. I don’t want Hollywood’s take to ruin the image I have of the characters or to deny me all of the backstories that can be incorporated into a book. But some people in my family (who shall remain nameless) want to watch the movie to see how Hollywood shakes things up. If you enjoy movies, one cure for wanderlust at home is to travel through the small screen. 

And despite not being able to watch a movie without Googling the cast, filming locations, and historical facts, these are some of the films that help me cure wanderlust at home:

  • Crazy Rich Asians – Because there would be nothing quite like visiting Singapore on the arm of a smokin’ hot mega-rich dude!
  • Eat Pray Love – After all, travel is the best way to heal a broken heart and patch up shattered dreams, especially if gelato and pasta are involved.
  • Julie & Julia – This travel blogger loves seeing a food blogger rise from the ashes of September 11th. Plus also, fantastic French food is involved!
  • The Bucket List – Although I’m still not interested in trying civet coffee.

6. Relive Your Favorite Travel Memories

One of the reasons most of us travel is to create experiences rather than collect more stuff. So one way to satisfy your wanderlust at home is to relive your favorite travel memories. Sit down and thumb through your favorite travel album, create a slideshow or video from your favorite travel photos, or write about a past adventure.

7. Learn a Foreign Language

If your wanderlusty dreams take you to a foreign land, one cure for wanderlust is to learn a foreign language in anticipation of your next trip. While you can certainly go for the gold, there’s no need to achieve full fluency. However, these are good phrases to know in the local language when you travel abroad.

One of my favorite ways to develop language skills is through Babbel. This affordably-priced subscription-based language learning app offers bite-sized language lessons that are just 10 to 15 minutes long and available on any device.

Rosetta Stone is another software solution that makes it easy to learn a foreign language in just a few minutes per day.

You can also check out the world languages section of PBS Learning Media. Learn about the countries and cultures where Spanish, Japanese, French, German, and Chinese are spoken while building your vocabulary and conversational skills.


How to Cure Wanderlust: Cook a Foreign Dish Like Bitterballen

8. Cook a Dish That Reminds You of Your Travels

Whether it’s:

one of the best parts of traveling is savoring the local flavors. If you are experiencing a wanderlust homestay, then bring the world to you by preparing one of your favorite dishes from your travels at home.

Not sure you can successfully cook up clotted cream for scones or whip up a batch of Dutch poffertjes from scratch, purchase ready-made ingredients and mixes online as a bonafide shortcut for success with international dishes.

And don’t forget the drinks! Mix up a Bushwacker far from the beach, sip chickory coffee in the Southwest, or mix up a mint julep in Montana.  

9. Add to Your Travel Bucket List

Use your wanderlust homestay as an opportunity to add destinations and experiences to your travel bucket list. My travel bucket list is broken into sections that include local activities, day trips from my home base, weekend trips, and overseas destinations. This approach makes it easy for me to jot down travel plans for future travels of all lengths and distances from home.

How to Cure Wanderlust - Create a Travel Playlist

10. Create a Travel Playlist

From Katy Perry’s California Gurls to Taylor Swift’s Welcome to New York, from The Chainsmokers’s Paris to They Might Be Giants’s Istanbul (Not Constantinople), there are hundreds and hundreds of songs about destinations around the world. Pick your favorite genre (or destination) and create a playlist as a cure for wanderlust when you’re stuck at home.

Have You Discovered How to Cure Wanderlust?

What did you do to travel when you were stuck at home? Any additional tips or tricks to pass along? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

How to cure wanderlust when you can't travel. Sometimes your wanderlust travel has to wait while you build your travel budget, earn another vacation day, or focus on pandemic preparedness and pandemic survival. Travel tips and tips to cure your wanderlust when you have to stay home.
How to cure wanderlust when you can't travel. Sometimes your wanderlust travel has to wait while you build your travel budget, earn another vacation day, or focus on pandemic preparedness and pandemic survival. Travel tips and tips to cure your wanderlust when you have to stay home.
How to cure wanderlust when you can't travel. Sometimes your wanderlust travel has to wait while you build your travel budget, earn another vacation day, or focus on pandemic preparedness and pandemic survival. Travel tips and tips to cure your wanderlust when you have to stay home.

Thank you for sharing!

26 thoughts on “How to Cure Wanderlust (When You’re Stuck at Home)”

  1. Kristin In Motion

    Love this! I love how everyone is sharing ideas so we don’t all go stir crazy. So important! Also I love that you have both the book Travels with Charley anddd Dogging Steinbeck! I’d love to read those back to back!

  2. Some great suggestions to ward off wonderlust desires. For now, I’m happily working on realigning my website, having spent time learning more about WordPress best practices. ???? I also have some great reading options waiting to be read.

  3. Great ideas, thank you. I am trying to deal with my craving for wandering by learning languages, travelling through books, reading blogs and cooking Greek food! I can’t bear to start planning just a the moment but I guess I will get there. This is a tough time, we all need ideas to get through it.

  4. Yes, I am trying hard to fight with my desire to travel these days and employing some of these methods suggested by you. One of them definitely is reading books. I am again trying to inculcate my hobby of reading. To be honest, I am not much fond of visiting some place online and probably will not do it. Nevertheless, these are some great ways to spend time at home. Also, I am getting a lot of time with my family these days, cooking better and cleaning the home. 🙂

  5. jordinjordinsjourneyscom

    I am so disappointed I had to cancel my spring break trip to Vegas. 🙁
    I am also a second grade teacher and I won’t be seeing my student until at least March. 🙁
    Virtual tours/trips have been wonderful for me! I have been visiting National Parks that are on my bucket list and planning. I’ve also shared the animal web cams from zoos with my students.

    1. I’m so sorry about your spring break! I feel your pain as we had just a disastrous experience in California. And I’m hopeful you’ll be able to get back in the classroom (safely) soon. Here in Kansas, our governor has ended all in-person learning until the new school year starts up in August. While we’re still waiting for additional information about how learning will continue for my 8th grader, I did rush move my college sophomore out of her sorority house a few days ago and shed a few tears that commencement was canceled for my college senior. Annoying and disappointing, for sure, but if we can beat this pandemic and get back to a normal life without too many more deaths or the economy tanking, I’m good with it. And thank you soooooo much for sharing these web cams with your students! If you come across any others I should add to this list, please let me know. I’d like it to be one of the most comprehensive resources out there! Stay safe!

  6. The concept of taking virtual tours of museums is something I absolutely love. Of course there’s nothing like seeing the amazing exhibits in person but still to be able to see them from the comfort of one’s home is quite something. In addition, I often find myself binge watching travel documentaries and travel movies to inspire my travels further while trying to ‘cure’ the wanderlust.

  7. Although I am often thinking of travels, I usually only do a few trips per year… one bigger one (3-4 weeks) and four or five short breaks. So not being able to travel for a few months isn’t unusual. I do much of what you mention, I spend a LOT of time reading about my wishlist / next planned destinations, on blogs and destination websites. I love watching films and reading books set in those places. And as food is my other thing, learning about and cooking dishes from the cuisine in question is a big pleasure.

    1. As you probably know, a three- to four-week trip is practically unheard of in the United States. Most working adults maybe have three weeks of vacation for the entire year, and that has to include time off around a handful of paid holidays if they want to see family, etc. That said, having lived and worked in Europe, I must say your approach leads to a higher quality of life and no real dip in production/results. Way to go! <3

      1. Yes I have many family members in the USA so I know that limitation of vacation time. It’s really hard to explore a place in depth without multiple visits when you have less time. I totally sympathise.

  8. Great tips Sage! I’m thinking I’ll start making my way through the stack of books that I’ve been hoarding but haven’t read yet 🙂 I also think I’ll re-pick up a couple of the languages that I’ve started learning and try to improve my fluency. Stay safe.

  9. I was just making this exact type of list earlier today as I was scrolling through Netflix and sobbing about my sadness over my scrapped next two vacations! It really has made me think of travel in a different way, though you always put your own unique Sage twist to it all. I’m binge watching everything and since I’m not a cook, food travel shows have been my favorite.

  10. These are great ideas. I am spending the quarantine working from home, de-cluttering my home and spending the much-needed quality-time with family.

  11. I’m trying really hard to cure my wanderlust lol. I’ve tried most of these and it helps.i loved the movie Crazy Ritch Asians. I just might have to watch it again. I’m seriously considering taking an online travel agent course. Ive been putting it off and this just might be the time.

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