It has been a little more than a year since the COVID pandemic started—a little more than a year since billions of people were relegated to the comfort of their own homes for fear of contracting and spreading COVID if allowed out.
While vaccines and treatments are beginning to go out, travel is still restricted. Meaning that if you are hoping to resume traveling the world, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer, potentially a few more months. That said, technology has allowed many to travel the world, just not in person.
4 Ways to Tour the World
Take a Virtual Cruise
The cruise industry has suffered heavily due to COVID-19. From one of the first major COVID outbreaks being on a cruise ship (The Diamond Princess) to a year of people not being able to take cruises, the industry has suffered financially and has lost trust amongst the general population.
But that doesn’t mean cruises are forfeit. Early on into the pandemic, some cruise lines decided to host virtual cruises for users stuck at home. How these are structured, differ from cruise liner to cruise liner. Some cruise liners have live webcams set up on multiple areas of the cruise ship that viewers can switch between. Others work similarly to Google Maps, where you can view layouts, rooms, the ocean, and vice versa.
If you want to go on a cruise but can’t because of COVID restrictions, a virtual cruise is the next best thing.
Go on Virtual Tours
But what if cruises aren’t up your alley? What if, instead, you miss being able to go to the museum on the weekends? Fortunately, for those of you who would rather go to the museum, many museums over the past year have begun to offer virtual tours for those stuck at home.
For example, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. allows users to view two online exhibits via their websites. Other museums, like New York’s Guggenheim Museum, do not natively offer online exhibit tours but do allow you to see exhibits and art installations via Google’s Street View.
Play Virtual Reality Games
Virtual reality was once considered DOA. The high price of entry mixed with needing a powerful (read: expensive) computer meant many couldn’t opt-in to VR. Fast forward to today, however, and VR is as accessible as ever thanks to Oculus and Samsung.
Why mention virtual reality? Well, there’s absolutely no better way to explore the world than through VR. Not only are there tons of videos that support 360-degrees VR, but there are also many games available that can scratch that exploration itch.
From mountain-climbing hit The Climb to the calming Real VR Fishing, there’s no shortage of exploration games. And while VR still requires you to shell out some cash, it is absolutely worth it.
Stream Travel/Nature Documentaries
There’s a lot of ways to experience the world virtually, but you don’t need to rely on virtual reality headsets and Google Street View to explore the world; all you need to explore the world is a Netflix subscription.
The heart-warming yet slightly depressing documentaries in the Planet Earth series—helmed by David Attenborough—are a great way to experience nature from your home. Documentaries like Street Food are a way of showing the foods of different countries, as well as showing off the cities they visit.
The point is, there is no shortage of exploration in Netflix’s library, so if you feel that itch, turn on some Netflix! However, some documentaries may be restricted to certain regions, but you can use a VPN to watch those.
Until travel restrictions soften, you’ll have to postpone your in-person travels. However, there are plenty of ways to experience the world from the comfort of your couch, from virtual cruises to quality documentaries.