With the global pandemic placing everything on hold, many of us will no longer be able to go on holiday this summer. After spending winter dreaming of white sandy beaches, it’s looking unlikely that many of our favorite destinations will be opening their doors to international travel until Autumn or Winter. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop dreaming about the ultimate trip! The world is our oyster, thanks to technology we can now explore the world all from the comfort of our homes.
Visit a destination virtually
Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can visit your favorite places all from the comfort of your living room. Google Maps has this handy feature called Street View, which allows you to be transported virtually anywhere. Maybe you want to transport yourself to Paris to celebrate an anniversary? Or take a walk around the canals of Venice? It’s all possible thanks to Google Maps!
Although, it can never make up for the real thing, you can still explore and plan out what you would like to do if you were on the ground. It’s a great experience to enjoy with friends or family, together you can explore and plan so that once lockdown is lifted you can travel to this destination and live your plan!
Take a virtual museum tour
Maybe there’s an iconic museum you’ve always wanted to visit? While it isn’t the same as seeing it in person, this will give you a chance to escape your home and virtually explore some of the wonders of the world. From the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Rome’s Colosseum, the Catacombs in Paris, the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, and the ruins of Pompei, there are plenty of museums opening their doors no matter where you are based!
Learn a language
One of the easiest ways to immerse yourself in another country and culture is through its language. Why not spend this time during lockdown to start learning the lingo? Language learning apps like Babel and Duolingo offer you the opportunity to learn a language easily from your smartphone. But you don’t have to just learn via apps, there are plenty of podcasts, YouTube videos, and interactive forums where you can chat with native speakers and fine-tune your phrases.
Travel with virtual reality
Traveling with VR can transport you to another place all with the touch of a button. In 2020 the popular travel magazine Rough Guides, released a guide to virtual Xbox worlds you can explore. Gaming tourism has started to take off in a big way, the purpose of these games isn’t to win, it’s to explore the virtual world. The Rough Guides virtual guidebook recommends places to visit in popular games such as Tomb Raider and Metro Exodus. This is still a niche market, but if you have a virtual reality headset, you have endless possibilities to fulfill your wanderlust without having to leave your house.
Books and travel magazines
Getting away from technology, there’s nothing better than getting back to the basics and there’s no better way to do this than with your imagination. Why not subscribe to your favorite travel magazine or start reading a travel book on your ultimate destination? Or why not indulge in a classic like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road? There are also lots of online travel book clubs you could join! Many bloggers are now using this as a way to get people to engage with their platform. A popular one is from Nomadic Matt, with 3-5 books being recommended every month to help inspire your travels after lockdown.
Travel TV shows
Sometimes we need to just switch off and there’s no better way to do this than by bingeing a good TV show. There is plenty of travel shows out there to help inspire your wanderlust! From the comedy musing of Karl Pilkington's An Idiot Abroad to the iconic journeys of Micheal Palin. There are also travel shows that cover the more unusual type of trip, like Netflix’s hit, show Dark Tourist which takes you to dark and unusual travel destinations such as Fukushima in Japan and the Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan.
And it’s not just TV shows, there are plenty of films out there to give you ideas for your next travel destination! If you are dreaming of a tropical paradise then the ultimate film is The Beach starring Leonardo Dicaprio. Or maybe you want to watch some of your favorite movies and make up a list of iconic movie destinations you want to visit? From the likes of Indiana Jones’s famous temple scene set in Petra in Jordan, to Rocky’s art museum steps in Philadelphia, Kings Cross Station complete with platform 9 and 3 quarters from Harry Potter to the Getty Museum from La La Land in Los Angeles. Enjoy your favorite films and plan the ultimate trip to recreate your most cherished scenes!
Find a pen pal
Are you missing visiting new countries and learning about different cultures? Then why not sign up to an international pen pal website? There are plenty out there! From one's dedicated to language learning to girly geeks, there’s something for everyone! These websites allow you to make a profile, set your preferences, and make friends with people from all over the world. You can choose to contact them online or to write to them. Many people use these sites to practice English, so you will never be stuck finding a friend if you are a native English speaker. You can also learn this platform to immerse yourself in new traditions, cultures, and religions. Maybe you’ll make a lifelong friend and decide to go visit them after lockdown has lifted? The opportunities are endless.