collage showcasing different ways to travel the world

For students

12 ways to get a head start on travel (from home)

One of the best parts of planning educational travel is the pre-tour prep. But we don’t mean the packing or logistics—though, there’s a time and place for that, too. Sometimes the best way to prepare for tour is by keeping students excited and engaged before they even take off.

We’ve collected our favorite explore-the-world-from-home activities to give you and your group a head start on the learning, trying, and playing, that’s to come once you hit the road.

different ways to travel from your kitchen



Taste some new flavors

We’re firm believers in exploring the world through food. So, for a different way to travel without leaving home, order in from a local restaurant that serves international cuisine. Consider it an ordering trial run, extra practice with new utensils, and a basis for comparison for when you’re out on the road.

Practice your origami

Get some scrap paper and get folding. Look up some origami lessons on YouTube to get started. You’ll be a master of the art of folding paper in no time. (Hint: Focusing on each step can help reduce anxiety and boost relaxation.)

Learn to cook with pantry items

Tucked away, far behind the stale boxes of cereal, we bet you have some golden nuggets of canned food. Now’s the time to break them out, because there’s so much you can make (and a lot of foreign cuisines you can try) with even the most unassuming of cans. Try Spanish-spiced roasted chickpeas—from a can. Spam fried rice—from a can. Or sardine rillettes—you guessed it, from a can.



Write your travel bucket list

We all have goals, some more travel-y than others. Take this time to commit those goals to paper. Plan out what you want to do on your upcoming tour—or document your travel dreams for the next five years (and beyond, if you like). We bet it’ll help keep those wanderlust vibes going strong. Plus, checking off a list feels amazing.

Practice your international body language

We know different cultures speak different languages. But it’s easy to forget that they may have different body language, too. With a quick YouTube search, you can find out how body language is used around the world and practice your nonverbal communication.

Create your own itinerary

When it comes to travel, most of the dreaming and planning happens at home. So as you wait for your trip, think about where you want to go next and start building out a dream itinerary. Or for a different way to travel, tap into your local knowledge to design an oh-so-perfect itinerary for exploring your hometown. Find out why coordinating travel times, hitting city highlights, and balancing opening hours is truly an art form.

Try a suitcase challenge

Tightly pack a suitcase (the more unusual the items, the better: a pineapple? a bike helmet? a rotary telephone?), then time yourself as you unpack, then repack it. This’ll come in handy when it’s time to pack their own bags, promise.

some different ways to travel incorporate art & film



Watch a film

Pop that popcorn and take a deep dive into a country’s culture with a movie night. Popular choices: Amélie for France, Wild for the Pacific Northwest in the U.S., The Secret Life of Walter Mitty for Iceland, or Spirited Away for Japan.

See art up close, virtually

Here’s your chance to take in seriously great art without ever leaving the house. Poke through the Guggenheim’s expansive online art collection or browse Frida Kahlo’s artistic repertoire, and you’ll think you’re “ooh-ing and ah-ing” in front of the real thing. Want more art? Check out other museums here.



Dance like no one’s watching

Music aficionados, rejoice! Crowdsource foreign language songs or tunes you or your friends encountered abroad on past trips and create an international music playlist. Bonus points if you create dance routines to go with each track.

Climb Mount Everest (and other world challenges)

You may not be able to traverse the Great Wall of China or see the top of Big Ben right now, but if you’re up for a challenge, the 632 steps it takes to reach the top of Big Ben are the same whether you’re in London or your living room. Here are few other challenges to start you off:

  • The Seattle Space Needle is 1,164 steps
  • The Great Wall of China is about 5,000 steps
  • Mount Everest is 58,070 steps

All you need to know before you go.

We’re here for you every step of the way.

Topics: For students

Nataly Baez

Nataly is a copywriter at EF Education First. She’s written for universities around the country and about countries around the world. On her off time, you can catch this Florida native riding her alligator through the cobblestone streets of Boston.

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