Travel the World Virtually in 2021: A Guide for Online Tourism
Thanks to technology and the advancements it continues to bring, we can do much more than we used to. One new thing we can do is travel to other parts of the world without leaving the comfort of our homes. From the safety of your couch, the convenience of your bed, or the serenity of your backyard, you can instantly enter into another world with the aid of internet-enabled devices – with or without VR gear to match.
In this article, we explore the various ways to travel virtually today – and how to enjoy this new mean of traveling to the fullest.
Don't know where to travel to virtually? Download our free travel quiz! We match your personality with places around the world that you should travel to next.
Virtual travel experiences to enjoy
What can you can gain from traveling virtually? Choose to start with any of the following suggestions or seek out other experiences that are better aligned with your interests.
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1. Travel virtually by watching documentaries
This is one of the many virtual travel experiences that does not require VR gear or anything else other than your usual streaming setup. Netflix is one of the biggest streaming platforms around today, and they have done well to add a series of original documentaries over time. In their library, you will find options that take you anywhere: from the edge of space, into the depths of the ocean, and everywhere in between.
There are surely some places right now that your budget will not allow you to travel to. And even if you do have the budget for it, you might not have the time to explore these days due to a variety of factors.
Dive into the documentary sections of your favorite streaming platform and find movies highlighting some of the most intriguing locations from all around the world.
Some of our favorite travel documentaries include:
A life on our planet
The Dawn Wall
My octopus teacher
Down to Earth
Tales by light
2. Travel virtually to National Parks
Most people think that they can only enjoy a National Park by physically being there. That is not true. You can also get up close and personal with parks through virtual tours. You can potentially learn more than when you are actually visiting one. Have you ever wondered about the history, preservation and protections of these parks?
With an immersive National Park tour, you can now get a better understanding of each National Park. Look for a reputable virtual tour provider and join them on a journey. Travel virtually to national parks all around the world to see what mesmerizing stories they hold for you.
3. Virtual Museum Tours
Some say that the best museums are in Rome, while others will argue that the Greek and French museums hold the most interesting collection of history. Rather than incurring all of the travel, accommodation, and admission costs that come with visiting these museums in person, why not travel to them virtually first? One of our favorite museum tour collections is curated by Google through its Arts and Culture Foundation. They collaborate with top museums around the world, such as the Acropolis museum in Athens (Greece) and the Louvre in Paris (France). As such, you can explore thousands of artworks and musea all around the world. Some of these museums offer curated personal tours for select viewers, so make sure to check with your favorite museum first!
Solving problems that come with traveling virtually
Traveling virtually can come with its challenges. Fortunately, these are nothing that you can’t address on your own. In order to have the best travel experience, we outline some issues you might face – and how to solve them effectively.
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Before you sign up for any virtual travel experience, make sure your devices are compatible with the formats that the experience will be delivered in. For example, documentaries only require simple streaming which can be done from a smartphone. But for others, you might require VR headgear for an even more immersive experience.
Only look for virtual travel experiences that you have the right tech for. They are available everywhere so don't worry about missing out.
For reasons such as legal requirements and copyright restrictions, there could be certain geoblocks on virtual travel or video content online. When this is the case, you will find that some content is not accessible in your region. To ensure you have access to the best content available, connect to a VPN that will redirect you to a supported server location.
For instance, if you connect to a UK server location, you will be able to access content on Netflix and other platforms as if you were in that country. In other words, you will have access to documentaries and shows exclusive to the UK audience.
Avoid Low-Quality Content
Traveling virtually is an emerging trend and has started to gain a lot of traction. That means a lot of players are rushing onto the scene to get a slice of the pie. In other words, you have to do a little work in sifting the good from the bad this time around.
Our recommendations to avoid low-quality content include:
Only choose virtual travel experiences curated by reputable brands
Never opt for hacked or modified versions of virtual experiences that are otherwise offered as a paid service
Check reviews before you commit to them at all
Do your due diligence to sense if something seems off
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Technology continues to minimize the gap between users and other parts of the world – and this remains one of those laudable applications.
There is a lot of promise in the near future which we cannot wait to see. As more brands get serious about offering us a unique virtual travel experience, we will experience even better content and improved competition, which is great for the viewers.
Fortunately, even right now, there is an abundance of great travel content to explore. What’s not to love?
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