Hi there, I'm Julie - owner and founder of Vacations Inspired, and I believe travel is an essential part of life—and how you choose to travel matters.
As your personal travel advisor, I’ll tap into my network of vetted travel suppliers and local guides to design a perfectly plotted immersive experience. Your passions and preferences will lead the way.
Get my Go West Destination Travel Guide to find out which 7 Western U.S. gems you should add to your “must visit” list.
Finding the excitement for traveling or creating your travel dream list can be difficult when you’re not sure the next time you’ll be able to get on a plane again or jump in your car for your next sightseeing adventure. It’s especially tough to look ahead amidst COVID-19 when we see the numbers rising as we head into winter, but this is the best time to plan for your future travel destinations. While you’re stuck at home, you can dream by virtually visiting new places, watching movies, or reading books that take you to new destinations.
While you may currently be at home much of the time, you don’t have to mentally be there, thanks to the unlimited opportunities on the internet. After you’ve explored your local museums, you can visit a new city virtually or ‘walk’ through your favorite museum. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and travel to your favorite city or a place you’ve been dreaming of. It’s as easy as going on YouTube and looking up virtual city tours. There are tons of videos in various locations that will make you feel like you’re actually in the city.
Then there’s this video, which is like being on a private guided tour of the Louvre.
(Travel tip: Take a private guided tour! It will enhance your travel experience.)
Brush up on your French and grab some French cheese and wine, and you’re there!
You can visit other museums through Google’s Art and Culture site. They’ve teamed up with museums all over the world to bring you on a virtual adventure. Check out the Guggenheim Museum in New York or the British Museum in London, among so many other unique places. (https://artsandculture.google.com/)
If your dream is to visit the beautiful national parks of the US, take a tour with google earth. With 31 national parks to choose from, you can virtually visit Virgin Islands National Park or Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Choose between a 3D tour that allows you to visit the park from above or travel by street view and discover why it’s a national park for yourself! Google Earth National Parks
If the next place on your travel dream list involves a foreign language, make an effort to learn it. You’ll get that much more excited about traveling if you have some new language skills to try out on your next vacation. Take this opportunity to learn a bit of German, French or Portugese before your next European river cruise. I think this is an excellent winter and even a year-long project.
If you haven’t quite decided on your next travel location, check my boards out @123goinspired on Pinterest or Instagram. Millions of users know that these digital dream-boards can give you all kinds of inspiration for destinations around the world. Or, make a list of all the places you can’t wait to see for yourself one day and create a poster board of your dream list locations. It’s sure to keep your travel dreams alive.
For lovers of historical non-fiction, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing tells the incredible story of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic in 1914. A must-read for anyone interested in adventure and expedition travel.
For a bit more tropical location check out The Island by Victoria Hislop. This book tells the story of the Petrakis family living in the small Greek seaside village of Plaka. Just off the coast is the tiny island of Spinalonga, where a leper colony was once located. So interesting and really enjoyable. If you haven’t wanted to visit Greece before, I think this will give you the nudge!
Movies can take you all over the world and allow you to experience a new location along with an exciting storyline. Thunderball, the fourth James Bond movie, with Sean Connery as James Bond, takes place in the US, Bahamas, and London on a high-speed chase that involves atomic bombs, diamonds, and drama in luxurious settings.
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve watched Out of Africa, the 1985 film set in 20th century colonial Kenya, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. It features a romantic storyline that will make you crave a visit to Africa for sure.
Pick a movie set in your dream location and get lost in the imaginings.
Pull out those board games! For game lovers, leave reality by playing a travel-related board game with your favorite travel companions. Monopoly has many location-specific board games that can help you get excited about different cities and counties. Ticket to Ride Europe takes its players on a journey around the continent and stops in many travel dream list locations.
For some people, planning outfits and packing can be super exciting. Even without a future trip on the horizon, you can still organize your travel wardrobe and get ready for your next adventure. Also, take a look at some of the most useful travel products to put on your Christmas list so that when the time to venture out arrives, you’re prepared.
Grab take out from your favorite Italian or Vietnamese restaurant and reminisce on a beautiful trip you’d like to do for the first time or all over again. Or imagine what it would be like to dine near the water or under the Eiffel tower drinking wine and eating lovely French baguettes and cheese. You can also search the web or ask your friends for a favorite recipe and try creating an authentic meal, and you’ll be daydreaming all night long. It’s a great way to have a cultural night in.
The most exciting way to keep the spirit of travel alive is to make your travel dream list and outline the places you’re hoping to visit one day soon. Take the time to perfect the list by taking virtual tours, learning the language, reading, and studying the locations for things you’d love to see or do. There is no doubt you’ll be ready to go when the time comes.
Nothing, and I mean nothing is more exciting than getting a trip on the calendar. Even though you might not be able to travel to all of the places you’re dreaming of right now, we still can work on the planning process. If that’s the ticket for you, reach out , I’d love to help.
I hope this reminds you that no matter where you are, or what the circumstances are around you, you can be transformed by participating in activities that will broaden your horizons, engage your mind and get you excited to travel again …when the time is right. Of course, being in a new destination or revisiting a familiar place in person is the best part, but exploring the world from home can be fun, too, when you take the time to be present and enjoy the process.
Can I ask you a favor? If this blog inspired you to take action, let me know, and please share it with someone you think will enjoy it, too.
WORK WITH ME
With so much world to discover, it helps to have a trusted expert to guide the way. As your personal travel advisor, I’ll tap into my network of vetted travel suppliers and local guides to design a perfectly plotted immersive experience. Your passions and preferences will lead the way—whether that leads to a relaxing river cruise or daring ocean expedition, a self-drive itinerary that takes you off the beaten path, or a luxury resort stay complete with private excursions.
So close all those browser tabs, log out of confusing online forums, and leave it all to me.
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