Whether you’re stuck at home due to world circumstances or you’re simply waiting for your planned PTO, here’s what you can be doing at home to prep for future travels.
I think it’s safe to say we’re all feeling a little stir crazy at the moment. Due to — *cough cough* — current world circumstances, few of us have been able to leave our homes, much less go on vacation. As a travel blogger, this time spent indoors has me feeling all kinds of ways. For the first few weeks, I was fairly stressed about the whole situation and had tons of pent up energy. But after a month indoors, I came to terms that I’d be alone in my apartment for a long while yet, and that there were so many ways I could be using my time at home to prep for future travels.
Obviously, none of the items on this list are as satisfying as actually traveling. But, you know, this is the hand life has dealt us at the moment, and I’m going to just roll with it. So whether you’re eagerly awaiting your scheduled PTO days or are stuck inside due to current world circumstances, here are a few travel-related tasks you can do at home that will keep you busy and inspire you.
Edit / print photos from past travels
I’m notoriously bad about printing any of the photos I take on my travels. I’m good about getting them edited and put up on the blog, okay about backing them up, and terrible about actually printing them out so I can relive my travels more easily. With all the time I’ve spent at home lately, I’ve been able to go through my photos and edit the ones I plan on displaying in my Berlin apartment. If you don’t have a printer at your house, save the photos you plan on printing to a folder on your desktop. This way, you can go straight to the print shop when you’re able to without first having to track down the photos all over again.
If you want to share your travel photos with friends and family, you may want to upload them to Google Drive, Flickr, or Facebook as well (it really just depends how public you want your images to be).
Backup old travel photos
This is one of my least favorite tasks after I come back from a trip, but it’s something I’m always happy past-me did when I’m packing for a trip in the future. For me, backing up my photos looks a little something like this:
- Sift through the images to see if there are any bad ones worth deleting (i.e. blurry, bad lighting, etc.).
- Pop images worth editing and sharing on my blog into a folder on my desktop.
- Upload all images to my external hard drive (I have one that can hold 1TB of data).
- Upload all images to my private Flickr account (I like using Flickr since it lets me share albums with friends and family).
I know I’m a little crazy for backing up my images twice, but I like having photos stored on the internet somewhere in addition to a physical hard drive. It gives me some peace of mind knowing that if either storage system breaks I’ll still have access to my thousands of travel photos.
Depending on how many photos you have to backup, this process may take a while. If that’s the case, put on a podcast or a movie in the background so you’re motivated to get through all your images.
Clear your camera’s memory card
I hate it when I go to take a photo, only to be notified that my memory card is full. I hate having to delete images on the spot because I worry that I haven’t backed them up yet. In a perfect world, I remember to clear my camera’s memory card as soon as I return from a trip and back up all the images. But the world isn’t perfect, so I often forget this step and hate myself for it later on. Do yourself a solid and clear your memory card while you’re stuck at home. It’ll make prepping for future trips so much easier and you won’t be stuck having to panic erase photos while you’re traveling.
Log past trips to your frequent flyer programs
If you book flights through websites like Expedia, the miles you’re logging won’t automatically be added to your frequent flyer accounts. It’s important that you go in and manually enter your flight data from past trips so you can rack up those miles and cash in on those frequent flyer perks later on. This process takes very little time, but you can reap big rewards in the long run so it’s a good idea to sit down and double check that your past flights have been logged into your frequent flyer accounts!
Catch up on travel journal entries
If you’ve been following me for a while, you already know how much I cherish my travel journal. I never leave for a trip without it, and I write in it every night as a way of winding down after a full day of exploring. But it’s easy to forget to journal on nights when I’m extremely tired or simply don’t feel like putting pen to paper. If there are any trips you haven’t written about yet in your travel journal or any memories you never want to forget, now’s the time to jot down your thoughts. Your entries may not have been written during the trip you’re talking about, but at least you’re committing your memories to paper and will have something to look back on in the future.
Make a travel bucket list
Even if you’re not sure when your next trip will be, it’s helpful (and so fun!) to have a written bucket list of all the places you’re itching to visit. I have a couple different bucket lists saved to my computer: one for the city I’m living in (currently Berlin, Germany), one for day trips near me, and one for trips that require more detailed planning. I especially love my local bucket list since it makes planning weekend adventures with friends easier and gives me something to look forward to even when I’m just staying at home.
Another major perk of having a bucket list at the ready is that when the opportunity to travel comes up you won’t have to waste any time deciding where to visit next. All you have to do is skim your bucket list(s) to see which dream locale fits your current budget and time restraints, make a couple reservations online, and then eagerly await your next trip!
Create an itinerary for your next trip
As I’m writing this post, Berlin is still on semi-lockdown due to Coronavirus. I’ve told my friends to pick a German city for us to travel to when traveling beyond Berlin is allowed. My plan is to create a loose itinerary for my first few trips post-lockdown so that when Germany fully reopens and travel is allowed, all we have to do is pick our travel dates and book our accommodations and train tickets.
As much as I love traveling, I’ll admit that making itineraries can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, especially when planning trips to larger cities and other popular destinations. When I’m able to travel again, I want the peace of mind of knowing that the time-consuming parts of planning my next trip are done and all I have to do is hop on a train and enjoy the journey. Plus, creating an itinerary while I’m unable to travel gives me something to look forward to and helps me stay positive during my time cooped up indoors.
Whether you’re reading this during the current world crisis or have stumbled upon this post months later, I hope you’ve found this list helpful. One of my biggest frustrations when I worked in an office was feeling like I couldn’t see as much of the world as I wanted to. I didn’t like having a limited number of PTO days and longed for a lifestyle that would allow me to more easily explore the world when I wanted to. I turned to these “travel at home” tasks time and again when I had a 9 to 5 job, and they really helped lift my spirits and kept me thinking ahead to all the wonderful adventures I was planning.
Tell me: What’s one way you deal with wanderlust when you’re unable to travel?
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- My Top Tips for Traveling with a Group
- Sustainable Travel Tips: How to Be a More Responsible Traveler
- 9 Overlooked Travel Costs to Consider Before Booking Your Flight
- My Top Tips for Planning a Weekend Getaway