The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has made travel very difficult this past year, with many countries having to close their borders and nationwide lockdowns being put in place to help slow the spread of the virus. And though many of these lockdowns have come to an end and people are adjusting to new ways of living, the freedom of movement has yet to return.
But don’t lose hope. If you’re in desperately in need of a break from your living room, you can still cure that bad case of wanderlust. How? Back at the beginning of the year when countries began closing their borders, the tourism industry found creative new ways to ensure people could still find escapism and continue to see the world.
If you often find yourself daydreaming about getting away and exploring far off shores, we don’t blame you! Travel is good for your mind, body and soul in so many ways. In fact:
1. Travel makes you smarter – it helps you to boost your skills and can even reveal skills you didn’t know you had. For example, you might find you flex your organisation and communication skills, you might also learn new languages.
2. It improves your understanding of other cultures – you’ll meet people from all walks of life and you’ll be able to see how others live. This can give you some real perspective on the world we live in.
3. It’s good for your mental health – travel helps you to escape the stress of everyday life. It gives you a chance to get away, discover new places and it can give you a real sense of achievement.
4. Travel gives you a chance to meet new people – whether you’re meeting the locals or buddying up with fellow travellers you met in a hostel, travel gives you a chance to get to know new people and make lifelong friends.
5. It also gives you a chance to try new food and see new places – if you’re a foodie, travel gives you the perfect opportunity to sample local dishes and cuisines from around the world. You’ll also be able to discover new places and where this delicious food came from.
6. It makes you interesting and gives you stories to tell – If you love having interesting stories to share at parties or over dinner dates, travel arms you with plenty of exciting tales to share.
7. Travel makes you appreciate life – travelling gives you a chance to reflect. It allows you to see how others live and get a real appreciation for your own life. Plus, as you see some of the most beautiful and unique places around the world it can fill you with a sense of wonder.
8. It lets you discover who you really are – it might sound cliche, but travel challenges you, it helps you transition and it educates you. This can help to boost your confidence and let you discover more about yourself.
How can you make the most of virtual travel in these difficult times?
It’s all well and good exploring why travel is so great for you but when you can’t actually travel much further than your local supermarket, how do you get the same sense of escapism and wonder? Luckily, there are plenty of enterprising companies out there who have made it possible to visit tourist hotspots, animal sanctuaries, museums and galleries around the world. And these are just a few ways you can experience travel virtually, the full list includes:
Take a virtual museum or gallery tour
From the Great British Museum to the Louvre, there are plenty of museums and art galleries that have had to close (or limit numbers) as a result of the pandemic, so instead, they created virtual tours and galleries that can be enjoyed from the safety of your home. You can check out 10 of the world’s best virtual museum and art gallery tours, here.
Wander the world with Google Street View
Got a destination in mind? Why not hop onto Google Street View and feel like you’re walking down the road. From Times Square to Machu Picchu, Google’s satellites have made it possible to be there with just the click of a button. You can even visit fictional destinations such as Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley or even the Batcave!
Live through travel vlogs
Until you’re able to pack a bag and board a plane yourself, you can live vicariously through those lucky travel vloggers that have already been out there and created great video content for you to enjoy. There are a number of great travel vloggers and you can get lost for hours in their beautiful edited vacation videos.
Download VR travel apps
Virtual reality (VR) has really taken off in recent years and one of the greatest things to emerge from this technology is VR travel apps. Using your phone or other smart devices you can immerse yourself in some of the world’s greatest tourist destinations and you’ll feel like you’re really there. From the Great Pyramids of Egypt to Patagonia, there are plenty of exciting VR travel experiences to be had.
Watch webcams from around the world
Want to spend some time with the Gorillas in the Congo? You can! Want to feel like you’re sunning yourself on a beach in Hawaii? Not a problem. Fancy going diving? Consider it done. There are so many great live webcam feeds out there that can transport you to incredible destinations around the world. Once there, you can watch various different animal sanctuaries or enjoy tourist hotspots in real-time. Choose from some of the greatest lifestream cameras, here.
Relive your own travels
Lastly, have you been on some pretty exciting adventures already? Why not relive your own travels to help cure your case of wanderlust. Whether you sit and flick through old photo albums or watch old videos from your GoPro, you’ll be amazed at how great you’ll feel after a trip down memory lane.