Luxury Holiday's mission has always been to get members off the couch and exploring the world — but if there was ever a time to stay on the sofa, it is now. Let's face it, we're all going to be spending a lot more time at home. And while travel may be out of the question for the present, we're still dreaming of our next adventure and all the places we hope to get to soon.
Until then, virtual vacations are open to everyone with an imagination and an internet connection. Whether you need an antidote to cabin fever or are pining for the flavors of a favorite destination, here are eight ways to travel without leaving home.
With Google Street View, you can visit famous sites and monuments while lounging in your pyjamas. Immerse yourself in history at Taj Mahal, admire the view of the Trongsa Dzong from Street(Bhutan). For more adventure, check out Google Maps' virtual treks. You can go from climbing to Everest Base Camp in Nepal and word’s tallest building Burj Khalifa — in just a matter of clicks.
The world’s best galleries and museums are just a few clicks away with Google Arts & Culture, a platform that allows you to take digital tours of legendary places from the Guggenheim in New York City to the Louvre in Paris. We also love the free online tours at the British Museum, The Louvre, The Smithsonian and The Vatican, Closer to home, The Virtual Museum of Canada bills itself as the largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations. You can even see iconic art pieces up close. The best part? It's all free.
Travel and eating are one of life's greatest matches, so what better way to satisfy your wanderlust than by feasting on food from a place you're longing to return to or to see for the first time? Explore the globe from your kitchen by sourcing recipes from the corner of the world you're craving. You can also take online cooking classes such as Nonna Live, where you'll learn to make classics from an Italian grandma. Free lessons have cropped up during this downtime, including Indian Dishes and Nepali Dishes for parents and children and Food is Everything, Instagram lessons.
Duolingo allows you to spend just a few minutes a day learning a foreign language, in a fun game style. It’s free and there’s even an app for kids. You could also have a go at a new hobby. Maybe it’s time for you to get started on your family tree: Ancestry has a free trial, giving you access to billions of family records. Who knows, your next trip could be to the land of your ancestors.
It’s not quite the same as being there, but you can visit some of the world’s most celebrated heritage sites without leaving home. The UNESCO website has a list of 1,121 sites that are considered to have “outstanding universal value.” Many of these cultural sites, such as Nepal,s Boudhanath Stupa, India's Taj Mahal, England's Stonehenge and Peru's Machu Picchu, have their own virtual tours that enable you to see detailed panoramic images while reading all about these fascinating places to appreciate why they are so important.
Hippos, monkeys and penguins can be viewed through webcams, virtual tours and “home safaris.” Visit Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto to keep an eye on the sharks. The San Diego Zoo is live-streaming a number of animals on its website, including koalas, pandas, giraffes and polar bears. You can also bring exotic animals like snow leopards into your living room with a selection of live video streams from Australian zoos. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is live-streaming a "home safari show" on its Facebook page each weekday at 3 p.m. ET. Each episode will feature a different animal and an accompanying educational kids activity that can be done from home.
We may not be able to visit Canada's national and provincial parks in person, but you can still get back to nature (from a distance) with virtual tours and videos. Discover the beaches of Pacific Rim National Park and the magnificent peaks of Banff National Park via Google Earth, watch a live view of Algonquin Provincial Park and let a guide take you on a video tour of Gros Morne National Park. For even more park inspiration, we put together a roundup of our favorite videos and virtual park tours in Canada and the U.S.
Just because you've had to shelve your immediate travel plans doesn't mean you can't look forward to a future trip. Often the happiest part of travel takes place before you ever pack your bag — reading about destinations, searching for hotels and deciding on what to do once you get there. If nothing else, it will tide you over during this lockdown period and give you something fun to look forward to when this is all over. Check out Luxury Holidays Nepal's Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter feed for more details. You can also get inspired by our fully refundable vacations, flexible trips and Luxury Vacations — all designed to let you book with peace of mind.