From seeing the northern lights in Canada to salsa dancing in Puerto Rico, here are a number of ways to get your fix while you dream about future travel.
1. Explore the hidden worlds of the U.S. National Parks with Google Arts & Culture: for a healthy dose of the great outdoors, Google Arts & Culture is hosting interactive documentaries on a number of contrasting U.S. National Parks including Kenai Fjords, Alaska; Hawaii Volcanoes, Hawaii; Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico; Bryce Canyon, Utah; and Dry Tortugas, Florida. Audiences can immerse themselves in 360-degree video tours through some of the United States’ most remote and breath-taking landscapes.
2. Head to the Dolomites in Trentino, Italy: groups craving open spaces can make the most of Trentino’s ruggedly beautiful Dolomites scenery with the Trentino VR app, available on iOS and Android. Members who have access to a Google Cardboard viewer can ride a classic Italian scooter through vineyards, go hiking through the Dolomites and admire ‘Aperitivo Hour’ at sunrise from an Alpine mountain hut.
3. Discover Nevada’s Great Basin National Park with ranger videos: the three-minute to four-minute videos by the park’s very own Rangers, cover a variety of topics from astronomy to the ancient bristlecone pine groves. The stunning diversity of the larger Great Basin region is showcased within the Great Basin National Park located in eastern Nevada near the Utah border.
4. Traverse Chile, the world’s longest country, with 360-degree virtual views: measuring a distance that spans from the top of Norway to the bottom of Greece, Chile is the world’s longest country and is home to glacial wonders, desert sands and cultural capitals. Travellers keen on adventure and awe-inspiring landscapes can now take a virtual visit to every corner of the country, from the comfort of their own home. The free app, Chile 360, is loaded with 360 degree scenes from the vast Atacama Desert in the north, to the peaks of Torres del Paine in Patagonia in the south and magical maoi sunrise shots from Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
5. Brighten a morning with the Northern Lights in Manitoba, Canada: with an average of 300 days of aurora activity in Churchill, northern Manitoba, visitors are in for a chance of viewing the colourful night-time spectacular. Now, from the comfort of an armchair over breakfast, your members can enjoy nature’s free light show, admiring the Northern Lights live on Explore.org. Top tip: your members will have the best chance of seeing them between 5am and 9am.
6. Discover The Palm Beaches, Florida, on a virtual cycle ride: the Palm Beach Lake Trail, one of many cycle paths Florida’s Palm Beaches area, can be experienced virtually. Hosted on Discover The Palm Beaches Instagram it allows groups to escape to sunshine, whilst exploring Florida’s Cultural Capital, from the comfort of their home.
7. Get more sunshine with Greater Fort Lauderdale’s live beach cam: staying in Florida, Greater Fort Lauderdale’s live beach cam offers real-time coastal views of some of its stunning beaches, from the white wave wall along the beachfront promenade, to Hollywood Oceanfront Broadwalk and Deerfield Beach’s Blue Wave beach.
8. Learn salsa dancing from Puerto Rican professionals: Travellers can daydream now and visit later, meeting some of Puerto Rico’s best local talent in the meantime and immersing themselves in workshops, including a salsa lesson with Tito Ortos, the director of the San Juan City Salsa Dance Program. The lesson, recorded at home during social distancing, kicks-off with a brief overview of basic salsa steps and turns into a salsa dance party. Perhaps you could all take part at the same time? Just head to Youtube.
9. Enjoy authentic Hawaiian experiences from hula dancing to ukulele performances: groups who have always dreamed of visiting the Hawaiian Islands can use the Hawaii VR app to take part in authentic local experiences across the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and The Island of Hawaii. Experiences include hula performances, peaceful catamaran rides and original songs sang alongside a ukulele.
10. Virtually visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona: the Grand Canyon is considered to be one of America’s greatest natural spectacles and a little-known fact is that one doesn’t need to leave the comfort of home to experience its vast landscape. With a river archaeology Grand Canyon National Park VR tour, travellers can delve deeper into the history behind the Grand Canyon and its incredible formations. The site allows groups to click through the breath-taking 360-degree panoramic photos and discover the intricacies of the first major excavation along the Colorado River in 40 years.