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Image / Editorial

From couch to 10,000k: 7 virtual holidays to enjoy from your own home


by Amanda Cassidy
25th Mar 2020
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Trekking across the globe from your own home has never been easier, writes Amanda Cassidy 


Who’d have thought we’d ever miss the ‘going anywhere nice for your holidays’ conversation? From back in the good old days when we could go to the hairdressers with abandon or take carefree taxi rides across town.

Simpler times now, maybe.

But as flight restrictions and COVID-19 grounds all of us for the time being, that doesn’t mean we have to take a holiday from researching future holidays.

In fact, there has never been a better time to seek a little escapism. A friend of mine even Google-map explored Rome this morning, and is planning to ‘do’ Paris next week via Street Views.

And as the humans hide indoors, nature thrives. The waves still crash on remote beaches, the sky still bleeds pink on those unforgettable sunset evenings, animals still have the power to captivate. What a pity to miss even a moment.

With that in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the most unmissable tourist treats that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

So whether you are looking up new destinations for your bucket list, looking to distract some little minds, or just trying to get out of your own head for a little bit, you will find solace, beauty and entertainment in the following destinations.

Honeymoon vibes

Before the outbreak, a trip like this to far-flung Tahiti might just have been out of reach. But thanks to the Paul Gauguin 360 degree tour of the Islands Tahiti, you can experience a VR tour like no other. Discover some of the culture of French Polynesia, watch the stingray encounters and get some breathtaking ariel views of private beach motu mahana. Bikinis optional.

Beneath the sea

Choose from one of ten live cams at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California to see one of the most diverse communities of open-ocean creatures including sharks and turtles. Tune in to see the playful sea otters, the gliding jellyfish or simply gaze in awe at the array of deep-sea beauties at the Open sea exhibit.

Animal antics

San Diego Zoo is home to over 3,500 animals and more than 650 different species. They want to showcase their multiple live cams from the Zoo’s liveliest residents, including baboons and penguins in Africa Rocks; polar bears in Northern Frontier; koalas in the Outback and the newest resident with the apes in the Lost Forest. Closer to home, get a birds-eye view of the elephants and rhinos on the African Savannah via the Dublin Zoo live webcams.

Inspiration

Go from couch to 10,000 km in mere seconds by visiting Japan online. This VR 360° tour of Japan will provide some much-needed bucket-list inspiration.

Watch sushi being prepared in Tokyo or experience your first sumo wrestlers match (surprisingly different to your kid’s current ones on the trampoline). Log in and watch the deer in Nara or simply immerse yourself in the unfamiliar landscapes of this stunning country.

Take to the skies

Let your cooped up mind take flight to experience some of the world’s most iconic aircraft with a virtual trip to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washingon.

Access the cockpits and interiors of Seattle’s Museum of Flight aircraft from the comfort of your kitchen table.

These 3D self-guided virtual tours include Concorde, the NASA Space Shuttle Trainer and the first ever presidential jet plane, aka the “Air Force One”.

Down Under

Here, up over, we are currently starved of wanderlust. So what better way to scratch that travel itch than escaping albeit virtually to experience a dramatic helicopter ride over Hamilton Island in Australia. Check out this mesmerizing island tour video via the island’s App. Best of all, it’s 100% free.

Ride or die

No travel bucket list could be complete without allowing a sprinkle of Disney magic into your home. It is a good time to get familiar with the vast kingdom that is Disneyland so when you do actually visit in person, you have a good lay of the land. Even if you have no intention of ever visiting, you can experience the thrill of the rides via YouTube.

There are plenty of age-appropriate recorded experiences of what it is like to actually be on a ride. We love this extra-shriektastic Everest Expedition.

Images via relevant tourist centres


Read more: Family-friendly Orlando: The ultimate checklist for Universal Florida

Read more: See the Northern Lights with this guide to Iceland

Read more: How to do the Maldives with kids

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