The sun is starting to make an appearance in the UK and although this is perfectly timed for our national compulsory staycation, it's beginning to give many of us holiday vibes and itchy feet.
The current coronavirus lockdown situation has meant that many of our summer plans might not pan out as we had hoped. The current measures are vital in ensuring that we all stay as safe as possible, but with this comes some disappointing news about cancelled holidays and plans.
But with the wonders of the internet, some people aren't letting the lockdown stop them from experiencing their desired destination and are deciding to experience the world using an alternative method. While virtual travel is unlikely to replace real travel, it can still be a fun way to spend a day or two during lockdown and it's a great way for families to take breaks from work and school to have downtime together. This is also a perfect way to get a feel of some locations around the world to help plan a real holiday once the lockdown is over. Although we will help to show you some ways in which you don't need to get on a plane or ferry to experience new cultures.
How To Make The Best Virtual Holiday Whilst In Lockdown
It's up to you how you choose to experience your virtual vacation; there's no exact definition so you can tailor your virtual vacation to suit you and your family. The type of technology you have might help shape your virtual holiday but a VR headset isn't vital to experience a perfect virtual holiday and you can still have a fun and immersive day with the technology you already have. There are so many virtual tours available online that help form the foundation of your holiday from home. A virtual tour lets you see incredible sights and learn the history of your dream locations by exploring 360 degree shots specifically designed and ordered like a real life tour. The technology is spectacular and demonstrates the incredible uses of the internet, especially during times like this. Although we haven't quite reached the level that is seen on films like the 'Matrix' or 'Ready Player One', it gives us an idea of the exciting direction of virtual reality. Will it eventually replace travel? Maybe. But for now we've provided a guide on how to see the world whilst in lockdown, with or without a VR headset. Take a read below to see our tips and ideas to help you start planning your perfect virtual vacation. See the world without the pain of travel sickness, sunburn and jet lag!
Plan Where To Go
You don't need to worry about flight costs when you're planning your desired location. You might have a destination already in mind, but if you can't decide which part of the world you'd like to explore, then you can find some inspiration below.
China is such a culturally rich country, and this is something that can be experienced in a virtual way. You can marvel at the wonders of the Great Wall of China through an immersive virtual experience whilst teaching your kids some fun facts about this wonder of the world.
If art and culture is more your thing, why not travel to Paris and take a tour of the Louvre? There's so much famous and historical art to be seen, not forgetting Mona Lisa herself.
Do you fancy trying out rock climbing, where you can enjoy the view without the fear of heights holding you back? Then a tour of Yosemite National Park is perfect for you. Yellowstone is another amazing national park in the US that surely can't be missed if you have some little adventurers in your household.
Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the world, and visited by thousands every year. You can experience its beauty without the difficulty of the long hike, and really see one of world's most famous sites.
Immerse Yourself In The Experience
Why not make the whole experience even more immersive? You could try to include film nights relating to your chosen destinations. For example if you decide to go to the United States of America, you could watch some Westerns or if you're heading to Japan you could watch some Anime films and TV shows. You could set the scene by hanging out decorations and playing some playlists on Spotify on the day. Use the garden and the sunshine to help make your holiday even more immersive especially if you have access to a paddling pool! Take a read below of some more tips to make your virtual holiday feel even more immersive.
To really make it feel like you and your kids are heading out on a great travel adventure, try and make the day seem really authentic by packing for your trip. You can have great fun in deciding what to pack, planning outfits together and trying them on as you try and see if everything will fit in the suitcase. Take your suitcases with you to whatever space you've set up in the house to hold your virtual holiday.
Get The Right Currency
As with any holiday, spending money plays a massive role in making sure your little ones can have the most fun and get some special treats and souvenirs from the trip. Pretending to exchange your pounds for some dollars or euros will make your virtual holiday feel incredibly real, and will even give you a chance to teach your kids about foreign exchange rates and how the world of money works. To make this activity even more exciting, why not try an online currency generator and print some of the notes you make. There are even some currency generators that allow you to print a picture of your faces on them. Putting a picture of you and your kids on the front of a note is a brilliant way to personalise your trip, and have something at the end for a keepsake to stick in the family scrapbook.
Have A Go At Learning The Language
We've all felt the frustration of arriving in a country and hardly knowing enough of the lingo to get by. With the help of many free language learning apps such as Duolingo , on your family's virtual trip this will not be a problem. This is both a fun and educational way to pick up some culture and get your kids to really immerse themselves in every part of the country you decide to visit. These language learning apps also have great features like interactive games, and conversations you can have as a family in the language you're all having a go at learning. The skills you and your kids will pick up will be invaluable.
Taste Some Of The Local Cuisine
One of the best parts of any holiday is the food. Tasting and sampling all the new and wonderful dishes you discover in a country can be an amazing and unforgettable experience. This is something you certainly don't have to miss out on during your virtual holiday. Why not have a go at recreating some of the dishes from your destination's local cuisine? As a family you can have great fun getting your chef's hands in gear and cooking some of your favourite dishes but with a little foreign twist. There are some amazing and unique recipes to find online that can really spice up your staycation and really make it feel like you're abroad, or you could even have a go at creating your very own immersive themed restaurant experience at home.
Having loved everything art and crafts so much as a child and wanting to pursue this when she grew up, Eleanor recently moved to London from Bath to study for a degree in Fine Art. Eleanor loves exploring the city in her spare time, especially visiting galleries and seeking out new arts events to go to with her partner. When she’s not out enjoying what the capital has to offer, Eleanor is a keen outdoor adventurer and lover of all things travel, always looking for a new destination to discover.