Image from Pexels.com
Of all the industries and sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, few were hit as hard as travel and tourism. As the virus made its way around the globe, flight paths closed, national borders shut tight, and numerous travel and tour companies closed their doors for good.
And for the keen travelers, the pandemic put paid to travel plans and vacation dreams. While for most of us it’s hard to say when we can travel with the same freedoms as we did before, technology is plugging a few gaps and allowing us to explore the world virtually.
Here are 5 top travel experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your sofa. You don’t even need your passport!
See where Queen Elizabeth the Second and her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh resided by exploring the British monarchy’s traditional seat: Buckingham Palace. The royal residence since 1837, the palace contains the monarch’s administrative headquarters and private rooms.
Touring the palace gives you unique access to rooms and views you wouldn’t normally see. Start on the royal family’s official website here and learn more about the stately building and its interior.
Google Earth is amazing. Jump from island to island in the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia, or peek down medieval streets in Europe’s capitals. The options are endless and only limited by your imagination and, perhaps, geographical knowledge — which gets a boost when you use Google Earth, by the way!
And if you’d like to really delve deep, the Pro version of Google Earth can offer you even better functionality and features. It’s the perfect way to learn more about all those lesser-known nations you’ve always wanted to explore.
Staying with tech giant Google’s products, for now, you can explore the crème de la crème of the world’s artistic productions in Google Arts & Culture. Far more than virtual viewings of masterpieces, Arts & Culture features long-form journalism, analysis, and plenty of content around a given arts theme. So if you’d like to learn more about Cuban street art, for example, or take a wee trip around the Prado in Madrid, you can.
And those ideas are just the tip of the arty iceberg too.
Have you exhausted your streaming service’s travel content? Watched every single travel show your country’s on-demand channels offer? If so, it’s time to branch out and get your travel-hungry eyes on some international content.
Much like you’ll travel virtually via your couch, your Netflix account can do the same, provided you mask your true IP address, that is. You’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to change your IP address at will. Choose a VPN server location in a country of your choice, then open up your Netflix, and voila, you’ll see new travel content.
One of the most unfortunate parts of the travel industry’s recent struggles is that many tourism professionals have lost their jobs. The good news though is that you can help by taking a cheap private tour with local city guides. For as little as $15 you can hire a tour guide to show you around their home. Whether you’d like to explore New Zealand’s capital or Amsterdam’s red-light district, options are plenty.
We hope these virtual travel ideas whet your appetite for new experiences in 2021. Happy travels!