Travel Ideas During a Pandemic

In the midst of this global pandemic, for many of us, wanderlust is as strong as it’s ever been. And, although we can’t travel to all the destinations on our bucket list, we can explore the local gems that tend to be overlooked. In this piece we will walk you through some of the ideas for a stay-cation within your hometown or region.

Stay-cations are vacations taken within your home country rather than abroad. With the current travel restrictions in place this type of holiday has become a lifesaver for anyone who is used to travelling. You can really stretch the definition of a stay-cation and make it whatever you want it to be. Typically, you would rent a hotel or an Airbnb and spend some time away from your home. However, you can opt for shorter adventures around your hometown, for example, restaurant hopping, walking tours or hiking. Here are a few ideas to help you organize a mini getaway and break the daily routine.


Where Do You Want To Travel?

planing trip over the map
planing trip over the map

Depending on how much effort and preparation you want to put into this little adventure, consider using opensource websites, maps, and apps that will provide ideas based on themes, location, accessibility, and more. Here are a few of the best ideas.


Open Street Maps

This website is a community-built platform that provides data about things like roads, trails, cafés, railway stations worldwide. OSM is built by contributors and mappers, who come from diverse, professional backgrounds. This map is an open source map which means that anyone can add details about small gems they discover so that others can enjoy them too. Here you will find narrow trails on the outskirts of cities, small ‘hole-in-the-wall’ pubs, and will dive into the city culture as a local.


Free Tours

walking tour
walking tour

Freetour provides access to thousands of free tours around the world as well as online. Although the tours are free, guides accept tips. Typical walking tours last for around three hours. You can book the free tickets online, however you will be charged a small fee in case you don’t attend the tour. The language of a tour is included in the title which makes the search faster. The website will provide a description of the meeting point and arrival time before you start the tour.

Depending on whether you’ll be travelling to another city for the tour, consider staying at an accommodation different from a typical hotel.


Guru Walk

GuruWalk is an international community for pay-what-you-please walking tours. The GuruWalk community is made up of its ‘gurus’, guides and ‘walkers’, who prefer this unconventional type of walking. To select a tour, pick a city and a date, then choose the start time. You will then receive a confirmation email. As a rule of thumb, walkers typically tip the tour-guides anywhere between €10 and €20 depending on their experience.


What To Do

Alternatively, you can come up with your own tours and base them around a geographic location/ restaurant hopping or a common theme. Here, you can really use your imagination and tailor the experience according to your preferences, timing, etc.


Restaurant Hopping

Instead of going out for a large meal at one place why not go on a little food-themed adventure? Similar to bar hopping, restaurant hopping sees you head off to a different place for every course. Here you can choose different dishes under the same cuisine, or, alternatively, go for a Chinese hotpot, hop to an Italian place for some pasta, and top it all off with some French pastry. Some of the details to consider for restaurant hopping are the waiting time, portion size, restaurant location, and the overall duration of the experience.


Stay At A Luxury Hotel For A Fraction Of The Price

luxury bedroom in hotel
luxury bedroom in hotel

To change your surroundings up a bit, consider staying at a fancy hotel on a budget! With platforms like Hotwire you can search for discounts at hotels around the world. The website allows you to filter the options based on location, dates, price range, and more. Additionally, you can book a car rental, flight tickets, and package-deal vacations at a fraction of the cost.


Become A Tourist In Your City For A Day

Have you noticed that when you live somewhere for a long time, you are less likely to take advantage of all the sights the place have to offer? And every now and again a friend will come to town, you’ll join them on a little touristy adventure that will add that fresh feeling to your routine. You can actually replicate this feeling by creating a list of all the local adventures you want to embark on.

In one of her videos, a YouTuber MuchelleB talks about creating a list of all the little sights and places to visit around your hometown using Notion’s planning system. This way you can have a bank of ideas to do alone or with your friends whenever you have a day off. After researching workshops, festivals, concerts, and meetups, Michelle suggests to have a weekly admin day or a few hours that are specifically designated to catching up on small tasks and making appointments to make sure you tick things off the list.


Go On Coupon Dates

Why pay the full price if there are plenty of platforms that provide generous discounts on food, goods, and activities? Check out local events and deals on Groupon or Amazon and enjoy a budget friendly day off. When you purchase a coupon on such platforms, you are paying a reduced price for a service or a product. Once you confirm the voucher, simply show it at the local business and you’re all set. When you purchase the coupon, make sure to read the fine print with details on expiration dates.


Explore Airbnb Experiences

Another way to search for activities is through Airbnb. In addition to providing accommodation, Airbnb has collected thousands of experiences around the world that cost anything from $1. Select the dates on which you’d like to explore something fun, select the time of the day, pick the price range, and filter your results based on the online/offline mode. Here you can also tag events based on whether they are animal friendly, accessible, or suitable for kids.

Visit Museums And Cities With Google Arts & Culture

In case you’re missing out on museum visits, Google Arts & Culture has got you covered. This online platform allows anyone access high-resolution images and videos of artworks and cultural artifacts from partner cultural organizations throughout the world. You can opt to enjoy 360-degree videos or play board games and do puzzles based on some of the world-renowned artwork. The Street View mode allows you to wander around museums as if you were really there.

Although we can’t travel far nowadays, we can get creative about local adventures available to us. With a bit of preparation and the right company, these outings will brighten up our routine and bring us closer to our friends and family in this socially distanced time.

Photos: Shutterstock

Travelling is just one way to help yourself during this challenging time. Find out how you can look after your mental health in a pandemic here.

How to Take Care of Your Mental Health During Pandemic

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