Cabin fever got you down? You’re not alone. After more than a year of strong safety measures involving everything from socialization and retail access, to rapidly shifting work conditions and fluctuating case numbers, many travel enthusiasts are chomping at the bit to begin exploring again. While shorter road trips are starting to happen, many international destinations are a bit further off in terms of opening up completely, according to the list of travel advisories on the U.S. Department of State’s website.
There’s been no shortage of frustration over the fun deficit at my house either, believe me. However, I have found a few ways to leverage the last bits of lockdown time to perfect my post-pandemic travel game. Eager to feel you’re moving forward with your adventure goals? Here are a few points to ponder.
Strategy: Paring down with purpose can pay off in perpetuity when it comes to post-pandemic travel. While tales of selling it all to embrace van life or move to another country are certainly inspiring, streamlining possessions provides long-term preparedness perks for trips of all sorts. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to belongings used both at home and on the road. For my money, multipurpose items with an eye toward space efficiency make the most impact.
One example that’s made a huge difference for me in terms of both wardrobe space and packing proficiency is the purchase of compression tank tops. Basically a layering tank and light sports bra in one, they provide a 50 percent reduction in the number of those items I need to pack for an adventure getaway. The fact I receive the same space-saving benefit in my closet is an added bonus. While there are a multitude of brand options, be advised not all of them offer the same level of coverage. After purchasing and returning a number of these, I finally settled on Knix. Priced at less than 60 bucks, opaque in all the right areas and available in curvy girl sizes, they meet a variety of needs for less money than I typically throw down for a good-quality underwire.
On a related note, ladies, if you haven’t experienced any of the menstrual undergarments on the market, it might be time to give them a try. Not only do they eliminate storage needs for certain disposable products, you also won’t have to set aside valuable vacation time for a restock. Just putting that out there.
To further blend general home and travel needs, another area I’ve curated differently during lockdown is towels. Specifically, the flat weave Turkish variety. Only slightly thicker than a sarong, they take up significantly less space than standard bath towels, freeing up critical closet space for storing necessities. Fast forward to upcoming travel plans, and these same towels work perfectly on the road as light airline blankets, emergency bath mats, beach towels and more. Not only do they air dry quickly when traveling to areas where dryers aren’t the norm, they also remove all of the lint associated with regular towels from the laundry equation, making a separate load unnecessary.
From using bobby pins as emergency paperclips to pressing contact cases into service as air travel containers for paints and art adhesives, the choices for multipurpose belongings are many. The ones you make will be unique to your lifestyle. Whether you require less square footage overall to afford more frequent trips, having less to move when changing locations or a simplified packing plan, each small purchasing decision is another piece of the overall puzzle.
Activities: If you love a good on-site cocktail as much as I do, consider channeling your inner mixologist at home to get yourself in the groove. Betting on Bermuda? Learn how to make a perfect dark and stormy. Setting your sights on Spain? Make sure your sangria is above reproach. Before patio meal and beverage services started opening up in our area, I used this approach a few times a week. Still do. Paired with a streaming beach-themed playlist and one of those oceanfront palm tree videos from YouTube playing on my television screen, it goes a long way in assisting with any necessary attitude adjustments.
Art journaling, astronomy, urban hiking and other vacation activities can also be practiced and enjoyed within your home or immediate local area, making the remaining stages of lockdown the perfect opportunity to get back in the groove or embrace new interests. Developing serious sketching skills to use on the road has been on my bucket list for years, so I’ve recently invested in quality pencils, sharpening tools and a number of sketchbooks. Taking them on a walk to my favorite outdoor beer garden with a charged smartphone for video tutorials is one of my favorite pandemic survival strategies.
My husband, on the other hand, has been using this time to test new astronomy gear from the roof of the parking garage and contemplating new destinations to experience. For you, it might spent be practicing photography or learning the basics of a new language. Whatever your preferred travel activity, using the extra downtime to enhance your skills will help you feel connected to future adventures.
Bottom line? Stepping away from standard travel patterns in the interest of global public health has certainly been an unexpected challenge. Taking conscious steps to use this downtime strategically can help keep spirits up while working to your advantage for future adventures.