Take a break from working from home and visit these destinations virtually for a family vaycay with a difference!
There’s no doubt about it: the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on everyone. We could certainly do with a breath of fresh air… and a vacation! Though flying around the world in a metal tin can isn’t possible at the moment, we’re all looking forward to the day when we can travel as a family again. Of course, nothing beats seeing sights in person, but for now, we’ll have to make do with a virtual family vacation – right in the comfort of your own home. Need ideas? Read on below…
Top destinations to go on a virtual family vacation
Annually, tons of visitors make the bucket-list hike to see the cradle of Inca civilisation at Machu Picchu. Not only is it costly to get there, but it also takes four days to hike the trail, and there are also limited permits made available (so as to protect the ecosystem). Thankfully, you can still see the sights without having to worry about permits, costs and working your hamstrings and glutes.
Check out You Visit‘s 360-degree virtual tour of this amazing historical site, and then expand the kids’ knowledge of the Inca civilisation by reading up more about the Inca empire. Another great resource to check out is Google Arts and Culture where you can explore the sights with its street view, collection and stories for the whole family.
2. South Africa
Ever wanted to go on a safari tour out in the African wilderness? Wild Earth hosts live safari drives on their Twitch stream, so you can get up close with hyenas, lions, elephants, lions and more. The best part is knowing that you’re completely safe! Bonus: see if you can make the sunrise or sunset safari. Who knows which animals you’ll see?
Want more? Asilia Africa has virtual safari tours to explore, too. Plus, you can also take a sneak peek at its camps and lodges before you plan something in the diary for a trip in the future.
It’s unfortunate that we won’t get to watch our favourite sporting events and eat our weight in Japanese cuisine for the Olympics. Thankfully, with virtual reality (VR) and food delivery available, exploring Tokyo and other parts of Japan can still be a fun adventure. Sure, it might not be exactly the same but it’ll come close… somewhat. Check out Japan National Tourism Organization’s VR movie and its YouTube playlist for a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. Psst, order some sushi before embarking on your trip – it’ll certainly heighten your experience.
There’s no better time than now to visit the last wonder of the world. See the Pyramids of Giza up close and personal on a virtual family vacation to Egypt! Not only can the kids learn cool facts about these larger-than-life monuments, but there are also other resources where the little ones can supplement their learning. We like National Geographic Kids, as it has a page full of facts and resources about Ancient Egypt and modern-day Egypt in bite-sized information. Alternatively, there’s always a Wikipedia hole to fall down…
And if you want to see more, head on over to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to discover more of Egypt’s monuments and artefacts from around the country.
We don’t know about you, but the heat is getting to us in sunny Singapore. Don’t you wish you could hit the slopes or make snow angels on a mountain top somewhere? Well, with Travel Alberta, you can… virtually! Get out your (imaginary) snow boots, skis and snowboards for a wicked time down slopes and enjoy breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains. Our tip? Blast those air conditioners and fans for a cool time. A chilly recipe for a great virtual family vacation!
If the sproglets are obsessed with trains and you’re looking for gorgeous scenery, hop on a train tour and explore the Golden Pass train route in Switzerland. This scenic train line is famed for its gorgeous views of the Swiss Alps and picturesque landscape. It’ll also take you through beautiful rustic villages along the way, as well as the city of Interlaken and eventually to the town of Montreux along Lake Geneva. Time to whip out some cheese and wine to enjoy while you’re at it, while the little ones cosy up with some hot chocolate.
Vietnam is a dreamy Southeast Asian country that we love visiting as a family. Not only are there plenty of World Heritage sites to visit, but we get to chomp on delicious food and walk pristine beaches or bustling city streets. If only we could visit the country to take a well-deserved break! Maybe in a few years’ time, but right now you can go on a virtual family vacation through the different cities of Vietnam with these 360-degree virtual tours with Vietnam Travel. Visit the old capital, Hue, the bustling port of Hoi An or explore Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave.
Ever wanted to visit Germany? Now’s your chance. Motorsport and car fans will want to virtually experience the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, while castle-hoppers will love to explore several fortified structures that dot Saxony‘s landscape. Meanwhile, the younger ones can learn more about Bavarian cuisine, customs and craftsmanship in the region, or head to Berlin to experience different music genres – from concert and opera performances to the odd DJ spinning tunes and tracks.
Our top tip? Definitely check out Neuschwanstein Castle (above) in the Bavarian region of Schwangau. Fun fact: it served as an inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland!
While we wait (with bated breath) for positive news on the Singapore-Australia travel bubble, get a head start and explore Down Under with these virtual tours of Sydney and Melbourne as well as some of the country’s iconic places. Of course, we can’t talk about iconic places and leave out the Sydney Opera House! This video gives a 360-degree tour of the building as well as a performance from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Want to spend some time with the animals? Catch the livestreams from Taronga Zoo and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. For nature lovers, go on this guided tour of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and discover this remarkable space.
Well technically no one has ever ventured out to space unless you’re an astronaut or a robot, but now you can (albeit virtually)! Take a tour on the Moon, walk on Mars alongside NASA’s Curiosity rover, explore our solar system or even go on a trip of our galaxy. Prefer something more down to earth? Head over to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and discover space travel artefacts such as spacecraft and rockets, among other things. Or… just keep it simple by reading up about the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Happy armchair travels, folks!
Top image: Nad Hemnani