We are not in the best time for humanity and even less for those who are keen to explore the planet, long and wide.
But the desire to see the world for sure doesn’t end with the pandemic that has taken over our lives. On the contrary, I have the feeling that it is accentuated in these days of isolation.
We need to look at the full part of the glass and remember that we are in the online era. Where any trip is just a click away. Of course, I mean virtual travel, but still, a little is better than nothing.
We have books, we have movies, online maps, and memories in digital format. We have enough resources to quench our thirst for travel, at least for a while.
And because I want to share all these resources with my dear readers, I have made a list below with the best resources for online traveling.
12 ways to Travel Virtually
1. Watch The Best Travel Movies
You don’t have to be a professional traveler to be able to appreciate a successful cinematographic production, which should be about travel. Or to inspire you to travel. At least with your mind and soul, if right now, physically is not possible.
I was so impressed by some of the best travel movies that I even got to visit the places where they were filmed. For example, I lived at a hotel where Eat.Pray.Love was filmed in Bali.
I also got to visit the filming locations of a series that I was watching as a child. It’s called Sunset Beach, an American TV show, filmed on the beaches of LA.
Movies are perfect for transposing you to places where you can only dream of traveling to these days. The list of the best travel movies below can be supplemented with many others, but for the moment, these are my top recommendations.
Don’t forget to share in your comments your favorite movies related to travel.
- Into the wild (2007)
- Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
- The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
- Wild (2014)
- Lost in Translation (2003)
- The way back (2010)
- The Bucket List (2007)
- Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
- Midnight in Paris (2011)
- Eat. Pray. Love (2011)
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
- Out of Africa (1985)
- The tourist (2010)
2. Watch the best travel vlogs
Although I love my blog a lot, I must admit that Youtube is an important place when it comes to traveling. Travel vloggers are doing a great job, covering destinations that are difficult to reach until now and presenting fabulous experiences.
If an image is worth a thousand words, video material can express even more. I watch a few travel vloggers, and my favorites, along with the links corresponding to each channel, are listed below.
- Lost le Blanc
- Hey Nadine
- Kristen & Siya
- Flying The Nest
- Mark Wiens
- I Am Aileen
- Brooke Saward
- Kara and Nate
- Jason Billam
3. Travel documentaries and tv shows
For this category, the basic word is, as you might expect, Netflix. On this platform, there is a lot of extremely well-documented shows, which will surely captivate you for days.
I added three of them, my favorite ones. Besides, there is also a TV show that relaxes me and helps me imagine how it would be to move to different corners of the world.
I’m talking about House Hunters International show on the Travel Channel. You can find many editions of this show on Youtube, as well.
- Dark Tourist – Netflix
- Street Food – Netflix
- House Hunters International – Travel Channel
- Magical Andes – Netflix
4. Read Travel Books
The best travel books are, obviously, written by authors who have spent much of their lives exploring the world. Because how else could you present the complexity of a certain civilization, if not from experience?
So, in just a few pages, you can find yourself in a gondola on the canals of Venice, in the Amazon jungle, or hiking to Machu Picchu.
The main advantage of books is that they can give you the freedom to imagine how a place looks like. An imagination that you can later compare with reality, once you get there. It’s a fantastic feeling, I assure you!
Therefore, let’s use this time to read some of the most fascinating travel books. Here are my recommendations:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
- The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah
- Cruising Altitude by Heather Poole
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- The Beach by Alex Garland
- Venice by Jan Morris
5. Explore Online Museums
If you want to have a deeper knowledge of a certain region of the world, then you should visit an online museum.
You will be amazed to find that most museums also offer virtual tours, where you can explore both the building that hosts the exhibitions and the exhibitions themselves. I put here only a few of the museums that have a “home online”:
- Guggenheim Museum, New York – you can explore all the 6 floors through arts and culture by google
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. – you can find online exhibitions of impressive drawings
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris – famous paintings, but also a virtual tour of the rooms
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – one of my favorites, you can admire gorgeous paintings of the famous painter and, of course, if you are passionate about painting, you can get inspired from here for your next painting
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence – a virtual tour with paintings from the Renaissance period and beyond
- Vatican City – explore in a virtual tour with 360º images throughout the Vatican
- Natural History Museum, London – fossil collections, species of birds, butterflies, plants
- The Louvre, France – 4 tururi virutale impresionante ( Exhibition: The Advent of the Artist, Egyptian Antiquities, Remains of the Louvre’s Moat & Galerie d’Apollon)
- you can see more here: Google Arts and Culture
6. Download the most useful Travel apps
Life of a traveler has never been easier! Now, there are a lot of applications that will ease your search, and it would be a pity not to take advantage of them.
Whether we are talking about online maps, guides, planners, or applications that organize your luggage, travel applications are a wonderful resource. Below are some less known than the classic ones, like Skyscanner, Booking, or Airbnb.
travel organizer, the place where you can enter all the details of your future trips around the world
you can make lists with scheduled flights, hotels where you stay, activities you will have, transportation, events, etc.
the best application of online maps, together with Google maps
finds out details about the route, traffic status, accidents, police, etc.
the application that helps you to get quickly from point A to point B, giving you all possible access routes
probably the name is more than suggestive. With this application, you will find the closest public toilet to the place where you are
the place where you can organize a perfect road trip, taking into account all the details (campsites, restaurants, entertainment areas, services, etc.)
If you are the kind of traveler who always forgets to add something to the luggage, this application is for you. Pack Point makes up your suitcase, depending on where you go, duration, weather, and other factors)
the application that helps you to find out what the real-time exchange rate is and to convert one currency into another currency
you can see the list of events that will take place in the largest cities in the world at the time that you will travel there
7. Admire the best 360º Panoramas
Instagram is full of pictures from around the world (by the way, here’s my account), but if you want a much broader perspective of a particular place, then 360 ° images are the answer.
My favorite site for doing this is airpano.com, which has an impressive collection of 360 ° images and videos from around the world. Just give it a try!
8. Cook international dishes
Probably, the fastest and easiest way to connect with a beloved culture and destination is through your taste buds. You may not remember very well what you did in a certain country, but you will certainly not forget how well you ate there.
You will surely remember the delicious pasteis de nata in Lisbon, that delicious pizza in Rome, the rice with aromatic sauces from India, the noodles in Indonesia, and the list can go on forever. For more inspiration, I recommend the Youtube channel called International Foods.
9. Make a photo album of your best travel experiences
If you’ve already gathered an impressive collection of photos from your travels, stored in dozens of folders, and a few external memories, you probably won’t remember many of them.
Now you have the perfect opportunity to search through those folders, looking for the most beautiful pictures from your vacations. Select them and turn them into digital albums or albums that you can print and admire in physical format.
My favorite application to do so is canva.com. It is an app that includes all the tools you need to turn a trivial photo into one worthy of a travel album.
You can select the size or format of the image, you can add filters, text, and other elements that fit beautify each picture, separately.
Below, you have an example of 3 pictures from my trip to Morocco, edited in Lightroom and canva.com. All that remains to be done is to print them and to enjoy them every time I want to remember my experiences in Moroccan realms.
10. Learn a new language or improve the level of a language you already know
This can help you not only to get a better job when the pandemic passes, but also to communicate better with the locals or tourists in the places you will visit in the future.
It is best to learn a language widely used on the globe. I suggest you choose between English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese or Arabic. You can watch channels on Youtube, or you can use the well-known and efficient app, Duolingo.
But there are others also. Here is a short but useful list of applications for learning new languages:
11. Write your Bucket List
Even though the period we are going through is completely unfavorable, we can always dream with our eyes open about our future journeys. I’m sure you’ve always had a special place in mind that you wanted to travel to. Or even more than one.
So, why not make a list of all the places in your bucket list? It is said that a good plan always begins with a sketch. I already did this by the time I started blogging, so the article with my bucket list is among the first published.
While many of them have already been completed, many are still undone. On the other hand, I’m continuously adding others to the list. Never stop dreaming!
12. Start a travel blog
I’ve already written an article that offers all the tips and tricks you need to start a successful travel blog. But it doesn’t have to be a blog that will get famous and that will bring you many readers if you don’t want it.
You can rather consider it a personal diary, in which to keep all the beautiful memories, gathered from your travels. A personal space that you can keep just for yourself or share it with your family and friends. It’s your choice!