Take a virtual vacation from the comfort of your home
While many of us continue to stay close to home, that doesn't mean taking a vacation abroad is off the table — at least virtually. Thanks to modern technology, avid explorers are able to still see the world using their device and an Internet Connection. From strolling through one of Europe’s most famous museums to swimming alongside exotic fish, below are six destinations you can visit without leaving the comfort and safety of your own home.
Although the iconic art museum was officially established in 1793, Paris’ Louvre is very much in the 21st century offering a closer digital look at some of its most famous exhibits. For example, drop by the Petite Galerie located in the heart of the facility for Founding Myths: From Hercules to Darth Vader to learn how artists around the globe draw their inspiration from myths and reinterpret them for audiences. The museum has even forayed into the realm of virtual reality (VR), giving users of the Mona Lisa app a 360-degree experience of Leonardo da Vinci’s works.
Japan is a bucket list destination for a lot of people, and for good reason considering its reputation for distinctive culture and unique traditions, along with being the birthplace of sushi. To tide travelers over until things get back to normal, the Japan National Tourism Organization has put together an immersive virtual reality movie that whisks those watching on a showcase across the country. Covering friendly robots, traditional sumo wrestling and everything in-between in three minutes, the film is guaranteed to leave viewers wanting more.
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and it’s not hard to see why. Originally built in 7th Century BC to prevent barbarian nomad incursions, the wall is actually made up of several sections and spans thousands of kilometres. Fortunately, you can let your hand do the walking and check out this tour put together by a Beijing-based travel agency. Simply click to soak in the view from any direction or to move forwards. It even shows how the magnificent structure looks in the wintertime.
Epidemic or not, witnessing natural phenomena like gushing magma in Hawaii up close and personal is often a difficult task. Enter Google Arts & Culture, a non-profit initiative that has partnered with several American national parks to give web access to high definition guided tours of some truly spectacular scenery, such as the inside of the Nahuku Lava Tube found on the Big Island. Pro tip: plug in some headphones for the best multimedia experience.
Great Barrier Reef
Fans of The Planet Earth documentary series and narrator David Attenborough rejoice: the renowned broadcaster and historian returns, this time taking visitors of all ages on a dive into the world’s largest coral reef system off the coast of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef journey is fully interactive and educational: click different elements on the screen to reveal videos, images, text and sounds. You can even see what life looks like underwater to a mantis shrimp.
Walt Disney World
The doors to the Most Magical Place on Earth remain closed for the time being, however the whole family can visit the Visit Orlando website to drag, pinch and swipe through the Walt Disney World Resort. Revisit real life versions of the Lion King and Avatar movies in the Animal Kingdom, or sample the futuristic Epcot Center.
No matter the virtual adventure you choose, use this guide to sample the sights and sounds of international landmarks and cities in a safe and enjoyable manner and share your adventures on social media using the hashtag #TravelwithBCAA. You may not need travel insurance to sightsee from home, but when the time comes, BCAA is here for a cross-border trip or an epic adventure, wherever that may lead you.