virtual travel

It looks like we might have a long winter with the pandemic, even with the vaccines beginning to roll out. As we continue to bunker down and stay safer at home, it can get harder to entertain ourselves. Though it’s not the real thing, the Internet provides us access to the outside world without even opening the door.

Get Some Culture from the Couch

If you haven’t discovered Google Arts and Culture, it’s a great place to start. It features content from over 2000 museums around the world. Google has you covered if you are looking for museums, street art, or want to enjoy the wonder of parks. Check it out and use it as inspiration for further learning or future traveling.

Beyond Google, various museums are creating their own virtual experiences.

  • One option is the Louvre in Paris, where you can visit the museum rooms and enjoy the views and architecture.
  • Collections of the Prado Museum, the main Spanish national art museum located in central Madrid, allows the exploration of its vast array online. On top of this, virtual visitors can learn more about the restoration work in its website’s multimedia section.
  • Buckingham Palace, an iconic building and the Queen of the United Kingdom’s official London residence, has opened its doors for online visitors. Discover the Throne room, Grand Staircase, and White drawing room without leaving your own living room.
  • The Sistine Chapel, which wasn’t easy to get into before the pandemic, can now be admired as often as you like. The Vatican Museums are also offering you the chance to take a tour around their immense collections.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has a 360-degree tour. You can also sign up for a live virtual group tour with your own tour guide.
  • The National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC has online self-guided, room-by-room tours.

Travel Without Traveling

While traveling through your computer or phone might not be quite the same, a virtual getaway can be a nice escape from everyday life for just a little bit.

Missing the beach? Listen to the crashing waves and do some people watching in Greece or experience the Maldives’ peacefulness with these 360-degree videos.

It’s nearly impossible to take your eyes off aerial panoramic views of Switzerland’s most picturesque sites shot at different times throughout the year. Each video shows a small map graphics in the corner – to make it easier to find once you decide to hit the road again.

Take an adventure with the Machu Picchu tour. Or have some fun at Disney with their virtual tours or their Virtual WDW 360 degree videos.

Transport yourself in real-time anywhere in the world with live cams. See the hustle and bustle of Times Square in New York City, the Eiffel Tower twinkle in Paris, whales in Hawaii, or watch your favorite animals at the San Diego Zoo.

Find Live Entertainment from Streaming Options

Many other virtual options can help keep you distracted during this unprecedented time.

Musicians and entertainers are moving some events online because they cannot perform live. Google “live stream music” or “live-stream concerts” are just some of the options. Many holiday performances are available online during the next month.

If you are interested in cooking or baking, check out live-streamed cooking classes. Whatever your hobby or interests, you can probably find a way to experience it online. Honestly, you just have to Google it.

Plan Your First Post-Covid Adventure

While it seems like wishful thinking, using these virtual experiences to satisfy our yearning can lead to lust for what we’ve been missing. Use the information to plan your escape once we can be safe and travel.

Getting familiar with hotels, sights, art, and culture now is a great way to be ready. There are more opportunities to learn about places far and wide and more time to do it. Think about alternative methods of traveling that might feel more comfortable.

If you are most comfortable with a road trip, map out destinations, routes, and possible accommodations. If you think a train trip will make life easier, look for close-by sights that you’ve never taken the time to explore.

Check out cruises that may interest you. Many cruise lines are booking now for April through the end of 2021. If you have seen something in the virtual world that you would love to experience in person, find those routes, along with dates and itineraries.

Have you been enjoying any virtual traveling or learning experiences? Which ones are your favorite? Did you know these options existed before reading this article?