20 things to do if you’re not travelling this year

20 things to do if you’re not travelling this year

Being a ‘travel blogger’ who hasn’t actually travelled properly since 2015 means I’ve been taking my own advice on this for the past four years! Moving city and buying our first house has really put the strain on our bank accounts, so here we are – well out of practice and full of cabin fever. If you’re not travelling this year and aren’t sure what to do with your time, here’s a little inspiration from travel-deprived me, to you.

1 // Try that ‘let’s go sometime’ place

You’ll think you’ve ‘been there done that’ with your town or city, but there’s bound to be somewhere you’ve meant to visit but just haven’t, or somewhere new that’s just opened recently! Find a new restaurant, shop or café to explore.

2 // Go on your own photography walk

Grab your camera and spend the day taking photos in your local area. You can get gorgeous sunset shots in your own backyard.

3 // Take a ‘day trip’

You don’t even need to go that far to explore. Hop on the train or the bus for a couple of stops and take a day trip to the next town or city. The rest of the world is literally a few miles away.

SEE MORE: Exploring a new tarn – Malham Cove

4 // Write postcards from where you are now

I love writing postcards while I’m sat on a balcony or by the pool, so why not write some lovely random notes for friends and post them from where you are? Even better if there’s a bit of sunshine in your garden.

5 // Fancy up your bathroom

Your own bathroom can be like a 5* hotel with a bit of fancying up! Get twice as many bubbles in the tub, light a bunch of candles and make sure there’s a lovely chilled glass of wine within arm’s reach. Just lovely.

go out for ice cream | this city life

6 // Go out for ice cream

Even if it’s cold weather, ice cream can still be a treat! I’ve seen so many gelato and dessert shops pop up in the UK in the last couple of years, there’s sure to be one close by! It’s not just for holidays either, so if you’re not travelling this year, find some time to visit a local ice cream shop and treat yourself to a cone (or two) at home.

SEE MORE: How ice cream taught me to love travel

7 // Join your local library

Excuse the cheese, but there are whole other worlds to be found inside books. Join your nearest library and you can escape to them in minutes.

8 // Watch some travel documentaries

If books aren’t your thing, then films could work? Log into Netflix and watch a bunch of travel films that’ll give you heaps of wanderlust.

9 // Eat local street food

Let your tastebuds do the travelling for you and make it feel like you’re on holiday with street food treats – tacos, curries, samosas, pizza, yum buns and roti. Oh my god, why am I writing this on a Sunday night when everything’s closed?!

10 // Get familiar with your backyard

There’ll be 101 cool things to do in your own town, letting you explore culture and history just feet from your own front door. Plan one a day week where you get out there and walk about!

SEE MORE: Exploring Yorkshire – a day trip to Whitby

11 // Join a local ‘meet-up’ to meet new people

A great part of travelling is meeting new people, which you can also do in your own city. Look for local event listings on Facebook for gatherings that interest you – most likely they’ll be held somewhere you’ve never been before.

12 // Find all the free stuff that happens in your area

No doubt there’s loads of free stuff to do in your town too – open parks, museums, exhibitions, concerts. We tend to look elsewhere when we’re bored, but I guarantee there’ll be something happening in your town that won’t even cost you a penny.

cocktails at home | this city life

13 // Attempt your own cocktails

Fancy cocktails aren’t just resigned to beach-side bars! Invite a few friends round, get the booze in and start creating your very own cocktails in the kitchen – glacé cherries and mini brollies galore.

14 // Have an indoor picnic

When you’ve recovered from your cocktails, pretend your living room is a pretty park in Italy (actually, the booze may help with this.) Grab a blanket, make some finger sarnies, pour the lemonade, and sit back and chat. Bliss.

15 // Start a box set

Not travelling this month makes your spare hours the perfect time to start that box set you’ve had your eye on for so long. Never got round to Breaking Bad? Missed The Sopranos the first time? Press play.

16 // Get the bus to a random stop

In the spirit of exploring areas you don’t know, why not hop off the bus in a village or town you’ve never been to before? You could do some research before, or totally take your chances and play bus stop roulette.

17 // Cook something you haven’t before

Travelling with your tastebuds again, but this time taking a bit more skill and research. Try your hand at foods you’ve eaten on holiday – tapas, cuban sandwiches, fish tacos, bitteballen… We did try this with a soup we absolutely adored in Sri Lanka but played guesswork on the recipe. It didn’t taste so good, but I’m sure you’ll do a much better job than we did!

SEE MORE: How not to order coffee (and avoid annoying the Italians)

18 // Learn a language

Have a go at learning Spanish or French or Italian, so that when you do get to travel you’re well versed in the local lingo.

19 // Staycation in a swanky hotel

If you’ve got some savings but can’t afford to travel abroad, a little staycation will help keep that itch to travel at bay. Book into some swanky hotels and have a few nights away from home. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is!

20 // The classic ‘spa at home’

Give yourself a pamper session as if you’re on a lovely city break. Make a face mask with banana, honey and orange juice, crack open the bubbly, and light some sweet-smelling candles.

Got any suggestions for things to do if you’re not travelling this year? Tell me in the comments!

images via unsplash.com

please note: some header images are from unsplash.com


  1. 10th January 2016 / 9:38 am

    Great tips Charley! I’ve done a few of these this month as I too haven’t got anything lined up as yet travel wise and I must say, it does help lift the January blues! Ice cream has a way of always making it feel like summer ☺

  2. Rebecca Marie
    10th January 2016 / 1:45 pm

    These are all fantastic! I spent far too much of last year cooked up inside on my days off and I’m going to definitely note some of these down in my bullet journal for inspiration! I just went on a photography walk yesterday and it was brilliant. These are such good tips! :) xxx

  3. 10th January 2016 / 8:30 pm

    Awesome post Charley! Completely love the idea of going for a photo walk and of course ice cream is ALWAYS a good idea! There’s a lovely little place near mine that does Jaffa Cake ice cream and its divine! Actually that may be a plan for next weekend now 😊

  4. 10th January 2016 / 9:26 pm

    Love these ideas, getting ice cream is definitely a way to pretend you are on holiday. I am terrible for exploring my own back yard.

  5. Natalie
    11th January 2016 / 10:08 am

    Thanks for the list! I have a trip booked for August but that is just so far away. :[

    Nat | Dignifiable

  6. 11th January 2016 / 10:13 am

    Great ideas! I’m currently in the research phase for my new trips (hotels, attractions, etc) :)

  7. 11th January 2016 / 11:42 pm

    Great list! I definitely do some of these now that I do less travelling than when I was living in England. Have to keep life interesting some how.

  8. 12th January 2016 / 10:39 am

    Some super ideas! I love to use this portion of the year to do some exploring in my own back yard!

  9. Keri/Emma - Ladies what travel
    12th January 2016 / 2:26 pm

    Great post Charley – and perfect timing as January can be so dull & grey. Sometimes we need a simple reminder of all the lovely things we can see and do from our home base. I’m gonna take your advice and try a few of these out this month! One of the things I want to start is learning Spanish! Keri x