Top tips for staying sane while staying in

Cabin fever is getting to us all, especially with spring beckoning. Here, our editors share their tips on how to beat the staying-in blues.
Hiking scene in Vinicunca, Cusco Region, Peru. Montana de Siete Colores, Rainbow Mountain. Photo: Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock
Hiking scene in Vinicunca, Cusco Region, Peru. Montana de Siete Colores, Rainbow Mountain. Photo: Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock

With all this extra time on our hands, it's time to get creative. Whether it's making a travel scrapbook, curating a photo album or taking your tastebuds on a tour around the world, Insight Guides' editors share their tips on staying sane while staying in.

Aimee: make a travel scrapbook 

A travel scrapbook is a great way to 'travel' through your previous trips, and piece together forgotten stories that come back to life through the little details – the stamped bus tickets, the crinkled maps, the leftover currency and so on. As well as being a creative way to keep your travel experiences in one place, you can show it to family and friends and talk about the places you both have and haven't been to (yet). Plus, travel scrapbooking is a hobby that you can continue when we all can travel again – and if anything, inspires you to plan even more trips!

Creating a travel scrap book. Photo:

Zara: daydream about travel

Daydreaming about travel helps me. I daydream that one day, one beautiful day, we'll all be able to discover new horizons and explore other pastures. I can see myself clapping to a beat in the streets of Brazil, indulging in spicy kimchi in South Korea and climbing ferociously up the Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain in Peru. Where are you dreaming about?

And it helps me to know we'll be able to return to lands we've already seen. I'm longing for a sip of saffron tea in Iran, to crunch on a crispy pastilla in Morocco and to sing my heart out in a karaoke booth in neon Tokyo. Looking back at past photographs and writing more about travel has spurred an even greater desire to go out and learn more about this big, bright, beautiful world we live in. Travel, we'll see you on the other side very, very soon.

Hiking scene in Vinicunca, Peru. Photo: Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock

Helen: start a creative project

When ever have you had time like this before? When will you again? Try to get in touch with your creative side, or begin that project you never felt like you had time to start. Creative projects can be incredibly mindful – writing, drawing, planning an epic trip or playing an instrument, for instance – as well as helping you feel and stay productive.

Pick up an instrument can be very mindful. Photo: Lolstock/Shutterstock

Sarah: get cooking

Your food consumption is now the most exciting thing in your world. Make the most of it by trying out all those dishes you never got round to making in normal life – within the confines of the ingredients you can get hold of, of course (now may not be the time to try to live off pasta). Maybe eat a dish inspired by a different country each night. Or just go crazy with the toasties and – after Sunday – an Easter Egg a day. We are living through unprecedented times, after all!  

It's time to get your chef's hat on. Photo: Atsushi Hirao/Shutterstock

Joanne: relax with your favourite read

I read a lot for work. I read a lot for pleasure. But frustratingly I’m finding it hard to concentrate on reading anything for the first time – for any purpose – at the moment. But thankfully I am finding comfort in re-reading favourite novels, especially childhood favourites like The Moomins, with their warm, wise wisdom for all ages, and Eva Ibbotson’s glamorous, exotic novels that transport you to other times and places (try her Amazon adventure The Journey to the River Sea if you’ve never read it). Travel writing, biographies and non-fiction are proving to be real tonics too. Books that transport me to places I hope to return to when we can fly our nests.

Relaxing with a book is one of life's greatest pleasures. Photo: Asia Image Group/Shutterstock

Michelle: create a photo album

If, like me, you have hundreds – no, probably thousands – of digital images in various folders on a variety of devices, now could be the time to sort through them and create a few photo albums – perhaps one for each travel adventure. That blurred photo of some bloke on a scooter in Thailand whose name you can’t remember? Delete. Get rid of all the ones that mean nothing to you and create your personal story on the page with the rest. You can get them printed into a lovely book (there are various online companies to choose from) and send copies to family or friends. Or go old school: upload the photos but opt for actual prints through the post. Then arrange the pictures in a photo album and handwrite your captions. You’ll have a lovely and meaningful one-off creation.

Sharing a photo album. Photo: evso/Shutterstock

Siobhan: let music take you where you want to go

The transportive potential of music can’t be overstated. With every genre at our fingertips now, it’s possible to immerse yourself in any environment with just good headphones or a speaker. Visualise the place in the world you’d like to be – specific or imagined, a memory or somewhere you've dreamed of going. Then light some incense or candles and make the journey there in your mind  –  whether you’re listening to Tibetan singing bowls, Himalayan sitar or even chilled Ibiza.