Travel Vision Board Ideas: Making Your Travel Dreams Come True

Are you looking for travel vision board ideas to help you transform your dreams into reality? Sometimes, trip planning is relatively easy and there is no need for extra motivation to make it happen. But often there are major obstacles between us and our hopes for travel.

As an experienced travel coach, I’ve witnessed firsthand the challenges people face in reaching their travel goals. Whether it is finding money and time for a family vacation, gaining the skills and knowledge needed for a first time solo trip, or making the transition to becoming a digital nomad or expat– life can easily get in the way of reaching our goals and prevent us from attaining them.

I’ve also seen the power of visualization and goal setting in helping individuals achieve their travel dreams. One technique that many prefer is the creation of a travel vision board. This method aligns your goals with images and words, helping to make those dream destinations and travel lifestyle choices a reality. 

In this guide, we’ll delve into travel vision boarding and explore some of the research on its effectiveness. Then we will offer practical steps to create your own board using different mediums. We will also look at alternative methods for visualizing travel dreams. And throughout the article, we will talk about ways to use these techniques to keep your travel aspirations front and center.

The Science Behind Travel Vision Boards

Vision boards work on the principle of visualization, a technique supported by research in the field of psychology and neuroscience. Visualization activates the same neural networks that actual task performance does, enhancing motivation, confidence, and performance. Translating this to travel vision boarding, by picturing our travel goals, we stimulate the same cognitive processes, making our aspirations more tangible and achievable.

There are additional studies that show vision boards help in the area of “value tagging.” Our brains are constantly evaluating the barrage of external stimulation and deciding what is important and deserves more attention. Creating a travel vision board and referencing it frequently can help your brain prioritize your travel goals.

Interestingly, there are studies that show visualization of reaching our goals, without visualizing the steps needed to get there, can actually hinder achieving them. So an essential step is creating a viable plan for reaching our travel dreams. Vision boards are only an early step in the process. Consider adding images of the intermediary steps to your vision board. For example, my husband and I are working towards living aboard a sailboat and traveling the world. So one of my personal visuals is picturing myself comfortably docking the boat in a slip– one of my fears that I am committed to working on repeatedly this summer!

Finally, it is important to remember that there are many things outside of our control and it is very harmful to assume that imperfect visualization skills cause poor health, social and economic inequality, and many other challenges that interfere with our travel goals. Travel goal visualization is simply a tool that can help us reach our dreams. But it can be a very helpful and enjoyable one, so let’s get started!

Photo by Cottonbro Studio

How to Make a Vision Board

The best way to make a vision board is to allow yourself to be visually inspired as you imagine your future. Humans are highly visual creatures and the old saying that a picture speaks a thousand words is true. Have fun with this creative process! 

Your board will be more helpful if you eventually have specific goals, such as “I will take my first solo trip to The Netherlands in the spring of 2025,”  instead of, “I will travel more.” But you might not know your specific goals at the beginning–  and that is completely fine! Be open to the process and know that it is changeable. Your vision board is a living document and will evolve over time. Also know that your vision board is yours, you can share it with others only if you choose to– so be brave and put your dreams out there. 

Vision Board Travel– Journal Prompts Before You Start

Before diving into the vision board, it’s helpful to reflect on your deeper hopes and intentions about your travel experiences. Here are some journal prompts to get you started:

1. What are the top places you want to see or return to? Describe what draws you to these places.

2. What do I want to gain from my travels (e.g., adventure, connection, learning, relaxation, cultural immersion)?

3. How do I want to feel during and after my travels?

4. What are my top three travel goals for the next year? Five years?

5. What steps will I need to take to reach those goals?

These prompts aim to clarify your travel intentions, serving as a foundation for your vision board. Spend time journaling, in self-reflection, and/or in conversation with trusted family or friends as you explore them. Consider working with a travel coach who will provide much deeper opportunities for self-reflection about your travel goals and support you in crafting a plan to reach them.

Travel Vision Board Ideas and Creation Steps

1. Physical Travel Vision Board

Materials Needed:

– A large poster board or cork board

– Travel vision board pictures: magazines, brochures, photographs, postcards, or printed images

– Push pins, Glue, or tape

– Markers or paint for annotations

Vision board clip art or scrapbooking supplies (Side note: my mom used to sell craft supplies so I have worked with hundreds of these fun additions to vision boards. Of course, if your house isn’t overflowing with craft supplies already, you would need to purchase these, but you could go in on some with a friend!)

Optional Travel Vision Board Supplies


1. Reflect on your journal answers and begin collecting images that resonate with your travel goals.

2. Arrange these travel pictures for vision boards, grouping them in a way that makes sense to you—by dream destinations, experiences, or feelings.

3. Annotate with motivational quotes, travel goals, and dates to add context and agency.

4. Place your vision board somewhere you’ll see it daily, like your bedroom or workspace, to keep your travel aspirations top of mind.

2. Canva Travel Vision Board

A Canva vision board of the author’s about their plan to move full time aboard their sailboat to travel the world

Tools Needed

Free Canva account


  1. Open Canva at
  2. Type “vision board” into search bar
  3. Choose a design you like
  4. Click “Customize this template”
  5. Click on any section of the template to personalize it
  6. Change the text to include aspirational words from your journal responses
  7. Change images by choosing “photos” from the sidebar
  8. Add your own photos by clicking on “uploads”
  9. When you are done click “share.” You can print it or email it to yourself and use it as a screensaver on your phone or computer

3. Pinterest Travel Vision Board

Tools Needed:

– A free Pinterest account


1. Create a Pinterest board or multiple boards dedicated to your travel dreams.

2. Populate them with images, quotes, and anything that aligns with your travel goals.

3. Check out the Trip Scholars’ Pinterest Page for ideas to get started!

3. Regularly update it with new inspirations and achievements towards your travel goals.

4. Mind Map Travel Vision Board

Materials Needed:

– A large sheet of paper or digital drawing tool

– Pens, markers, or digital annotation tools


1. Place your ultimate travel goal at the center of the map.

2. Branch out with lines connecting to different goals, destinations, and experiences that support your central aim.

3. Use colors, symbols, and images to categorize and prioritize your goals.

4. Add the steps needed to reach each of your goals.

5. Review and update regularly as your travel aspirations evolve.

Alternatives to Vision Boards

While vision boards are effective for many, alternatives like journaling and photography can also help you to manifest your travel dreams.

1. Photography

Visuals can stir emotions and intentions. Arrange your photographs that reflect your dream destinations or travel lifestyle. Let them be a constant source of inspiration around your home or workspace. Digital photo frames allow you to easily add to your collection. 

2. Screensavers

Transform your everyday digital devices into windows to your future adventures. We’ve already talked about them as a place to highlight your digital vision board. Additionally, a screensaver or background of a place you wish to visit can serve as a subtle, constant reminder of your goals.

3. Sticky Notes

Place sticky notes in strategic locations with reminders or motivational quotes about your travel aspirations. 

4. Calendars

Purchase or make a physical calendar to hang on the wall that will be a daily reminder of your travel goals. 

5. Home Decor

Yes, even a shower curtain can serve as a canvas for your dreams! Choose one with a map or iconic landmarks. Similarly, decorate your living space with elements that remind you of your travel goals.

6. Artwork

Dive into your travel dreams with whatever creative medium you prefer. Whether you paint, draw, craft, or use a digital medium, use it to build out your travel aspirations and then keep it up in your home. Alternatively, you can collect artwork made by others from the place you want to visit to keep your travel dreams present.

7. Travel Dream Journal

Document your dreams, plans, and the steps you’re taking to reach them. This can be a powerful tool for reflection and motivation.

8. Travel Coach

Work with a certified travel coach, such as myself. Trained travel coaches will provide you with useful resources and activities to help you reach your travel goals. They will also support you in staying accountable to yourself and your long term dreams when other responsibilities and daily needs can easily get in the way.

9. Include it in Your Lifestyle

Create playlists, watchlists, reading lists, as well as activities at home and in your local community to immerse you in the culture of your future destinations. At Trip Scholars, I have a free guide filled with activities to help you learn more and keep yourself inspired to reach your dreams. Grab your free copy here.

Incorporating these techniques into your daily routine can influence your mindset, gradually steering your life’s direction toward your travel goals. Remember, a key to a successful travel vision board, or any alternative method, lies in regular interaction and updates. As your dreams evolve, so should your vision board, keeping you aligned and motivated towards your ultimate travel experiences. The other important piece is using it as one part of your goal planning. That will be a topic of an upcoming post, so stay tuned!

Your Travel Vision Board

As a travel coach, I’m dedicated to helping others realize their travel ambitions. I hope this article provided you with some helpful ideas you can implement today. If you are interested in learning more about working with me, I offer free discovery calls and would be happy to get to hear about your travel dreams. Just click here to learn more.

Whether it’s through a traditional vision board, a digital collage, or one of the alternative techniques shared, the act of visualizing your travel goals is a useful step towards making them a reality. Start today, and let your vision board help motivate you to craft the travel lifestyle you are dreaming of!

Do you have questions about travel vision boarding or have you made one yourself? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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Best Video, Card, and Board Games- Travel the World From Home

Board game travel

The Best Video, Card, and Board Games- Travel the World from Home

 This post may contain affiliate links which means Trip Scholars may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read more here. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on!

Looking for the top games for globetrotters? We have gathered the best video, card, and board games travel enthusiasts can play from home. These aren’t necessarily games you play on the road–  they are travel-themed games to inspire! 

We love taking trips, but still spend plenty of time at home (especially over this last year!). Games provide a wonderful way to learn about future destinations and reminisce about past journeys. As a former teacher, I recommend games as one of many travel related, stress-free, and fun educational resources for kids of all ages. Games also make excellent gifts for travelers.

I’ve asked fellow game loving travel writers to share their favorite games about travel. We are avid game players at our house but I learned about many new ones from our guest authors! Click through to their websites to visit their travel blogs. 

Together we have gathered board, video, word, and card games for all types of travelers. Some are free and some are the cost of a evening’s entertainment.  You’ll find choices for kids, teens, and adults.  Come find the perfect game for globetrotters! 

The best travel board games


An engaging travel-themed board game is Concordia if you are planning a trip anywhere around the Mediterranean, or even some places further afield. Dive into the history of the Roman world in this peaceful strategy game where Concordia, the Roman goddess of harmony, rewards the player who finishes with the most points by peaceful means. Players strive to earn the favor of different gods and goddesses by accumulating actions and items that each of them admire. 

Because it is made by Rio Grande Games, solid game play is assured. There are numerous strategies you can employ and many options for optimizing points. For this reason, it is a 13+ game. You aren’t interacting with the other players very much, but turns are fast and the game stays lively. 

A great feature is the additional history booklet included in the game. Cities are identified by both their modern and Roman names. A mini-history of each of the provinces is included, complete with how it differs from the fictional depiction in the game. 

Our family has enjoyed playing Concordia and remembering our past travels and the impact of Roman civilization on those places. The board is two sided, with Italy on one side (for 2-4 player games) and Imperium on the other (for 3-5 players). We are planning a trip to Italy in the next couple of years and it is a helpful way to talk about the regions and what we want to see. Playing on the Imperium side inspires interesting conversation about the broader scope of Roman history and the impact on our travel destinations. 



Let’s go to Europe tonight! A few years ago, during a rough period of my life, my best friends introduced me to the game of Eurorails. It distracts my mind to happy places, appealing both to my love of European travel and my enjoyment of building a business enterprise.

Each player must strategically build rail (costing money) to move commodities such as chocolate or sheep between cities (earning money). Event cards such as floods or snowstorms add unexpected excitement just like real life.

We find particular fun in using the washable crayons to draw track and trying to pronounce the non-anglicized names of the cities used on the geographically accurate board.

As friends, we enjoy competing over the best rail routes and biggest payloads. We share memories of our travels: paragliding in the Alps, getting lost during a dark rainstorm in Seville, and detouring to see the Bremen Rathaus. And we plot our future trips. At the end of the evening, I feel the joy and relaxation of having experienced a mini-vacation to some of my favorite destinations.

Note: Eurorails is no longer produced but the savvy shopper can still find new or used game sets on Ebay, Etsy, Poshmark or similar.

 Contributed by Julie K from Travel & Live with Texture

Monopoly (Versions from Around the World)

You may be surprised to learn that there are over 1,000 versions of the board game Monopoly. Many of these are localised versions that are specific to a particular country or city. They are all some of the best board games for travel aficionados. 

For example, Monopoly Australia is a special edition of Monopoly with properties featuring famous places from around the country. The cheapest properties in the game are Darwin and Alice Springs, while the most expensive is Sydney Harbour. This edition comes with fun Australia-themed tokens such as a kangaroo and a barbecue.

Playing Monopoly is a great way to familiarise yourself with the must-see landmarks in a destination before you travel. It can also bring back happy memories when you return home.

If your trip is to a particular city rather than a country, you’ll find a Monopoly game for that too, such as Monopoly Sydney Edition which features properties such as Taronga Zoo and The Rocks.

Of course, not all Monopoly editions are in English! However, if you have some fluency, playing games like Monopoly France could be a great way to improve your language skills.

Contributed by Jenni at Monopoly Land

Pan Am

Every month, I meet with 3 close girlfriends for a game night.  This started in the middle of the pandemic and was a great way to get out of the house and socialize in a safe environment.  We take turns hosting each month and the host picks a new theme each time, which makes it a lot of fun.  

All of us are travelers and, inevitably, our game nights turn to sharing stories about our pre-COVID travels.  Spain, Iceland, Italy, Mexico – how we all wish we could go back!

Thankfully, for our most recent game night, one friend brought exactly the right game: Pan Am.

Pan Am is a strategy game where you start off as a boutique airline and try to outbid other players to get airline routes, build up your airplane fleet, and compete against the dominant Pan Am airline to turn as much profit as possible before the game ends.  To win, you have to correctly strategize routes, landing airports, fleet size, and when the right time to sell to Pan Am is.

Pan Am is kind of like the game Risk except with a fun travel twist.  For travelers, it’s fun seeing all these major travel hubs – Paris, Rio, Madrid, New York, and more – and having a chance to talk about memories or dreams of visiting those destinations.

If you like strategy games with a travel twist, Pan Am is the game for you!

Contributed by Gabby, the Office Escape Artist


I reached across the table to draw the next card from the deck and then stared at it in dismay. “It’s an epidemic!” Groans met my words. “It looks like we have our work cut out for us.”

Pandemic has been a staple board game for my family for years at this point, but it has seen a surge of popularity due to recent events. The general idea of the game is that there are four infectious disease outbreaks spread around the world. The players take on different specialist roles and work together to try to contain, and eliminate the diseases through developing a vaccine. 

It’s a game that might hit a little close to home for some, at the moment, but there’s more than a few of us who wish we could take a more active role in fighting a pandemic. 

I love the theme, as well as the fact that it’s a cooperative game. My family is more of the ‘win together, lose together’ sort, so we love playing co-op games. And, especially with so many borders closed, it’s comforting to pretend that a problem as serious as a pandemic could be solved with the next card draw. 

Contributed by Jacob Smith at Neverending Field Trip

Passport to Culture

If you like trivia and you like to travel, Passport to Culture is a game for you. With this game, you are going to improve your Cultural Intelligence (CQ). You start on the board at one airport and roll a dice. On the colored space, you answer a question and get a stamp of that color in your passport if answered correctly. You try to collect 10 stamps from various countries/colors and answer the greatest number of cultural questions. 

Questions have multiple choice answers like which continent has most countries that speak Portuguese (A-Europe, B-South America, C-Africa)? The correct answer is C because of the former Portuguese colonies.

By learning about different cultural norms, languages, geography, and history you will become more open-minded, tolerant, and accepting. It will also bring back memories about places you already visited and maybe one of those moments, “If I knew this fact before, I would  have saved myself from embarrassment”.

Contributed by Džangir Kolar from  Dr. Jam Travels

Seven Wonders

Take control of the development of an ancient civilization as you compete with up to six other players to advance art, science, industry, and culture in this card-based city-building game. Each turn, players simultaneously choose a structure or technology to build from a hand of cards, before passing that hand along to the next player. As you progress, make progress toward completing one of the titular Seven Wonders of the ancient world. They are each well illustrated and brought to life through the thematic abilities they grant.

The game’s fast pace and accessible mechanics make it a great option for introducing players to the hobby, while also having the depth to be enjoyed by more experienced players.

While most of the wonders described by Antipater of Sidon no longer stand, the civilizations that constructed them left other traces. Visiting archaeological and historical sites and museums can give the modern-day traveler a taste of what once was. This makes it one of the best travel board games for curious explorers. 

I’d like to send you a free gift!

The Curious Traveler’s 5 Step Guide to More Meaningful Trips

Ticket to Ride

One of the best board games travel lovers will enjoy is Ticket to Ride. Ticket to Ride is a board game in which players must travel by train from one destination to another, creating train journeys that pass through different places and cities as you make your way from your departure point to your final destination.

There are journey cards which each player chooses from. They can be short or long journeys, and players must try to complete each journey card they have to gain points to win the game.

I was first introduced to Ticket to Ride by a friend and it quickly became one of my favourite games. We’ve played the North America board, the Europe board, and the Asia board, and each one is as good as the next. The game is really fun because as you ‘travel by train’ across the continents you need to try and keep your journey details secret so your opponents don’t take the routes you need!

I love Ticket to Ride as it has reminded us of places we’ve visited, brought back memories and also helped us plan future trips. It is also very educational as it can help you learn where certain places and cities are located in relation to one another. 

There are a huge range of Ticket to Ride boards that you can play, so wherever you want to travel, there’s a board just for you. 

Contributed by Cath from Travel Around Ireland


Tokaido is one of the most beautiful travel themed board games for anyone planning a trip to Japan.  Players move from Kyoto to Tokyo collecting experiences, meals, panoramic views, and items along the way. The goal is to discover the most. There are a variety of strategies that can be used to maximize points, but there are also mechanics built into the game to keep everyone moving at a similar pace. There are no intense interactions with other players, the most you can do is stop someone from taking an action. 

We are planning to visit Japan in the future and enjoy playing Tokaido. It is enjoyable to imagine the different encounters, bath houses, and meals as we dream of our future journey.

Trekking the National Parks

Trekking the National Parks is one of the best board games travel enthusiasts and National Park lovers will enjoy! The game is fun for adults but easy enough that school-aged kids can catch on and play too! The game features a map of the US with all of the National Parks represented.  

Your goal is to “claim” as many of America’s National Parks as you can.  It’s a game of a bit of luck, and also some strategy too! Each park is represented by a colored rock. To win the game, you try to claim the most parks and win points with the most colored rocks. The game comes with cards representing each park.  They have beautiful photos and interesting facts on the featured park.

We love to play and talk about the parks that we’ve been to and get excited for the parks that are next on our list. The game is educational, but not to the point where it’s no longer fun.  It is just a fun way to “travel the parks” from your living room, and pick up some fun facts along the way.

Contributed by Chantelle from Flannels or Flip Flops

Trekking the World

In Trekking The World, you’re racing against other players to visit world-renowned locations and collect rare souvenirs during your journey. You get to build your bucket list of destinations and take a real whirlwind tour to visit them.

The world is full of many wonders and Trekking The World is both great inspiration to plan future adventures, and a great way to relive memories that you have experienced at these locations. The game often sparks some great conversations about travel dreams. It is wonderful to hear the adventures of others as you play, with some great laughter and smiles along the way.

We really enjoy the variety the game provides. Though the premise is the same each time, the game changes every round. With so many different strategies to use to work your way to a win, it keeps the game fresh for multiple plays.

The rules are straightforward enough for the kids to be able to join in (suggested 10+ years) and have fun, yet is still challenging enough for adults.

The game features 48 real-world destinations, all with gorgeous illustrations and educational passages. You’re sure to finish this game having learned something that you didn’t know!

Trekking The World is especially helpful right now as we are spending more time closer to home. The game really helps with wanderlust and keeps you dreaming during times that you cannot travel! It is a great way to expand your knowledge of the world, and have fun doing it!

Contributed by Debbie Fettback from


Do you love the thrill of waking up to new birdsong on your trips? Bird loving travelers will delight in Wingspan! This is another beautiful board game with gorgeous pictures and game pieces. You play as a bird enthusiast and get to learn about the birds living in your travel destinations. You collect birds of North America in the original game and can purchase the European and Oceania expansions.

Gameplay is slightly complicated but worth learning. It is a medium-weight, card driven engine builder for ages 10+. There isn’t direct competition with other players and points are not counted until the end of the game. This is an award winning game for good reason and is a perfect choice for birding travelers. 

The World According to Ubi

The World According to Ubi is THE GAME for travelers who are serious geography enthusiasts! It is no longer in print, but available both used and as a tabletop simulator on STEAM. Some consider this the most challenging trivia game ever created!

It is a geography game where riddles are asked starting with “Ubi,” Latin for where. Answers aren’t given as a traditional statement, but instead as coordinates on a map. Enhancing the complexity  are red herrings mixed into the deck, where you need to have enough geographical and historical knowledge to know it is a trick question and not something that actually happened. 

If you love geography and traveling, this game will keep you challenged and engaged as you dream of future trips! 

Game suggested by J. T.

The Best Video Games about Travel

Assassin's Creed

The Assassin’s Creed video game series from Ubisoft has always captured the imagination of our family with its well-researched historical fiction settings. Some of the game locations are Israel, Turkey, Spain, Boston & New York (in the United States),Egypt, Greece, France, England, the Caribbean, Italy, China, Libya, and Russia. There is a version for travelers to many destinations! 

One of the games in the series, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, portrays ancient Egypt with the geography, people, and culture in a virtual playground.  While many might be put off by the action and violence of the series, the game developers actually included Discovery Tour as a game mode that turns off the usual game play and allows the player to take a virtual tour of the whole interactive world: exploring the Pyramids, visiting the towns, and seeing the people of ancient Egypt.  There is even a timeline to learn about the historical periods of the era.

There are twelve games in the series covering different travel destinations and historical time periods. Some have more fictional portrayals than others. Unity, set during the French Revolution and Odyssey, set in Classical Greece have been fun games to play and remember our own past trips. We are looking forward to playing Valhalla as we plan our future trip to Scandinavia and the UK. The games are rated M, but some of them have nonviolent discovery options that are enjoyable for a wider range of players. If you have older video game players in your travel group, these games could be a great choice!

Mario Kart Tour

Mario Kart Tour is a free-to-play racing game on iOS and Android devices. What makes Tour special from the other games in the Mario Kart series is the rotation of tracks in real-world cities, including Paris, New York City, Tokyo, Vancouver, Berlin, Los Angeles, and London.

When driving through cities I’ve already visited in real life, I feel nostalgic recognizing landmarks. When I hit the Vancouver track, I adore getting to “visit” the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Gastown’s iconic Steam Clock again.

Contributed by Meggie at Mindful Meggie


Photo by Champagne on Deck
Photo by Champagne on Deck

Where in the World Am I? That’s the premise of the game GeoGuesser.  In this digital geography game, players are presented with a 360 degree panoramic image of mystery location. By scrolling around and zooming in on the photo, players look for clues to help them figure out the location such as street signs, clothings, architecture, vegetation, and automobiles. The closer in distance to the correct location, the more points earned. There is a web version of the game and an iOS app. My family prefers the app because you can earn coins to unlock more game varieties like famous places, specific countries, and cities. 

Analyzing the clues creates opportunities for my family to talk about the characteristics and cultures of different places around the world. Making our guesses on the world map sharpens our geography skills. We often travel, but rarely outside of the U.S. The game gives us a glimpse into other parts of the world that we could only dream to visit. 

World travelers may enjoy this game even more than we do! Not only would they have a leg up, but I’m sure it would resurrect memories of previous adventures or spark interest for new destinations.

Contributed by Monica Champagne from Champagne On Deck

The Best Card Games About Travel


Backpacker does exactly what it says on the tin…or box. This fun card game takes travellers on an adventure through some of the world’s classic backpacking destinations. It takes a while to learn, a long trip to master, but only a second to fall in love with. 

After requesting it for Christmas, I finally got my hands on Backpacker and immediately began playing. Backpacker is a card game played with destination cards, events cards, advice cards and cards that throw a spanner in your “backpacking trip”. The idea of the game is to get home with the most photos and to do so requires some skill, some luck, and being a little mean to your fellow players. Play is with 2 to 6 players so great for a couple and better for a small group. 

I learnt the gameplay at home, with my travel buddy and it was such fun to reminisce about our adventures through the countries listed, whilst also beating him every.single.time! Having become slightly addicted, we took the game on a group trip to Borneo, creating another three Backpacker addicts within our friendship group. Now when we play, we get to remember the hours we spent in airports, on buses, and in hostel rooms with them too!

Contributed by Rosie at Flying Fluskey


Planning a trip to France and looking for a revolutionary game to play? Despite the gruesome title, Guillotine is a fun, fast paced card game set during the French Revolution. 

We played it a lot before our own trip to France and it inspired some easier conversations about the history behind the game. For example, Marie Antiontte is shown with a cake on her playing card. Did she really say the famous line? Guillotines were originally invented as a more humane form of execution. Where were the main guillotine locations in Paris? You’ll see them when you visit and this game will provoke conversations beforehand.

Guillotine is fast (30 minute rounds), easy to learn, and recommended for ages 12 and up. The age recommendation may be because the point of the game is to collect as many high ranking noble heads as you can– ack! 

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The Best Free Game About Travel

City - Country - River

Photo by Matheus Ferrero
Photo by Matheus Ferrero

If I were to think of one perfect game for travel lovers it would have to be City-Country-River! Growing up in Germany, a week would rarely pass without playing this old but gold game either at home or in school. The concept behind the game is simple: A letter of the alphabet is randomly selected and players have to find a city, a country, and a river that start with the letter. Your aim should be to come up with those things quickly and ideally find places that other players didn’t think of. 

Of course, being a travel lover gives you a clear advantage in this game because you get to recall all the cities, countries, or rivers you have ever visited or dreamed of visiting, even the ones the other players might not have heard about. It also helps travelers bring back memories from trips to these destinations and deepen their understanding of world geography, making it an excellent game for travel lovers.

Contributed by Arabela at The Spicy Travel Girl 

The Best Escape Rooms Games About Travel

Finders-Seekers Escape Room Game

Finders-Seekers Escape Room  game is a family friendly way to explore a new world destination without ever leaving your house.  This is part of a monthly subscription box club that will have you and your family enjoying a unique game night every month.   

My family loves traveling and during the pandemic we were having travel withdrawals.  The Finders-Seekers Escape Room was a great way for us to continue to explore the world right from our home.  Our family consists of young kids and adults that are young at heart.  We love that this game allowed everyone in the family to contribute and have fun.  

Each month we get to discover new cities and cultures through play.  We love deciphering the clues through the puzzles, fun souvenirs, and pictures.  Our family is really good at working together and we like to take our time to enjoy fun activities.  Normally each box takes us about 2 hours to complete.  

Contributed by Tiffany from Mommy And Me Travels

Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is the ultimate game for anyone who loves London. Working together with your friends, you’re trying to solve a case faster than Sherlock Holmes. Although it isn’t the easiest game, it is very satisfying when you figure out the answer.

It’s important to note that each case can only be played once (when you know the answer you can’t really replay it). But each box gives you 7 to 10 cases to work on. Plus, it often takes us two to three nights of playing to solve one mystery. That’s a lot of game play!

The best part is that it takes me back to London every time I play. You’re running around the city to find clues and they even give you a map of London to look at! It’s fun to see places you visited like the Thames River, Covent Garden Market, and Westminster Abbey.

Of course this isn’t the London you know as it’s set in the 1800s, but knowing the city does have it’s advantages at times! Plus it’s always fun to compare modern day London to Sherlock’s 1800s London. “

Contributed by Meghan Emcee at Afternoon Tea Reads

Concordia Best game for travel lovers

Enjoying the Best Games for Travel Lovers

Have you played any of these games? Did they inspire your own future travels or memories of past journeys? If you have other travel focused game recommendations, please share them! Our library has  more travel related games and is full of hundreds of resources you can enjoy from home to be a more thoughtful traveler, check it out!

Let's Connect

You've landed in the right place! Tripscholars is here to help you extend the joy and wonder of travel far beyond your days on the road. Find travel education tips and inspiration in our ROADMAPS BLOG. Save yourself time and money by using our TRAVEL RESOURCES LIBRARY where we have already gathered top resources for you to enjoy from home. Tripscholars is where curious travelers come for meaningful travel planning and trip research.
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Hi, I’m Erica and I created Trip Scholars for curious travelers like you! I'm an award winning travel education specialist, best selling author, certified travel coach, and travel advisor dedicated to helping you learn through travel. Through my blog, workshops, and coaching, I help people bring more meaning, connection, and understanding to their journeys-- and their lives.

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The Best Minimalist Travel Accessories and Sustainable Travel Gear

The Best Minimalist Travel Accessories and Sustainable Travel Gear

       Photo by Annie Spratt

 This post may contain affiliate links which means Trip Scholars may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read more here. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on!

Our Best Minimalist Travel Accessories and Sustainable Travel Gear

In this post we have gathered the best minimalist travel accessories and sustainable travel gear. We have tried out a lot gear over decades of frequent travel. After traveling solo, as a couple, and through many years of family travel, we are firm believers in traveling light. It keeps the focus on our experiences and connections– not on stuff.  (Except for some seriously fun glamping trips where we packed all the extras!) 

As the world opens back up to travel, the industry is struggling to keep up. There are unprecedented flight cancelations, delays, exceptionally long lines, and reports of lost luggage. One of the top tips for reducing travel stress in 2022 is to ONLY bring carry-on luggage if you can. It is easier than you think and can greatly improve your travel experiences.

In this buying guide we share our favorites and hope that they are useful for your trips too! They make fantastic gifts for the thoughtful travelers in your life too! 

The Essential Minimalist Travel Accessories

  1. Backpack
  2. Daypack
  3. Packing cubes
  4. Wallet with cards and passport
  5. Phone 
  6. Electronics
  7. Sustainable Toiletries
  8. Medications
  9. Travel capsule wardrobe
  10. Reusable water bottle and travel mug
  11. Snacks

The Best Minimalist Travel Gear: Backpacks

For longer trips, your best bet is the Osprey Fairview for a typical woman’s build and the Farpoint for a typical man’s build. (Not sure what would be best? Order both and return one.) By packing smart, you can stay on the road indefinitely using just this and a day bag. They both come with many fitting options so you can adapt the pack to your body. A favorite feature are all of the carrying options. Wear it as a backpack for long hauls through the city, airport, or trail, but zip away the straps when you are about to board the plane or jump on public transit. Then you can carry it as a duffle, or even just use the top handle, and easily slide it it into the overhead compartment on the plane or tuck it by your feet on the subway. At 40L, this bag is small enough to carry on almost all airlines.

For the most frequent travelers, nothing beats a NOMATIC pack. After traveling extensively over many years and trying countless bags, this 20L bag is the top pick for shorter trips. It safely stores your laptop and is TSA ready with its laptop sleeve. A few packing cubes and other essentials are easily organized because of the smartly designed extra pockets and expandable zipper. There are two easy access water-bottle pockets so you can also carry your travel mug without spills. It is anti-theft, has multiple carrying options, and is rugged but still stylish. Infrequent travelers don’t need something this sturdy and should consider another more affordable brand. The whole NOMATIC line is recommended for very frequent travelers.

Best Minimalist Travel Gear: Daybags

For  travel purses and feminine daypacks, Sherpani is my top pick. They are cute and well organized enough for daily use, but I buy them specifically for their travel features.  In most major cities, our biggest threat isn’t violence, it is pickpocketing. When I know I’m going to be on crowded public transport or in a densely packed tourist hotspot, I use the zipper locks and extra clips. Most bags in this line have RFID protection and anti-slash straps. As a busy mom on trips, it provides some peace of mind while I’m juggling kids, luggage, and passports.  Additionally, they are usually made with vegan leather and/or recycled materials. I often travel with a small purse that fits inside a daypack, so I can adapt to the needs of the day and go as light as possible. I  also recommend Baggalini bags and daypacks.

The Best Minimalist Travel Accessories: Organizing Your Clothes

The hype is well founded on packing cubes, they really do make things easier and that is why they are at the top of our best travel gear list! We use them for all types of trips and packing situations: hotels with roller suitcases, backpacking, sailing, and car camping. You’ll always know where each clothing item is, and when you open up your bag in new lodgings, everything is easy to find. Plus, if your bag is pulled out at airport security, you have an extra level of privacy. We mostly use E-Bags and they have held up well for years.

Tip for families: get everyone their own color so you can stay organized and get out of your lodgings more quickly.

Our Kikkerland travel laundry bag is with me on almost every trip.  We are a family of five and dirty laundry adds up fast. Now everyone is older and manages their own laundry, so  I use these fun and lightweight bags. (I clip the mini clothesline to one so we are always ready to go!) Just add your dirty clothes each day and you are all set on laundry day–  whether at a machine, in the sink, or when you get home.

A mini clothesline is a surprisingly useful piece of gear. We are big fans of packing light, but that means we have to do more laundry. Sometimes a visit to a laundromat can be an interesting local experience, but often we have other things we would rather do. String up this mini clothesline after you wash your clothes in the sink or washer. (Lots of international rentals have a washing machine but no dryer.) If you get in the habit of doing this after dinner once or twice a week while traveling, you can pack in a lot more adventure. Plus they come in handy after getting caught in heavy rain or after spending a day at the beach.


Unless we are moving or traveling under unusual circumstances, we try to avoid checking luggage. This means we have to be very thoughtful about what we pack and what we leave behind. A luggage scale helps make this easy, even when we are on our way home and have picked up weight in added souvenirs and gifts. This scale is lightweight enough to  travel with us and we can plan **before** we get to the airport what extra coats we are going to wear to board the plane and keep our packed weight down. This is an item you can leave behind if you are experinced at packing light, but it can be worth the extra space if you aren’t.

The Best Sustainable Travel Gear: Toiletries

Silver Falls Sustainability Company is giving Trip Scholars readers an extra 10% off! Check them out, you’ll love having them in your carryon!

Silver Falls Sustainability Company is where we get a lot of our regular toiletries. They are an excellent addition to your sustainable travel gear because they are solids, so you don’t need treat them as liquids through security.

Even better, they are plastic free and environmentally friendly. Silver Falls doesn’t use plastics in their shipping and they don’t test on animals.

They have deodorant, shampoo and conditioner bars, lip balms, sunscreens, and laundry sheets. Grab one of their cotton sacks to travel with the bars. All of their products we have used are high quality and effective. 

These Super Bee toothpaste tablets work great and leave your breath nice and fresh. They are vegan and made with natural products.

One of our favorite things about traveling with them is the packaging. Lots of other brands are either in plastic bags or plastic jars– these come in a tin, perfect for travel and with there is no extra waste. 

Travel Capsule Wardrobe

A travel capsule wardrobe is a collection of compatible, multi-purpose, functional clothing. Ideally you will pack a week’s worth of clothing that you can wash mid-trip if you are on the road longer than seven days. Look for comfortable, wrinkle-free, lightweight staples that you can layer and dress up or down depending on the occasion. Choose a cohesive color palette and consider UPF clothing. Here are some of our favorites brands in our capsule wardrobes: Columbia, Eddie Bower, and Royal Robbins.

The Best Sustainable Travel Gear: Food and Drinks

Whether we are going on a road trip or boarding a plane, we always try to bring a reusable travel mug. They easily make the list of best sustainable travel gear because you can ditch all the disposable coffee cups. These mugs make it easy to hit the road first thing in the morning and they reduce waste. For our family of five we have about a dozen of these in the cupboard so we can grab them and go. Sticking with the same type makes it easy to always find a matching lid!

Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is key to staying healthy and packing in a lot of adventures so a water bottle is always at the top of our packing list. Hydro Flasks are better insulated than most. They also offer straw and sport top lids so you can adapt the bottle to the type of travel you’ll be enjoying. We slide ours into the side pocket of our day bags and stop at the refill station once we are through security at the airport. If you are staying in a hotel, most of their fitness centers have a filtered water dispenser. Stop in on your way in and out of your room each day to stay hydrated without creating more plastic waste.

Okay, we admit to being coffee snobs! But really, it is a drag to drink the coffee that is in most hotels and sometimes you don’t have time to stop to pick up groceries before you check into a home rental. If the thought of being without good coffee in the morning makes you anxious,  just keep a box of Starbucks Coffee Vias in your bag. They aren’t as good as a freshly ground slow drip or a pour over, but they are much better than 90% of the coffees you’ll find in hotels and will give you are great start to your mornings. If you are concerned about the waste from the packaging, another good option is an AeroPress , which makes a smooth, quick brew on the go. If you are traveling very light, it may take up too much space so consider the measurements (9 1/2″ h X 4″ w X 4″ d) before purchasing.

RXBARS are one of my favorite snacks, but the important thing when traveling is to have **some** kind of snacks with you! This is even more important when you are traveling with kids or in precarious weather conditions. The one known in travel is that there will be many unknowns, and at some point all of us are going to get stuck on the runway, have trouble finding our lodgings, or get a flat tire. Keeping snacks in your bag will always be a good choice!

Packing Only Carry-on Luggage

I hope this buying guide helps you travel light and spend more time enjoying your trip! Do you have any questions about traveling without checked luggage or suggestions for others? Do you have a good story about how your amount of luggage impacted your travels?  Please let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!

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You've landed in the right place! Tripscholars is here to help you extend the joy and wonder of travel far beyond your days on the road. Find travel education tips and inspiration in our ROADMAPS BLOG. Save yourself time and money by using our TRAVEL RESOURCES LIBRARY where we have already gathered top resources for you to enjoy from home. Tripscholars is where curious travelers come for meaningful travel planning and trip research.

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The Secret to Meaningful Gifts for Travelers

Gift wrapped in a map

The Secret to Meaningful Gifts for Travelers

Including free and inexpensive gifts!

 This post may contain affiliate links which means Trip Scholars may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read more here. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on!

Gift giving is one of life’s sweet joys. But, it can also be stressful to find something that fits the budget and brings the receiver joy. Luckily, researchers have learned how we respond to gifts. It turns out that there is a secret to giving a perfect gift that the thoughtful among us have known for a long time. We have collecteded a rich collection of meaningful gifts so you can find the perfect fit.

Studies show that gift receivers usually prefer sentimental  gifts. And, the most sentimental gift of all is quality time together!  Experiences are more meaningful, they foster relationships and enhance our deeper well-being.  Traveling creates some of the most significant experiences of our lives.

We have gathered together some of the top ways to spend time with our loved ones or share meaningful gifts that they can enjoy on their own. We have some free and low cost gems and some that will break the bank. If you will already be paying for some of these in relation to traveling, why not make it a special gift?

Keep in mind that studies have shown it is the thoughtfulness of the gift, not the cost, that determines the receiver’s appreciation. Some of our most memorable gifts have cost the least–or been free. During these challenging times, investing in time instead of money is even more valuable. 

You can use the Trip Scholars website to put together your own collection of activities to enjoy from home. Or, book a travel education coaching session with me and I’ll use my years of experience to help you craft a plan for many month’s of enjoyment!

Travel Experiences

We are the totality of our life’s experiences — give the gift of creating rich memories and deeper connections. 


  1. National Parks Pass
  2. State parks pass
  3. Performance tickets 
  4. Restaurant gift card
  5. Plane Tickets
  6. Lodging/campground reservations
  7. Tours with an expert
  8. Museum tickets
  9. Sporting event tickets
  10. Airline or hotel points
Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, Greece

Classes Related to Their Travel Destination

Give a gift that will last a lifetime —  a greater knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of our world and its people. When well matched to the receiver, these classes are a joy.

  1. Cooking class
  2. Language tutor or class
  3. Dance class
  4. Music teacher
  5. Art class
  6. Drama class
  7. Naturalist class
  8. Scuba certification
  9. Airbnb classes
  10. Atlas Obscura classes
Children dancing

Digital Memberships to Learn Before Departure

The more we learn about our world, the richer and more interesting it becomes. These memberships let your recipients  enjoy learning with experts and discover top entertainment, all from the cozy comfort of home.

Get Moving

Think back to some of your favorite memories in your lifetime– you were likely moving in one way or another. These are some of our priciest gift recommendations, but they may be worth it if they fit in the budget since they will create unforgettable memories. Go in with multiple friends or family members to share the cost — and the joy of giving!

  1. Gas or EV-charging card for the road trip
  2. Train Pass
  3. Sailing or boating reservation
  4. Paragliding reservations
  5. SUP or kayaking rental
  6. Surfing class or rental
  7. Bike rental reservation
  8. Charter a boat
  9. Hot air balloon ride
  10. Helicopter ride
  11. Rent an RV
Train in snow

Free and Low Cost Travel Lovers Gifts

Low on your gift-giving budget this year? You’re not alone! Here are some ideas to give a meaningful gift that won’t break the bank.

  1. Playlist of music from your destination
  2. Digital slideshow of past travels
  3. Homemade meal inspired by the location
  4. Photo in a homemade frame
  5. Baked goods inspired by the location
  6. Use the Tripscholars site to put together a whole year of fun to share before you leave

Travel Lovers Gifts to Anticipate and Remember

The joy of travel begins the moment planning starts and lives on as some of our most treasured memories. Extend the happiness with these thoughtful gifts.

  1. Novels set in their destination
  2. Myths or Fairy tales from their destination 
  3. Field Guides
  4. Photo album or scrapbook
  5. Video games based on their destination
  6. Tabletop games based in their destination
  7. Beer, wine, spirits, coffees, or teas from their destination
  8. Food gifts from their destination
  9. Local Art 
  10. Ornament from or about your last trips
  11. Maps 
  12. Coffee table books before you go
  13. A donation to a charity in the location
Board game travel

The Secret Joy of Gifting

Thinking of your recipients and what their interests are in relation to these ideas can be a delightful reflection on the people you love! What are they most passionate about and how can you help to foster it through experiences?

We have ideas! The mission of Trip Scholars is to enhance travel experiences and to better understand ourselves, our world, and each other. We do this by saving you hours of research time. Explore the resources in our Travel Library and read Our Roadmaps Blog to get the best recommendations from thoughtful, experienced travelers. You’ll find specific ideas related to the interests of your loved one. And consider working with me privately as your travel education coach.

What are the most meaningful gifts you have given or received? Please share your suggestions in the comments, I’d love to hear! Happy gifting!

Picture of Erica


Hi, I’m Erica and I created Trip Scholars for curious travelers like you! I'm an award winning travel education specialist, best selling author, certified travel coach, and travel advisor dedicated to helping you learn through travel. Through my blog, workshops, and coaching, I help people bring more meaning, connection, and understanding to their journeys-- and their lives.
You've landed in the right place! Tripscholars is here to help you extend the joy and wonder of travel far beyond your days on the road. Find travel education tips and inspiration in our ROADMAPS BLOG. Save yourself time and money by using our TRAVEL RESOURCES LIBRARY where we have already gathered top resources for you to enjoy from home. Tripscholars is where curious travelers come for meaningful travel planning and trip research.

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I’d like to send you a free gift!

The Curious Traveler’s 5 Step Guide to More Meaningful Trips

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The Secret to a Perfect Gift PinPin
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Why Launch A Travel Website During A Pandemic?

Why Launch A Travel Website During A Pandemic?

Dandelion Wishes For Our World. Photo by Tripscholars

 This post may contain affiliate links which means Trip Scholars may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read more here. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on!

 This post may contain affiliate links which means Trip Scholars may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read more here. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on!

During the COVID-19 crisis, we are all making many sincere wishes for our world.

Through these challenges, Tripscholars strives to be of actual value. The pandemic and its impact on individuals, societies, our worldwide economy, and of course travel, is unparalleled in modern times. Tripscholars is responding to this by creating a space for people to reflect on the value in deeper learning about our world, connect with other curious travelers, and inspire joy.

Many are dealing with food and shelter insecurities.  Our response to this is feeble but earnest. We will be highlighting free resources in an effort to make the knowledge that nurtures curiosity more universally available.  We will also be intentionally focussing on the systemic cultural and historical influences that lead to these disparities causing food and shelter insecurity by thoughtfully choosing some of the resources we make available. It is our hope that through knowledge we will be inspired to collectively address these disparities at their roots. 

Travel Planning As An Enjoyable And Engaging Way To Homeschool

One of the aspects of travel planning that we are most excited to share and explore with our members will be travel planning as a much easier and more exciting way to homeschool. There will be a surge in families homeschooling this year and whether you will be exclusively schooling from home or looking for ways to supplement traditional education, thoughtful travel planning opens up countless opportunities to engage your children and teens. As a secular homeschooling family for the last 13 years, we have used this approach multiple times and are also enthusiastic about highlighting what other traveling families have done. We will have loads of tips for how to organize your year and get your kids on board with meaningful and worthwhile growth. Nature studies, language learning, living history, art appreciation –they all become more relevant and enjoyable looking forward to experiencing them in person!

Girl painting
Photo by Tripscholars

Virtual Vacations

Most of us are home a lot more, let’s enjoy it as much as we can!  For fellow curious wanderlusters, we will be focusing on how to take virtual vacations from home as we highlight a different travel destination in our VIrtual Vacation Spotlight each month. In addition to showcasing the best of the booming availability of virtual experiences available from many museums, hiking trails, and cultural landmarks we will be exploring how to incorporate them with other stay at home experiences to create educational and enjoyable immersive virtual vacations from home.  We’ll gather the top resources about a travel spot so you can create a mini trip from home. Enjoy a movie, music playlist, at home curriculum for the younger folks, podcast, tasty meals and libations, and books to take a multifaceted approach to discovering our world. 

Seattle, Washington. Photo by Tripscholars

Hope for the Future

Have you always dreamed of exploring the delights of Paris, photographing the wonders of the Serengeti, experiencing Mesoamerican pyramids, or rafting the Grand Canyon? We may not be able to enjoy these experiences now, both because of COVID and because of financial pressures, but we can learn all about these dream destinations, so that when health and finances allow, we will truly make the most of our time there. Whether you are comparing French wines while studying the language during quarantine, taking an online photography class, enjoying a deep dive into the history of Mesoamerica, or learning all about the natural history of the Grand Canyon ecosystem, imagine the joy and satisfaction of all you will learn now and richness it will bring to the trips when you take them years into the future.

As Stephanie Rosembloom highlights in her NYT article on the value on anticipating future travel:

Turns out, there is an art to anticipation. Savoring, said Elizabeth Dunn, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and a leading happiness researcher, is an active, not passive, process. “It’s better to immerse yourself,” she said. Reading novels and poetry, watching films and television programs, browsing fashion and design blogs that are either from or about the place you plan to visit encourages you to not only learn about your destination, but to dream, providing some concrete details for your mind to latch on to.

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, Washington, USA
Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, Washington, USA. Photo by Tripscholars

Sharing, Teaching, and Remembering for Improved Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating mental health stress for many of us. We attempt to  contribute to our individual and collective mental health by encouraging people to share their good memories, be filled with hope in relation to future travels, and to experience the joy of helping and teaching others. We are intentionally cultivating an inspired community of curious travelers and hope that these connections provide value to our members.

Research has shown that savoring positive memories can generate positive emotions (big surprise!). This was found in a clinical setting, but most of us have plenty of anecdotal evidence that focusing on happy experiences makes us feel better. Have you ever returned from a trip brimming with wonderful experiences you want to share only to find a limited audience for all you learned? Share your stories, photos, and resource suggestions on Tripschoalrs with other people who will benefit from your experiences and research. You will find an audience of people who want to travel where you have already been and would like to learn from you. As many inspiring  teachers know, there is nothing quite like teaching others, or asking your students to teach others, to deepen and solidify our knowledge and understanding. As you share your resources, reviews, and stories, you will be revisiting what you have learned and explaining it to others, which will help you understand it even better.  In doing so, hopefully you will also have some peaceful memories bubble up that  you can use as vivid scenes in your relaxation techniques. 

Red Dragonfly
Nisqually Wildlife Refuge,Washington, USA. Photo by Tripscholars

Marveling at the World Around Us Through Staycations and Local Weekend Getaways

As we launch Tripscholars, we do not plan to advertise and instead allow our community to grow by word of mouth, with the hope that this will help solidify the desired tone for the site. In doing so, we expect our early community to be located in particular geographic areas and we hope members will share their favorite resources about their local regions.  This way we can each dive deep into exploring and appreciating our local surroundings.  

The Value of the Great Pause

We also hope to help foster a deeper understanding of our place in history and our natural world that can be grounding. Seeing ourselves within the rich tapestry of time and space provides a solid footing to look at our own mortality and that of our loved ones. Most would agree that the greatest value of living through the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to focus on what is most important in our lives. We hope this site can be of use as you live your intentional life!

Family looking out at Grand Canyon Sunset
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA. Photo by Tripscholars
Picture of Erica


Hi, I’m Erica and I created Trip Scholars for curious travelers like you! I'm an award winning travel education specialist, best selling author, certified travel coach, and travel advisor dedicated to helping you learn through travel. Through my blog, workshops, and coaching, I help people bring more meaning, connection, and understanding to their journeys-- and their lives.

Welcome To Trip Scholars

Microbial Mats, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Welcome To Tripscholars

Microbial Mats, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.  Photo by Tripscholars

 This post may contain affiliate links which means Trip Scholars may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read more here. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on!

Some of the most profound and transformative experiences of my life have occurred while I have been traveling. Moving in awe over firm, but still warm lava, on the Big Island of Hawai’i while watching the billowing steam of new earth emerging into the mighty Pacific as our planet renews itself. Standing silently with my family inside of a cave filled with Paleolithic cave art and looking into the eyes of a long distant relative’s portrait over 17,000 years old, feeling our connection to each other and all humans, regardless of our current place in space and time.

The Value Of Travel Research

In large measure, much what enhances these moments is being able to appreciate the multiple facets of what I am experiencing. My mom lived in a small town outside of Yellowstone National Park so we have been able to visit it many times. To understand some of the geologic forces at work in Yellowstone,  the bedazzling microbial rainbow, the interrelated flora and fauna, the  stories of the Nez Perce,  up through the recognition of humans finally being far enough along on our collective journey to realize the value of preserving our most precious lands by forming the world’s first National Park– to experience Yellowstone from this multitude of perspectives brings me to tears every time I visit. I am more in awe of our planet and the beings that I share it with. I leave more inspired to protect and celebrate it.

But, I only get a lot of  this because of what I have learned  in advance of my trips. For the full experience,  I really need to have invested a lot of time and energy prior to my visits. That is where this site comes in! If you have made it this far into the site, I’m guessing that you are also a curious traveler and I want to learn from you and hear your stories too! 

Why I Built This Site

We travel as much as we can and, as a secular homeschooling family, we have always tried to make the most of our trips, packing in a lot beforehand and reflecting on our travels afterwards. Gathering and sifting resources has been a big part of my job. It is very rewarding, but also enormously time consuming. There is a lot of garbage out there! Our kids are (almost all) grown now and I finally have the time to try and create a site for all of us curious travelers to share our favorite resources. I have often wished there was some type of hub like this to go.  My hope is that this will both cut down on the time any one of us has to spend sifting through low quality and non-fact based materials, and also highlight the gems and hidden or unique ways to amplify our trip planning.

Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone
Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Photo by Tripscholars

How is Tripscholars Different?

According to a 2010 study, planning our trip can actually bring us more happiness than taking the trip itself. Now, I hope that isn’t the case for anyone here, but for many of us trip planning is, indeed, very enjoyable. Searching for the perfect Airbnb, planning the itinerary (if that’s your thing), shopping for the best hiking shoes for the trail, or finding that gem of a restaurant can all bring us genuine pleasure in the time before departure. There are loads of high quality sites for this type of preparation. As enjoyable as they are, this is not a place for sharing those resources.

Tripscholars is for trip planning beyond the itinerary! This is the place to share your favorite documentaries, websites, podcasts, films, books,  field guides, games, music, language learning opportunities, online classes, travel blogs, and more– as long as they help us gain a deeper understanding of the places we travel to. We are looking for resources that help us understand the cultures, history and  natural history of our destinations. 

We Are Our Community

When I started this project, I had zero experience in web development and no idea how to create an online place for people to share materials. I am grateful that people much smarter than I am have already created the structure to build an online community through a website! I have had the privilege of participating in, facilitating, launching, and leading different communities in the real world and am inspired by what happens when we collaborate together and learn from each other. Most of the best things I have been part of  are the result of people with different interests and aptitudes bringing their best to the table and seeing what we can create together. I want this site provide a place for building community for those who want it. If you choose, you will be able to share your stories and photos about your travels, create connections with other members, and start or join groups with people who have similar interests.

As we build our community, you will also be finding what fellow curious travelers have shared and will collect these resources into your own curated Guidebook so that you’ll always have something great to read, listen to, watch, or do that is related to your next adventure and that will help you enhance your trip planning and deepen your travel experiences! 

Looking forward to learning together, 


Issac Hale Beach, Hawai'i, USA
Newly Formed Earth, Issac Hale Beach, Hawai'i, USA. Photo by Tripscholars
Picture of Erica


Hi, I’m Erica and I created Trip Scholars for curious travelers like you! I'm an award winning travel education specialist, best selling author, certified travel coach, and travel advisor dedicated to helping you learn through travel. Through my blog, workshops, and coaching, I help people bring more meaning, connection, and understanding to their journeys-- and their lives.
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