The thought of packing a suitcase and heading for a memorable vacation these days seems like a mirage, I get it! Our family, along with my parents, were forced to cancel a week-long Mediterranean cruise that we were soo looking forward to! Isn’t it amazing how much we fantasize about our next vacation – now that the freedom to travel has been ripped away?
But, I’m here to give you some hope! And to tell you that there are ways you can travel as a family today and now…without leaving home!
As a blogger who writes about living abroad and traveling with family, the latest global pandemic has really been a punch to the gut. All travel bloggers are feeling it.
The audience that used to search for articles about traveling with family, the best destinations in Europe and how to successfully move abroad are now captivated by news articles about COVID-19.
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But travel bloggers aren’t about to put our tails between our legs and let the virus win! Because wanderlust readers everywhere (maybe you?) are now itching more than ever for their next getaway!
My sister who is a travel agent has even witnessed people booking trips NOW and then cancelling those trips in an effort to lock in a great price but extend the timeframe for which to take the trip. Smart and sneaky, if you ask me!
So while you aren’t able to travel, it’s my desire – no, my responsibility – to bring traveling to YOU.
How to Travel as a Family Without Leaving Home
Prepare an Authentic Meal
Dreaming of a tropical oasis in Mexico? How about serving up a Taco Tuesday dinner for your family? Wish you were wandering the narrow alleyways of Positano, Italy? Try hosting a pizza/pasta making party together!
Food brings people together, as we all know. It can also be a really fun way to learn about other cultures and regions where favorite dishes come from. No matter where in the world you long to be, my International Food board on Pinterest is filled with recipes that can take you there…
Build a Geography Puzzle
Some of our best lessons in geography with the kids have come from building puzzles together! Check out our favorite world map puzzles on Amazon here.
There are so many wins here! Concentration, critical thinking, creativity and of course…travel! Use the time together to chat about the climate, food, culture, and wildlife in each continent.
For extra fun, try quizzing your little ones about capital cities, landmarks, and bodies of water.
Hop Onto Google Earth
The world will never look as small as when you hop onto Google Earth. Haven’t tried it before? Head onto GoogleEarth.com, type in any destination and watch as satellite cameras zoom into that location!
We’ve visited Bali, Machu Picchu, Mont Blanc…and even our old home back in New Jersey.
Our kids love closing their eyes, pointing to any continent on the globe and visiting that place virtually.
By scrolling through the driest deserts, the wettest swamps, and the highest mountain peaks, our family is immediately given an up-close look into a faraway land!
Play a Travel-Themed Board Game
Although some of the games I had never heard of before, her ideas are fantastic. Knowing we are not able to go to the store and purchase any new games, I checked Amazon and most are sold there. Yay!
To help get these board games as quickly as possible to your door front, I’ve added a bunch into our Amazon Storefront. (Thankfully Amazon is still delivering to Spain – which means they’re still delivering to YOU!)
Our family loves board games and it’s gotten easier now that our two older kids can participate! This is not only a fun way to travel while stuck at home, but board games bring the family together and encourage a friendly (most of the time) competitive spirit!
Create an Instagram Account
Okay I know what you’re thinking – another social media account? But honestly guys, if you’re not already on Instagram and you love traveling you are seriously missing the boat (no pun intended).
It wasn’t until starting a blog two years ago (@theexpatchronicle) that I realized how many amazing travel accounts there are on Instagram! Talk about fulfilling the wanderlust in me at a time when traveling is but a distant wish.
Here are a few of my all-time favorite accounts that you’ll want to find and follow for the most incredible travel photos.
Embrace Music & Arts
Nothing captures the creative and inquisitive minds of kids better than music and art. This is an easy one to incorporate at home and get everyone involved! Grab some crayons/markers, paint, paper and enjoy creating works of art from all over the world!
. A sketch of the Eiffel Tower in Paris while listening to the classical tunes of French composers.
. A 3D construction puzzle of London’s Big Ben or Tower Bridge while nibbling on cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches.
. A painting of a beachside coconut tree while listening to the steel drums of Jamaican singer-songwriter, Bob Marley.
. A Playdough sculpture of the Easter Island statues in South America while jamming to the Latin American guitar strums of Carlos Santana.
Plan Your Next (Real) Trip
While it might be hard to imagine boarding a plane or sitting on a white Sandy beach right about now, there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead.
Eventually (sooner than later, we hope!) you’ll have back the beloved freedom we all long for today. The ability to pack a suitcase, travel across country borders and transport yourself to another part of the globe.
There’s no doubt that once quarantines are lifted, the travel industry will see a massive boom – and a much-needed one at that! According to a recent article in the New York Post, the travel industry will emerge bigger and better than ever after the Coronavirus is destroyed.
So start your wish list as a family for what places you’d like to visit this summer. In the coming weeks, keep eyes open for deals on these 5 Secret Travel Companies to Book With Now and start charting out the next family destination!