Virtual travel: How to travel from your own home

March 19, 2020

Virtual travel: How to travel from your own home

Now that most of us are in self-imposed (or otherwise imposed) isolation across the globe and travel restrictions are on the increase, travel, adventure and the wonders of the world are things that we appreciate more than ever. However, thanks to some very cool pieces of technology which enable virtual travel, it is still possible to experience the benefits of travel from your own home!

This is a particularly good thing to try with your kids as it provides a way to connect and talk about the possible ideas for your next adventure. Plus, it will give you the chance to come up with travels to look forward to.

We take a look at some of the ways you can travel from your own home, whether that is through virtual reality or other digital technologies.

Live stream cameras

One of the best ways to travel virtually is through live stream cameras. Many websites have live streams set up so you can feel as though you are truly there (especially if you get it on the big screen). Some organisations have set up live stream cameras in rainforests so people can get a glimpse of the variety of daily life there.

On the website, for example, you can see a variety of wildlife in their natural habitats, from sea otters to elephants. They even have underwater ocean cameras so you can see tropical reefs and more! This is a great learning opportunity if you have kids as you can talk about the different kinds of wildlife that live in various places.

Google Maps

Thanks to Google Maps Street View, it is possible to virtually travel to loads of different places and take a look at the surroundings! You can only do this with locations that have been photographed by Google Street View cameras but it still gives you a lot of options.

One geography game called GeoGuessr, which was launched in 2013, is a great way to travel all around the world from your own home. The game lands you in a particular location anywhere in the world and asks you to guess your location based on just the visual clues around you.  

It can be pretty hard to guess but it’s lots of fun and educational too! If you’re playing with kids, it allows you to show them different types of environments around the world.

Virtual reality headsets

Virtual reality travel is another trend that has been growing in recent years as it allows people to become immersed in another environment without actually physically visiting it. You simply put on a VR headset and you are transported to another world!

It has so far mainly been used by travel marketers to give customers a taste of what they can expect when they go on a trip. You can sample some of the main attractions and this will encourage you to actually visit the location. 

However, with recent travel bans, more and more people may be looking to virtual reality travel as a way to escape from it all. This could actually become an alternative to physical travel in the coming months as we can sample new locations through virtual reality travel whilst still following social distancing protocols. 

Reading travel books

Another great way to get a taste for future adventures is to read travel books about particular destinations. Even if you can’t get out to a bookstore, you can download these on a Kindle or tablet and browse to your heart’s content. Plus, loads of us will have travel books we’ve bought but never fully read so now is the time to make the most of those.

If you’re wanting to keep your kids occupied and plan future adventures with them, there are also loads of child-friendly travel books out there. One of our personal favourites is the ‘Little Kids First Big Book of the World’ by National Geographic which is a great way for young children to get excited about the planet and learn new things.

Set up make-believe travel destinations

This one takes a little more imagination and is mainly aimed at kids (although adults can definitely get involved too!) If you’re stuck inside at the moment, why not go on an adventure in your own garden or even living room. You can pack a picnic and go for a walk up in the ‘mountains’ or you could get some towels out and have a day at the beach. Even if you don’t have an outdoor space available to you, you can set up a fort in any room of the house and pretend it’s a camping trip!

We hope this guide to virtual travel has given you some ideas for the travel-related things you can still do while you’re stuck inside. Whether it’s new technologies such as VR or something as simple as reading a book, virtual travel is a way for us all to escape in these uncertain times.

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