As Minnesotans, we’re used to spending time at home dreaming of the vacations we’ll take. However, the dreams usually involve dreaming of warmer climates when we’re knee-deep in snow. With the current global health pandemic of COVID-19 keeping us homebound, our dreams of travel no longer just involve getting away from Minnesota weather. Now our dreams of travel harkens back to a time when we could travel. Well, travel will happen again, but in the meantime, we can virtually travel practically anywhere! Because we live in the age of the computer and the Internet even though our physical movements are limited by restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19, computers and the Internet make it possible for us to “travel” just about anywhere. In this atypical COVID-19 News Update, we’re taking a look at the websites and webcams that make it possible for you to travel virtually anywhere.
- 12 Virtual Vacations to take right now without leaving home. This includes the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu, the White House, and the Sistine Chapel.
- Become a virtual egyptologist and explore the pyramids of Egypt online: Pyramids of Giza.
- Take a trip across the pond and enjoy a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace and here’s a 360-degree tour if you are viewing it on a tablet or smartphone.
- 48 Hours Around the World (from home). This is another compilation list from the TripSavvy website. It’s a virtual road map and itinerary for traveling the world in 48 hours. Starting with a breakfast of crumpets (recipe included) in London and ending with the sounds of the Native American flute in the United States.
What do you usually see on trips to other parts of the world? Museums. They offer a way for us to explore the cultures of times gone by and summarize the uniqueness of the new location where we are vacationing. Have no fear, homebound travelers, because there are plenty of museums and cultural institutions that offer virtual tours.
- Virtual Museum Tours: A list of 12 museums with virtual tours.
- A list of 30 museums, zoos, and theme parks with virtual tours.
- A virtual tour of The Vatican.
- We’ll always have Paris… virtually. Tour The Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
- The Smithsonian may be closed now because of COVID-19, but you can tour it online.
- Five National Parks to visit virtually. If you’re craving the great outdoors, a virtual tour of some of our National Parks is in order (bonus: there are NO virtual mosquitoes).
Once you start exploring the world virtually the possibilities of what you can see is pretty endless. Just a simple web browser search using the search term “virtual tour” results in many possibilities. So, until we can actually start traveling in person, virtual travel is an excellent resource.
And if you have access to cable TV the Travel Channel and HGTV also offer great means of escape in the form of travel shows and “House Hunters International” (HGTV). PBS also offers many travel shows and once you start exploring the world this way you’ll be a true virtual explorer.
2022 Update: Now that people are slowly beginning to travel again there are resources for checking out places to visit, such as this article that lists the top US National Parks to Visit.For tips on traveling with hearing loss check out this article. For tips traveling in this new post-COVID-19-world check out this article or this article.