Instead of being bleak about not having the freedom to go wherever you want to go this year (thanks to the pandemic), we’ve got some other options for you…

Budgets may be tight, and leave may be limited, but you can still spoil yourself with a little getaway. You just have to be smart about it. So keep your original bucket list dreams alive, but put together a ‘revised’ version for 2021 that will still tick all of your ‘wanderlust’ boxes.

Here are our suggestions:

Travel virtually

If you really can’t get away, then add virtual travel to your travel bucket list instead. The internet has made it easy to explore far flung destinations from the comfort of home.

With Google Street View on Google Maps, you can virtually walk down a street in Amsterdam or New York (tip: try this with VR glasses for a more immersive experience), while many cities and attractions around the world have developed videos and content to make you feel as though you are right in the destination.

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You could also meet people from around the world via the internet and learn new skills from them. Airbnb Online Experiences allows you to do just that. You could book a dancing lesson in the USA, a cooking class in France, or a meditation session in Japan, and experience it all while never leaving your house. Isn’t this a fun alternative to actually travelling?

Splurge locally

If you have a travel savings fund that you had planned to use overseas, why not use that money locally instead? There are some amazing staycation deals that you can make the most of at the moment such as the offers from Radisson Hotels that include a seaside escape at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront or a city holiday at Radisson Blu in Sandton.

Other ideas for a local splurge on yourself could be a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the newly opened Kruger Shalati: The Train on the Bridge in the heart of the Kruger National Park. Suspended over the Sabie River in the heart of the Kruger National Park, Kruger Shalati Train on the Bridge is one of the world’s most anticipated luxury tourism attractions with incredible accommodation housed inside a restored and reimagined train permanently located on top of the historical Selati Bridge.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to experience this?

Explore solo travel

If you’re itching to travel, but you’re putting it off because your usual travel crew can’t currently get together, then consider a solo adventure. Solo travel was already on the rise pre-COVID-19, and is now booming.

With solo travel there is a lower risk of getting infected or infecting others around you, and for those who have been home for so long, surrounded by loved ones every day, it’s becoming a way to get in some alone time and take a little break for some much-needed recharging.

Imagine having a quiet moment on a balcony overlooking the ocean or a mountain with just you, your thoughts and nothing else to worry you. Why not give it a go this year?

Mix business and leisure

If there’s one thing we realised this year, it’s that a lot of us can work from anywhere. So, if you don’t have the leave days or you simply have too much work to do and won’t have time to take off to travel, consider booking a home, apartment or hotel in a stunning location with a good internet connection and work from there.

This is a great way  not only to get your work done, but also to be able to feel as though you are on holiday. Even if you spend most of the day working, perhaps your tea break is taken on the balcony with a view or your lunch break is a quick walk around your temporary neighbourhood. Isn’t this a great way to have your cake and eat it too?

Be a more responsible traveller

Responsible travel means something different these days and, if it wasn’t on your mind before, it should be now. Being a responsible traveller now goes beyond recycling your plastics, using less water and supporting local.

While all of these are extremely important, being a responsible traveller in a COVID-19 world is perhaps even more important because lives are at stake. When you’re travelling, be sure to wear your mask, adhere to social distancing guidelines, sanitise and wash your hands regularly, and if you’re feeling sick, don’t go out.

We all want the world to switch back and be able to travel more freely again, but it won’t happen unless we all do our part.

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