48 Hours Around the World: The Ultimate Stay-at-Home Itinerary

Cruising Antarctica
David Merron Photography / Getty Images

Whether it’s due to finances, schedule, or perfecting your social distancing game, you may find yourself stuck at home with an insatiable desire to travel. Instead of bingeing on true crime documentaries or scrolling through Instagram yet again, consider taking a trip around the world. From Asia to Antarctica, follow our cerebral travel guide and whisk your thoughts away to someplace new.

01 of 06

Day 1: Morning

Buckingham Palace at dusk
Jorg Greuel / Getty Images

9 a.m.: There’s no better way to start a morning in Europe than with an easy-to-make British breakfast of crumpets. You may already have most of the ingredients on hand! Brew up a pot of tea and take it traditionally—with just a bit of milk—or feel free to add honey and lemon.

10 a.m.: Lift your pinky finger as you sip and settle in to take a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace. From the carpet in the White Drawing Room to the domed ceiling of the Grand Staircase, experience an up-close look at three rooms in the palace. To get a view of London’s outdoor attractions, peruse a gallery filled with 360-degree tours from vantage points like Picadilly Circus and the London Eye. Just be careful not to get dizzy as you scroll!

11 a.m.: Afterward, pour another cup of tea and travel north to Scotland where you can skim highlights such as castles, waterways, and landscapes via video. Don’t forget to swing across the sea to Ireland to explore a few sights and take a scenic coastal drive. Of course, while you are in Ireland, it’s customary to grab a pint, so do the next best thing. Drink a beer while imagining you are outside of a traditional Dublin pub.

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02 of 06

Day 1: Afternoon

Rolle Village & Prosecco Vineyards, Veneto, Italy
Peter Adams / Getty Images

12 p.m.: The afternoon is an ideal time to head a bit further north to Scandinavia, and incorporate a bit of Norwegian cuisine into your lunch menu. Cook lamb or fish to transport yourself straight to Norway, and then relax on the couch to explore art in the churches of Sweden. Denmark holds treasures such as the Faroe Islands and Copenhagen, and you can get a current perspective of what’s happening in the country through various webcams.

2 p.m.: Grab a quick drink—we suggest a glass of Italian wine—as you settle in to explore more of what Western Europe has to offer. From here, the options are seemingly endless. The site of the European Travel Commission has interest-based tours, so it’s possible to cross off several countries at once. Explore castles, visit snow-capped mountains, and discover little-known wine regions through their online galleries and articles. You could spend hours traversing in Europe! Bonus: the site’s extensive recipe collection may inspire your next meal.

4 p.m.: Next on the list is Eastern Europe, which exudes culture. First, get the lay of the land by consulting a guide to the region, where you can hit the highlights of each country. If you want to delve a bit more into the area, pay a visit to Rick Steves’ website to watch TV episodes on Bulgaria, Romania, and Prague. You’ll experience a fascinating, in-depth look at the countries through his personal stories.

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03 of 06

Day 1: Evening

African Elephants in the plains of Serengeti, Tanzania
guenterguni / Getty Images

6 p.m.: Now, it’s time to move around a bit—literally. Not only should you get up and burn some calories, but it’s easy to do so while you make dinner. Search for some African-inspired recipes using ingredients you may already have on hand. To make the experience a bit more authentic, jive to African tunes by searching artists such as Bongo Maffin, a South African kwaito music group, or Fatoumata Diawara, a Malian singer-songwriter.

8 p.m.: Africa is known for its rich fauna, so grab a blanket and get cozy to watch a few documentaries. Learn about the Serengeti and view a few up-close animal encounters caught while on safari. Afterward, see if you spy any wildlife in the African bush or view preserved webcam footage of adorable lion cubs. Later, take a quick climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. What an accomplishment to cross off of your bucket list!

10 p.m.: It may be getting late, but that’s no excuse to skip out on a quick trip to Antarctica. Head to the freezer and grab your favorite flavor of ice cream to get into the frigid spirit as you listen to an episode of AntArctic Stories, a podcast about daring polar expeditions. Before you go to sleep, watch a video about a couple that camped outside in the arctic snow. It will make you thankful to snuggle into your warm bed!

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04 of 06

Day 2: Morning

Neon Lights
Photography by Jeremy Villasis. Philippines. / Getty Images

9 a.m.: Start the day by making a hearty Australian breakfast—the fry-up. With just five ingredients (eggs, bacon, wheat bread, baked beans, and butter), it’s the perfect way to clear out the fridge. While you are in Australia, check out the live webcam of Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge. A trip to the continent wouldn’t be complete without cute footage of koalas. Get a live look at what these mammals are doing at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, although, don’t be disappointed if they are asleep.

10:30 a.m.: Next, it’s off to Asia. Tour Japanese gardens or sneak into North Korea through snippets of the BBC’s video footage. To avoid the real-life crowds at the Taj Mahal, hop over to YouTube to take a tour. If you have 28 minutes to spare, you can visit 21 places in Southeast Asia—including Palawan and the Philippines—and then take a peek at Hong Kong’s live webcam before you leave.

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05 of 06

Day 2: Afternoon

Aerial view of Arpoador in Rio de Janeiro.
Giordano Cipriani / Getty Images

12:30 p.m.: Mexican cuisine is often a favorite, so head off to visit Central and South America for lunch. You will need the sustenance for an afternoon of virtual touring, so cook tacos or enchiladas as you listen to traditional tunes. The mariachi music may put you in the mood to take a salsa break for some much-needed movement.

2 p.m.: After lunch, sit back, relax, and get ready to explore South America. Delve into the Amazon region through a documentary, and then follow up the serenity of the rainforest by popping into busy places like Santiago or Copacabana by webcam. End your time on the continent by exploring the sites or by taking a stunning aerial tour of Machu Picchu.

4 p.m.: Next, it’s time to go north to Central America. If you’re craving an afternoon snack, take time to test out the street food in Guatemala City or dig into the top seven places in Nicaragua. Then pop in your earbuds, close your eyes and listen to The Amateur Traveler chat about adventures in Costa Rica, such as ziplining and whitewater rafting.

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06 of 06

Day 2: Evening

Texas longhorn cattle on spring pasture
leekris / Getty Images

6 p.m.: After a full day and a half of circling the globe, it’s finally time to settle into North America. For dinner, order a pizza—that’s about as “United States” as it gets. Dine and learn about the U.S.'s neighbors to the north by watching "Being Canadian." It is a lengthy but thoroughly entertaining documentary that peppers a bit of history with interviews of well-known Canadians.

8 p.m.: Give your eyes a rest and let your ears soak in a few episodes of the Extra Pack of Peanuts podcast. Topics such as the “throwdown showdown” Austin vs. Nashville or what to do in Philadelphia may inspire you to visit a new state. Then cross to the wild west to learn a bit about cattle farming and life on a Texas ranch. While you’re swinging through the south, familiarize yourself with a few of the region’s accents before you leave. The subtle differences will amaze you—and make you laugh.

10 p.m.: To relax for the night, grab a glass of California wine as you see check out the "nightlife" from the comfort of your couch. Watch a live webcam of Times Square, Philadelphia, or the streets of Los Angeles to feel like you are in the middle of it all. If you are in the mood for entertainment, take a quick trip to see snippets of 10 Las Vegas shows. Finally, finish off your trip by capping off the evening with sounds of the Native American flute and then drift sweetly off to sleep after two full days of exploring the world.