Five things for frustrated travel bugs to do while in lockdown

We will travel again once the coronavirus pandemic is over. In the meantime, try these suggestions to keep your wanderlust alive as you stay home

22 March 2020 - 00:00 By Sanet Oberholzer
The usually buzzing Piazza del Duomo in the centre of Milan is deserted in the wake of Italy's Covid-19 lockdown.
The usually buzzing Piazza del Duomo in the centre of Milan is deserted in the wake of Italy's Covid-19 lockdown.
Image: AFP

Travel is going through the desert equivalent of a dry spell. Travel bans have been put in place across the globe and even travelling domestically is being discouraged. To the great dismay of those who have been waiting months, even years, to go on dream holidays, trips are being cancelled.

But travel is meant to inspire and revive the soul. Just because it's temporarily out of reach doesn't mean it's lost forever; we will travel again. And while we wait:


Update your bucket list. Mark off the places you've been and add new dream destinations to your list. If you've never made one, start now. It may seem like you're building castles in the air, but this will give you something tangible to work towards. Once you have an idea of where you want to go, start mapping out your next adventure. You may not be able to choose specific dates right now, but dust off those old travel guides, use satellite imaging and do some research. Let this be the build-up to the trip that will make your wildest dreams come true.


Travel is about more than physically going somewhere; it is about what you experience along the way. With this in mind, keep yourself occupied with activities that allow you to travel vicariously. Stream international movies or series set in other countries. Google - and attempt to make - an exotic recipe. YouTube another country's music or pick up a book set in a different world. Sometimes a mental road trip can be as much fun as an actual one.


English is not the be all and end all. Depending on where you travel, you may need a basic understanding of the local language to get by. Always wanted to backpack through (mainly Spanish) South America? Download an app or start attending an online Spanish class to kick-start the dream.


Many travellers think only long distances qualify. What about experiencing the attractions in your own back yard? Now might be the best time to get out there and explore the world outside your own window. Take a leisurely drive, go on a long hike or bike ride in a national park - these are perfectly acceptable social-distancing activities that might just revive your sense of adventure and remind you that there is life beyond your house's walls.


People always seem to be chasing the next best thing, and holidays are no exception. It may do you the world of good to stop thinking ahead and think back on the trips that have made you smile. Go through a photo album, start a scrapbook or simply crack open a bottle of wine and take the time to reminisce with the people who went on the trip with you. Memory is a powerful thing and there is often more to be gained from reliving and sharing an experience than we give it credit for.