So many people want to see the world. But, right now, that’s just not possible.
Well, at least not in person. But what if you could see major bucket list sites from the comfort of your home?
That’s where virtual travel comes in!
These 13 ways to see the world from home are just a few of many that will get your mind exploring, even if you can’t physically get on a plane and travel.
Give a few of these a try and satiate your wanderlust!
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1 // Tour the world’s most famous museums
Museums have so much to offer travelers, from a world-class educational experience to cultural context for the destination.
Many of the world’s most famous museums have gone the extra mile to provide yet another way to access them: virtual tours.
Check out the virtual offerings of these museums:
- The Louvre, Paris
- The Met, New York City
- The British Museum, London
- The National Palace Museum, Taipei
- Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Picasso Museum, Barcelona
These seven museums have amazing offerings, and just scrape the surface of how many museums are offering virtual tours. Take advantage of these for inspo and add them to your must-visit list!
2 // Take a virtual stroll through U.S. National Parks
No one enjoys having to stay in when the weather is perfect and everything in them wants to be outside! Use these free virtual tours of U.S. National Parks and Monuments to see the States from your couch.
Sites available include:
- Yellowstone National Park
- Statue of Liberty National Monument
- Channel Islands National Park
- National Mall
3 // Go on an Airbnb Online Experience
From an entrepreneurial perspective, Airbnb struck genius with its Online Experiences.
You can go on a virtual wine tasting with a sommelier, take a meditation class, a cooking class of cuisine all around the world, take fitness classes from Olympians, and so much more.
Seriously. It’ll make your head spin with how many options are available to you from the comfort of your own home.
4 // See Switzerland by train
Switzerland has some of the most beautiful scenery the world has seen, and some of the best train routes to go along with it.
But, it’s no surprise that Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world to visit.
The Bernina Express is an iconic train ride that attracts visitors from all around the world who want to see Switzerland’s landscape. Starting in Switzerland, the train crosses the Italian-Swiss border and enters northern Italy.
5 // Get an astronaut’s view of Earth
Who doesn’t want to see outer space and the cosmos? For those of us that live in cities, it’s difficult enough to see a full night sky, much less all the stars that fill it.
Enter: Virtual reality.
In this National Geographic video, astronauts take us along for the ride into outer space and show us how Earth looks from above.
Not only is it mind-boggling, but it’s surreal.
6 // Lay on a beach in the Maldives
If the Maldives isn’t on your must-visit list, what rock are you living under?
The tiny islands in the Indian Ocean offer some of the most staggering beauty in the world. The photos alone are breathtaking, so one can only imagine what it’s truly like in-person.
Now, with the rise of virtual reality, experiences, and even virtual vacations, you can get an even better look at what the Maldives has to offer. What better way to see the world from home?
7 // Take a helicopter tour of Mt Everest
Mt Everest has claimed the lives of so many experienced climbers that most of the world will never ascend to its peak.
But, what if you could fly there without changing out of your pajamas?
Sure, ascending Mt Everest may still be out of reach. But, you can still experience some of what the view offers through a 360° video experience with a helicopter pilot.
8 // See Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel
As someone who’s been to the Sistine Chapel twice, I can say with confidence that it is absolutely unforgettable.
However, it’s also a pain to visit a sacred place when people are disrespectful.
That’s what makes a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel even more appealing than just for entertainment purposes.
You can enjoy your very own private, quiet Sistine Chapel tour through the Vatican here!
P.s. If you enjoy your virtual experience so much that you must see it in person, then check out my favorite GetYourGuide tickets!
9 // Cross the Seven Wonders of the World off your (virtual) bucket list
One of the first exposures we have to travel is by learning the Seven Wonders of the World. Because of how expensive travel can be and the limited time many people have for vacations, visiting them isn’t necessarily possible.
Or, maybe you want to know whether or not it’s worth paying major money to fly halfway around the world and see them.
Each of the Seven Wonders offers a virtual experience, so you can feel fully immersed in the moment as a visitor in-person.
If the virtual tour leaves you wanting more, then it sounds like it’s time to plan a trip there!
You can have virtual experiences at:
- Great Wall of China, China
- Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Chichen Itza, Mexico
- The Colosseum, Italy
- Taj Mahal, India
- Petra, Jordan
10 // Plan future trips
One way to hold you over from traveling is to plan your next trip to see the world.
While many airlines are offering flexible cancellations, it is risky to book a future trip now. Why? Because airlines have the right to cancel itineraries and re-price them, and they can choose to only offer credits instead of refunds.
Since it may not be a good idea to purchase airfare right now, you can instead get inspiration for where you want to go next. Start planning, and start saving now if you are able.
If you want assistance in planning your future travels, contact me!
11 // Read inspiring travel books
A good paperback book is the solo female traveler’s greatest companion. It feeds her brain, her heart, and her spirit all at once.
On top of all that, it feels less lonely when you’ve been traveling solo for a while if you have a book to keep you company.
And, when trying to see the world from home, a good book goes a long way.
Some travel-inspiring reads on my TBR list are:
- Wild, Cheryl Strayed
- Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
- Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
- The Motorcycle Diaries of Che Guevara, Che Guevara
- A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Bill Bryson
- The Red Quest: Travels Through 22 Former Soviet Republics, Jason Smart
- Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman, Alice Steinbach
- Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth, Albert Podell
- Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, Rolf Potts
12 // Read your favorite travel blogs
Like the one you’re on right now. *Cough, cough*
In all seriousness, travel blogs are a gold mine of free information to inspire you to see the world, provide resources to help get you there, and advise you on what to do once you’re traveling.
Travel bloggers are true pros at what we do, from choosing the right destination, to documenting our journeys for educational and informational purposes.
If you’re needing inspiration to get you out of a slump, travel blogs are a great place to go and remember why we love travel so much in the first place.
13 // Watch your favorite travel YouTube channels
YouTube vloggers are another great source of inspiration for your travel woes during quarantine and beyond.
My favorite travel YouTube channel is Kara and Nate. They’ve helped me learn so much about travel hacking, and their videos have added destinations to my bucket list.
Chances are, there’s a travel YouTube channel out there that speaks to you and will get you to explore more once traveling is safe and responsible again!
. . .
These 13 virtual travel experiences allow us to see the world from home while we can’t go ourselves. Now that’s a good use of technology.
And, if you’re tired of screen time, pick up a paperback! The travel reads on this list are just a few that can get you started.
Which of these virtual travel experiences will you explore?