Virtual Traveling, is it Worth the Hype?

Traveling for many looks a little different with COVID-19 these days. Many travelers use it as a way to escape reality, go on a getaway to relax and learn about other cultures. While the reasons for traveling are endless, the reasons to stay home feel just as long. Protecting your health and safety as well as those around you are of top priority, but what if you can’t get rid of that itch?

Well, virtual traveling has been making its way through social media. But is it worth the hype? Virtually traveling is not the same experience. Nothing can replace the feeling of stepping foot in a new city and meeting new people. However, there are loads of apps, websites and programs that offer the experience in the comfort of your own home. 

Photo: Waranont (Joe) on Unsplash

Apps and Platforms for Virtual Traveling

Making your home a virtual oasis can be as easy as lighting a candle, opening the window or having the fresh smell of takeout food filling up your home. While setting the scene, decide where you want to go: is it the tropical vibes of Bali, the bustling city of Japan or the wintery alps of Alaska? Several platforms and apps offer this opportunity for free. 

Photo: Dimitry Anikin on Pexels

WindowSwap allows you to see through a window anywhere in the world with the added option to listen to music. Don’t like the view? Click again and be transported to another city, state or country at random. Travel to Japan with a free 360 VR movie from the Japan National Tourism Organization where you are invited to explore Japanese bamboo forests, sushi bars and railways.

Have you ever been to Ireland? Now is the time to explore the Giant’s port and the hexagon-lined coast of the Grand Causeway. Take the free 360 virtual tours and be immediately immersed in the beautiful scenery that Ireland has to offer. Want to explore Chile? Download the Chile 360 app to see historic sites including the Torres del Paine, Atacama Desert and Easter Island. 

virtual traveling
Photo: Dimitry Anikin on Pexels

Virtual traveling is different. It requires some enthusiasm, but it can offer a similar feeling of relaxation and transportation to another country. Traveling can be beautiful, even if it is just within the comfort of your home. Why wait until the pandemic is over and all of the different COVID strains are figured out? Take advantage of the free apps, websites and programs that offer a virtual oasis anywhere you are. Use your imagination and become immersed in the beautiful countries around the world. 

By Anissa Durham
Featured Photo: Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

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