9 ways to beat the travel bug

written by Helen Ochyra

updated 15.11.2018

Feet itching to get out on the road again? Been back home for a while since your last adventure and desperate to start the next one? If your travel piggy bank isn’t quite up to the task of flying you off on the next big trip just yet, don’t let the travel bug get its claws into you – combat the desire to run away from home with our top tips on how to beat it.

1. Get outside

At the risk of sounding just like your parents, a good old-fashioned dose of fresh air really does put you in a better mood – so get off the couch and get outside. As spring brings out the flowers and those much-missed blue skies you might just find yourself looking at where you live in a whole new light. Top tip: reserve this one for sunny days.

2. Take a different route

Travelling means seeing new things – but there are plenty of those far closer to home. Next time you’re heading to a friend's house or even just popping to the shops, take a deliberate wrong turn and see where it takes you.

You might find an overgrown woodland path leading to a garden you never knew existed, or stumble upon a beautiful historic building you’ve never noticed before.

After all, these things happen on the road all the time – and that road starts right outside your house.

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3. Do something exciting at home

Remember the rush of that helicopter dipping over the Grand Canyon or the thrill of that bungee jump you braved in New Zealand? Adrenaline knows no borders and those adventures aren’t confined to foreign climes. Look locally and you’ll likely find something to get your adrenaline thrills.

Why not take a helicopter or hot air balloon flight over your home city, or try a new adventure sport in your nearest national park? And there’s nothing to stop you from posting pictures on Facebook, just as you would if you were on the other side of the planet.

4. Get cooking

Who hasn’t come back from a trip with a recipe book they always meant to use? Now’s the time to crack it open, and start cooking some of those Indonesian curries or Italian pasta dishes you’ve always meant to.

Your taste buds will never know they haven’t been transported to Thailand or France, even though you’re really balancing a bowl on your knee back home.

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5. Start Instagramming beautiful things

Instagram is for life, not just for the holidays. Deliberately seeking out beautiful things to post on Instagram can help you open your eyes and see what’s in your neighbourhood – be that a lovely view you’ve never stopped to admire or just a patch of brilliant yellow flowers sprouting on the local patch of wasteland.

Put it out there and you might be surprised how excited people get – everywhere is a travel destination to someone after all.

6. Shun your usual spots

Always meet your friends in the same bar? Always go to the same ‘special occasion’ restaurant for every anniversary and birthday? Well, stop it. You wouldn’t dream of going back again and again to the same café trip after trip, so don’t fall into the trap of doing the same thing at home.

Ask your friends if they’ve been anywhere new to eat lately, check out what the guidebook says about your hometown, or just take the plunge and step through the door of that local café you’ve always thought looked a little bit different.

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7. Immerse yourself in a new language

One of the most exciting things about travel is being surrounded by a foreign tongue and not understanding a darn thing. But you needn’t leave home to have exactly the same experience – simply sign up for a language course or go along to a language ‘meet up’ group, where people help each other to learn a foreign language.

You might just trick yourself that you’re in Spain or France as you grapple with the difference between masculine and feminine – and you’ll be all the more prepared for your next trip too.

8. If all else fails…

Still can’t shake the desire to be back on the beach? Crank up the heating, buy an inflatable palm tree and laze beneath it on a beach towel in front of a TV screen loaded with your favourite holiday snaps. If you doze off you might just dream you’re really there. Maybe. We suggest adding a mega-strong cocktail complete with jaunty umbrella and pineapple slice for full effect.

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9. …book a trip

You may not be able to stretch to a second gap year just now but if the bug is really biting there’s really only one known cure – get back out on the road.

That needn’t mean jacking in the job and selling the cat, it can just be a weekend away to whichever destination has the cheapest flights.

If you can’t stretch to that, it’s time to think about who you know. Got a friend somewhere you can hardly pronounce? Have family in a distant land? Heard of an old school friend who’s upped sticks? Maybe it’s time for a visit…

Get inspiration for your next trip with our ultimate bucket list. Compare flights, find tours, book hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you go. Featured image Pixabay / CC0.

Helen Ochyra

written by Helen Ochyra

updated 15.11.2018

Helen Ochyra is a Scotland-obsessed freelance travel writer and author of the critically acclaimed Scottish travel book "Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes", a Times Travel “book of the week” and one of Wanderlust’s “best travel books of 2020”. Helen specialises in British travel and is currently studying towards a Masters in British Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Helen's work has recently appeared in the Times, the Telegraph and Grazia among many others. She lives in London with her husband and two young daughters.

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