12 Travel-Inspired Online Classes to Take at Home

Are you tired of talking about the coronavirus with your friends and family? Are you maxed out on bingeable Netflix hours and social media scrolls and news cycles? 

Fortunately the antidotes to this time of self-isolation are endless, including the number of hobbies you can pick up while social distancing—hobbies that don’t require touching other humans or contaminated surfaces, but may require some imagination and patience and perhaps a few hasty Amazon Prime orders. 

One of our favorite things about travel is its impetus for learning new things—what’s better than showing off your newfound wine knowledge than casually dropping that you picked it up on your last tour of the Loire Valley? To keep your eternal-student spirit alive (and bragging) we’ve assembled a list of 14  travel-inspired online classes you can take from the comfort of your living room or home office or wherever you can safely practice trial and error. 

english tudor building among gardens
The Kendall-Jackson Wine Center in Santa Rosa, California. Photo via Jim G.

1. Virtual Wine Tasting

OK, we admit it! We’re traveling winos! And while it would be easy to stock up on our standard Pinot Noir from the local warehouse and call it a day, we crave the infinite knowledge of world-class sommeliers talking tannins and “notes” of mysterious flora. Luckily, the Kendall-Jackson Winery is offering virtual wine tasting courses on their Facebook and Instagram Live. The award-winning wine team will speak to a variety of topics, including Ideas to Re-Stock Your Cellar, Virtual Vino & Vinyasa, a Virtual Wine & Painting course, along with cooking classes and wine pairings. To prepare, viewers can order wine from the Kendall-Jackson website and enjoy 20% off all online orders with code KJSPRING.

2. Online Flower Arrangement Class

If you’re going to be homebound for awhile, it might be a good idea to liven the place up with some nifty flower arrangements, and no: we don’t mean the bulk carnations wrapped in grocery store plastic. On your next grocery store run, pick up a variety of your favorite flowers and then take one of the flower arrangement courses from the Flower Bodega to learn how to maximize their exotic beauty. 

3. Virtual Art & Art History Courses

Gain all the knowledge you would on a docent-led museum tour without tiring your feet huddling from gallery to gallery. The Museum of Modern Art has gathered a breadth of at-home learning resources to explore their exhibitions, learn the history of modern art, or even craft something of your own. 

rolls of homemade pasta on a baking sheet
These could be your homemade swirls of pasta. Photo via Juliana Malta.

4. Grandma’s Virtual Homemade Pasta Class

There’s no better comfort food than a giant bowl of pasta, but boiling a pot of dried Barilla fettuccine night after night might get old after awhile. That’s where Nonna Live comes in. 84-year-old Italian grandmother Nonna Nerina and her granddaughter Chiara teach viewers around the globe how to make homemade pasta from the comfort of their homes. When you register for a date and time, you’ll get a confirmation email with an attached list of ingredients. Before you know it, you’ll be cooking up a storm and tasting one of the delicious recipes passed down by Nonna’s family for over a century. *Chef’s kiss.* 

5. Online Yoga Classes & Guided Meditation 

We were already big proponents of at-home yoga practices (3 of 3 Here editors are big Yoga With Adriene fans! Hi Adriene!) but if you miss getting into the nitty-gritty with your usual yoga instructor, look no further than AKA, the global hotel residence brand. AKA has partnered with internationally recognized fitness and wellness consultant Amie Hoff  to offer a virtual weekly Instagram Q&A series.

For guided meditations, the Inns of Aurora’s Director of Serenity(!) Laura Coburn will be offering free weekly meditations beginning in April from the luxury lakeside boutique hotel. 

6. How to Make a Zine  

Zine making is the new scrapbooking, OK? Admittedly it’s been awhile since we made a physical scrapbook to commemorate our favorite travel moments, mostly because there’s so much pressure to make them perfectly crafted and Instagram ready. But zines? Zines are raw. Zines are edgy. With zines, you’re welcome to draw outside the lines and make it your own, but if you’re looking for a little guidance, Is Press has a great online starter kit

rice krispy treat box with colorful straws
The Krispy Cocktail from Deer Path Inn’s Chief Spirits Officer.

7. Online Language Courses

How do you say, “Please pass the canned white bean stew,” in sultry French? Or “Can you repeat that? FaceTime cut out for a second,” in frantic Italian? These are the phrases you’ll need to know to make your quarantine life a little more worldly, and fortunately the world of online language courses has been thriving for a long while. Tepid beginners should download the Duolingo app for fast learning right on your phone, but anyone ready to commit to a new multilingual lifestyle might as well take this opportunity to invest in Rosetta Stone

8. Mixology Tutorials  

There are plenty of cocktail recipes swirling around the internet, but what if you could get guidance from someone whose job title is literally “Chief Spirits Officer?” The Deer Path Inn, a half-timbered Tudor manor house that epitomizes the valor of English innkeeping in Lake Forest, Illinois, employs such a role and is offering “spirited relief” to the Inn’s followers on Instagram Live with a “Cocktails with Jorge” series. Learn how to craft one-of-a-kind cocktails, including “turning a mini cereal box into the vessel for a delicious, adults-only treat,” and turn your home kitchen into a world-class hotel bar. 

9. At-Home Spa Treatments 

Sure, you’ve got sheet masks from the drug store, but how about taking your home spa treatments to the next level? Playa Hotels & Resorts have properties in dreamy locations like Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, and they take their spa time very seriously. Fortunately their spa director, Sienna Creasy, is providing recipes for simple DIY spa treatments using typical household items—try her invigorating coffee scrub—for those looking to bring some luxury beach resort spa vibes to their social distancing practice.  

man playing trumpet in a dimly lit club
A trumpet player at Howes Bayou in Ferndale, Mississippi. Photo via Chris Bair.

10. Learn a Musical Instrument 

Evoke memories of late-night New Orleans jazz clubs by learning to play the saxophone. Reconnect with your past tour of India with a step-by-step sitar tutorial. Or maybe you were moved by a classical performance at the Vienna State Opera, in which case MusicU would be a great place for you to start. An established online music “school,” you can find teachers from all over offering lessons in piano, violin, guitar, and even piccolo. Just don’t tell your neighbors or housemates that you got the idea from us. 

11. Live Bread Baking Lessons 

The bread-baking trend has been on the rise (get it?) for some time now, but social distancing has really brought out the bakers in all our social feeds. If you’re ready to hop on this trend, start with looking for the advice of your favorite bakers around the world. Bread Ahead Bakery in London is offering lessons via Instagram Live, and Barrio Bread in Tucson is offering 50% off their famous online sourdough tutorial

12. Free Online Higher Education

While there’s no substitute for the real world experience that travel brings when it comes to learning new things, we have a hunch these free Ivy League courses pack their own punch. Maybe you really want to go deep on the history of Chinese Literari while you plan your post-quarantine dream trip to Shanghai. Or maybe you want to get to know the Heroes of Ancient Greece before your 2021 jaunt to Athens (and then Mykonos for some much needed relaxation). We’re just saying! There are about 450 classes to choose from, so you do you.