When you're not able to travel or have no vacations booked, you can still keep the travel spirit alive by reliving your favorite past trips. Use these nine ideas to re-experience your last memorable vacation and spark inspiration for upcoming voyages.
Get Something Personalized Made From Your Trip Photos
Immortalize the flight that took you to your dream destination with a boarding pass pillow listing your originating and destination airport codes, flight number, gate, seat, date, and name. Create a photo collage in the shape of the U.S. states you’ve visited with a Places We’ve Been Travel Map. Or commemorate your travels with a gunmetal necklace from the Traveller Collective, adding flat silver discs for each country you’ve checked off your bucket list. These customized items can mean a lot more than any tchotchke you hastily picked up at the airport gift shop.
Post an Instagram Highlight of Your Trip
Better than the app’s Story feature where photos disappear after twenty-four hours, Highlights remain on your Instagram account, represented by a circle with the name of the highlight. Activating one launches a slideshow of up to a hundred photos with captions, emojis, and filters—a fun way to quickly reminisce about your entire trip. To create a Highlight, share a photo on your phone to IG Stories. Click on your Story then the More button (with three dots), then select Add to Highlight. The first time you do this, you will have to create the Highlight and give it a name; when adding subsequent photos, you’ll be able to select from the existing Highlight.
Pull Out Those Gourmet Souvenirs
Marinate chicken thighs in the jerk seasoning from Negril, drizzle the fragrant olive oil you purchased in Tuscany on a crusty baguette, and indulge in some tasty chocolate from Geneva. And if you’ve been saving the magnum of vintage Champagne from France or the grippy cabernet sauvignon from your vacation in California wine country, there is no better time to uncork it and enjoy it.
Create and Order a Photo Book
Sites like Mixbook and Shutterfly make it incredibly effortless to upload your photos from your phone or hard drive and create gorgeous, full-color books that you’ll cherish. You’ll even find themes and styles geared for particular themes like beach or camping as well as specific destinations from Europe to Mexico to Disney. It can seem daunting to finish a creation in one sitting, so plan on setting aside a half hour or so a day to tackle the project, especially for more extended vacations. Poll family members and include some fun lists in the captions like the best things you ate, drank, did, and saw, as well as what was most surprising and meaningful about the trip for each of you.
Go Old-School and Make a Scrapbook
If you tend to reach for an actual book rather than your Amazon Kindle, you may find the tactile sensation of creating a scrapbook to be a relaxing diversion right now. Even if you don’t have the cutting tools, fancy cardstock, decorative embellishments, or even the craftiness or creativity to make one, you can order a predesigned and decorated album from Creative Memories. Get low-cost mail-order prints from Snapfish or Target, or use the Free Prints Now app to get up to 85 4x6 prints mailed to you each month for free with just a minimal charge for shipping.
Make a Playlist of Songs by Artists from Your Last Trip's Destination
Spotify continues to be the best option to curate personalized playlists, whether you are looking for soca tunes to bring you back to the beaches of Trinidad or Celtic rock to remind you of good times drinking Guinness in the pubs of Dublin.
Set Aside Time Each Day to Browse (and Delete) Photos From Your Phone
The ease at which we can take high-quality photos and the amount of storage space we have on our phones has spoiled us, meaning we take way too many pictures of the same thing—annoying when we want to show friends some pics of a trip or create an album. In-between checking out the news or social media take fifteen minutes a day to purge some photos and clear out some space or get help with an app like ALPACA or Flic. Do you really need 10 pics of the cocktail you sipped at sunset in Maui?
Write Reviews for Places You Encountered Great Service
Admit it: it’s always one of those things you swear you’ll do after you return home, but life and laundry always seem to get in the way. Many of us have nothing but time now, and the hospitality industry is struggling. Take a few minutes to post a thoughtful review about the affable owners of the bed and breakfast or the stellar dinner you can’t stop talking about on Yelp or TripAdvisor. While you are at it, reach out to the establishment directly via email, Twitter, or their website and tell them how much you enjoyed your stay, meal, or cocktail and that you will be sure to recommend it to others.
Compile a Photo Slideshow and Play It on Your TV
We’re all spending a lot of time indoors right now—a lot. Seeing memories of your island-hopping cruise, three-week expedition around Thailand, or camping trip to the base of the Grand Canyon can virtually transport you, even for a few minutes while you are making dinner with the ingredients you’ve stockpiled or are playing a board game for the umpteenth time. We will get through this and go on to create many more travel memories.