THE country is on virtual lockdown and foreign travel has all but ground to a halt. But that does not mean we have to go without any holiday fun.
From daydreaming about your next adventure to cooking exotic meals, here are some ways to get your travel fix . . . at home.
Organise your holiday snaps
Now almost everyone has a smartphone, it is easy to take countless photos over a weekend getaway.
But often they just sit on your phone, never to be looked at again.
So now is the time to spring-clean your photo album. Delete duplicates and duds to free up space. Make selections for printing and for digital albums.
If you have kids, get them to help you make scrapbooks of great holiday memories.
Plan your next trip
Do the boring work of setting up accounts with your favourite airlines so you are ready to start banking air miles when the travel industry is back on its feet.
Think about strategies for gaining (or not losing) elite status and earning miles or points. If you already have miles, check out your airline’s awards charts to think about sweet spots or best ways to use your points and miles.
When you are aware of your points and miles — and hopefully have a strategy in mind for earning and burning — it is time to dream about your next trip.
If you do not feel comfortable booking just yet, you can at least make a bucket-list of destinations, dream hotels and routes you would love to fly one day. And ponder how you can use your points and miles to get you there.
Watch a travel movie
For those who dream of being wild and free, take a virtual trip on a motorcycle through Latin America with Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Motorcycle Diaries.
You will be yearning to head to Jaipur, India, after watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — and the Bollywood dance scene at the end will put the biggest smile on your face.
With stunning shots of Barcelona’s Park Guell and Gothic neighbourhood, Vicky Cristina Barcelona will leave you itching to visit Spain.
Or for a feel-good flick shot in Rome, Bali and India, try Eat, Pray, Love.
Travel with your taste buds
If you can’t eat street food in Bangkok or tapas in Spain, you can do your best to cook exotic dishes at home.
If you can get hold of the ingredients, test your luck in the kitchen. This might be the perfect time to order that Crock-Pot too.
Add to the atmosphere with some matching tunes from Spotify.
And podcast fans should check out TPG’s travel podcasts Talking Points and Miles Away.
Read a travel memoir or novel
Quarantine is the perfect time to curl up with a book. Cathedral Of The Sea, by Ildefonso Falcones, will take you back to 14th-century Barcelona, where citizens carried stones on their backs to build the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral, which stands today in El Born district.
Follow one woman’s journey to find herself — after dealing with death, divorce and drug use — by hiking the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail in the US in book Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.
Under The Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes, follows one woman’s trials and errors as she renovates a dilapidated Tuscan farmhouse.
If Peru is on your bucket list, try Turn Right At Machu Picchu, by Mark Adams, in which the author retraces explorer Hiram Bingham’s steps through the lost Inca territory.
Learn a new language
Knowing just a few basic phrases can make the world of difference when travelling and can open new doors to conversations or fun experiences.
Locals always appreciate the effort, even if they speak perfect English.
Download an app such as Duolingo to get started on your language of choice.
DON’T FUEL IT
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The app offers free lessons in everything from Japanese to Czech.
Even five minutes of study a day can help you speak a new language.
Surely that is time better spent than scrolling through social media?