Social media has a magical way of inspiring wanderlust, whether it comes from looking at friends’ vacation photos or catching sight of a cool looking place posted by someone you follow. Either way, there are few things that top the feeling of experiencing a new place, checking a destination off your bucket list, or enjoying some needed downtime. But, since dropping everything to hop in a car or on a plane isn’t always possible, we put together a short list of things you can do to help curb the urge to get away — at least until the timing is right.
- Plan your next trip. Did you know that just thinking about travel can improve your mental health and make you feel happier? Travel data from social analytics firm Crimson Hexagon says it’s true. For a cheery boost, start thinking about where you want to go next. Consider if you’ll roll solo or invite friends, family or your partner, and plot out possible places to stay, eat and explore. Get creative inspiration by using Instagram to search by location or hashtag, or run a couple of searches on Pinterest. Once you start stockpiling inspiration, you’ll feel even more motivated to put some actionable travel plans in place.
- Read a book. Books are an easy escape with their ability to take you to another place and time in a matter of moments. Unlike watching movies or TV, you’ll be forced to call on your own creativity to help bring the characters and scene to life. If you’re feeling some serious wanderlust, reach for titles that take place in specific city or country. Let your mind help imagine the way an island, the desert, or small mountain village looks and smells. Reading is a simple thing, but can bring tons of joy and relaxation.
- Celebrate your last adventure. Make the most of the pictures you expertly captured on your last trip! Whether you finally copy them to the cloud, craft a collage, frame some favorites or share videos, stories and memories with people you love, looking back on the last trip you took is a great way to channel wanderlusty vibes. If you have a blog or love to help others, you might also spend some time writing about a place you love or even answering questions for fellow travelers. So much fun!
- Take a mini trip. While epic journeys are tons of fun, travel doesn’t necessarily need to be a far flung trip. In fact, you can have an awesome new experience by exploring a local neighborhood or small town you’re not familiar with. Stop by landmarks, visit galleries, and try a new coffeeshop or restaurant to uncover local gems. You can up the ante of your adventure by switching the way you get around; if you usually drive, try walking. If you love to walk, consider riding a bicycle. If the place you visit has water, hop on a boat! You might be surprised to find that an afternoon away is all you need to take a break from your regular routine.