Americans won’t be traveling the globe for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the eye-opening, spirit-lifting feelings you get from experiencing something new.
Spend a day, a night or a weekend in a different city or country by virtually exploring museums, architecture and natural wonders. Round out those experiences by making different foods and cocktails, watching movies and listening to music from those locales to feel like you’re really there. You can even learn some of the language for bonus points.
From South America to Asia and everywhere in between, you can enjoy new sights, sounds and tastes from the comfort of home with these virtual travel days.
If you’re more into art, watch a virtual guide of the Jade Museum in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city. Go to the official website of Costa Rica to attend a virtual mediation session, find recipes and coloring book pages for the kids.
Enjoy the sounds of Costa Rica’s rainforest with Manuel Obregon’s Simbiosis playlist and head to the kitchen to make some Costa Rican cuisine. Try local favorite picadillo de papa, ground beef and potatoes served on tortillas, or the rice and beans dish gallo pinto. Round out your meal with a fruity, smoothie-like drink called batido.
Act like you’re in England with a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London. You can also see a natural wonder like Stonehenge or St. Ives harbor. Marvel at the beautiful architecture of York Minster, Chatsworth House or St. Paul’s Cathedral.
If you haven’t gotten to it yet, watch an iconic British show like the U.K. versions of “Shameless” and “The Office,” or newer additions like “Catastrophe” and “Fleabag.” For something less gritty, there’s always “The Great British Bake Off.”
Take a virtual tour of beloved French attractions like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Versailles. If you prefer natural views, check out Mont Blanc, the lavender fields of Valensole Plateau or the gardens of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Try your hand at making some classic French cuisine. La Cuisine Paris offers online cooking classes on how to make everything from French bread and croissants to macarons and souffles. Ooh la la!
Pair it all with a glass of Champagne and a movie. Flicks like “Midnight in Paris,” “Amelie” or a kid-friendly option like “Ratatouille” are all solid picks.
Use Germany’s #DiscoverGermanyFromHome page to virtually explore a plethora of German castles, museums and other attractions, like the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall and Bavarian State Opera house. There are opportunities to see natural wonders too, like Schlossberg Cave and Natural Monument Partnach Gorge.
You’ll also find downloadable recipes for dishes like Berlin potato soup and dibbelabbes (potato and leek hash). Try a German beer or a nonalcoholic apfelschorle, a tasty blend of apple juice and mineral water.
While you’re enjoying your meal, listen to the music of German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, or watch a classic German film like “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” or “Nosferatu.”
Witness Iceland’s beautiful glaciers, waterfalls, hot springs and more with this 360-degree panoramic map. See art exhibits from the National Gallery of Iceland, or check out this web guide of The Culture House.
Replicate the feeling of an Icelandic hot spring by drawing a bath, adding some Epsom salts and taking a nice long soak. Though it may not have the same benefits as Iceland’s mineral-rich hot springs, an Epsom salts bath may soothe tired muscles and ease aches and pains.
Enjoy your treat and listen to music from the late Ennio Morricone, an Italian composer famous for his film and television scores. Or, watch a classic film from Italy like “8½,” “Bicycle Thieves,” “Cinema Paradiso” or “Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion.”
Following the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, you may find yourself still wanting to visit Japan. Check out this virtual reality movie that takes you everywhere from Tokyo Tower and Nara Park to sumo wrestling matches and Kabuki theater performances.
Enjoy the flavors of Japan by brewing some tea. Green teas like matcha are especially popular. If you’re looking for a spirit, go for sake, Japanese rice wine. Try making homemade ramen or sushi. If you’re nervous about working with raw fish, there are plenty of vegetarian alternatives.
Once you have your food and drink, settle down to enjoy some Japanese cinema. There’s something for everyone. Put on an old samurai movie, a horror flick like “Ringu” (The Ring) or “Ju-On” (The Grudge) or a kid-friendly Studio Ghibli movie.
You can go on a virtual safari with Virgin Limited Edition every Monday on its Instagram channel. Cape Town Travel has a bunch of virtual tours, too, bringing attractions like Boulders Beach, Robben Island and Two Oceans Aquarium straight to you.
There’s also a 360-degree aerial photo of Cape Town for some great views. Animal lovers might enjoy watching live video footage of watering holes across Africa to see wildlife in their natural habitats.
Try your hand at making South African cuisine like Cape Malay curry, bobotie (a curried mix of fruit and meat) or chakalaka (a spicy melange of beans, tomatoes and onions). Complement these dishes with a cup of rooibos tea or wine made from Pinotage, a red grape indigenous to South Africa. While you enjoy your meal, listen to some South African jazz or contemporary artists.
Satisfy your culture fix at one of Spain’s many museums. View collections from the Prado National Museum or take a virtual tour of the National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona or the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
Enjoy some of Spain’s cinema with iconic films like “Pan’s Labyrinth” or Oscar-winner “All About My Mother” – or any one of director Pedro Almodovar’s films. Or, listen to some classical Spanish music.
Find 10 virtual tours of places across the nine Thai provinces. You’ll discover everything from Phimai Historical Park and two different perspectives of the Kung Krabaen Bay to multiple museums and King Narai’s Palace. There’s also the completely virtual National Museum Bangko.
Watch a movie like popular art house thriller “Bad Genius,” martial arts movie “Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior” or any one of Thailand’s many horror movies.
Where would you like to travel? Tell us in the comments below!
When you are ready to start traveling again, AAA Travel is here to help you plan.