How to Travel Without Leaving your Couch

The Coronavirus put all travel plans on hold for the time being. Schools shut down, trips canceled, and stores are closing. While everyone is still wrapping their heads around the situation at hand, companies have been at work to provide those who are at home with little to do virtual tours, concerts, and keep spirits high. If you are a travel addict disappointed by the cancelation of an upcoming trip take advantage of these unique opportunities and check out some of the ways you can quarantine virtual travel to satisfy wanderlust without ever leaving your couch.

Visit a Park virtual tour

Virtual travel during quarantine is a great way to explore National Parks without having to leave your home. Although you make think taking a virtual tour will never be as good as seeing the real thing, it is pretty close. Here is the list of a few of the National Parks providing free virtual tours.

Take a stroll through one of the most iconic parks in America. See the Imagine Mosaic Strawberry Fields in honor of John Lennon, the fountain at Cherry Hill, Bethesda Terrance, and more details of the park you will recognize from your favorite TV shows and movies. The voiceover of a tour guide takes you through the park and explains historical facts about the park.

Central Park New York City

Yosemite is a large park and it could take hours to tour everything. You don’t have to miss a thing on the virtual tour. Get up close to Bridalveil waterfalls, climbing expeditions in Yosemite Valley, hiking trails, and more without getting up from the couch. The only problem with taking this virtual tour is that it will make you want to get in your car and start driving to California as soon as possible.

Yosemite National Park tour

Explore the outdoor area in the Royal Park in London. Speakers point, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, and more are all viewable on the tour. Once you get done in the gardens you can explore streets all over London through Google Maps. This park offers a peaceful escape in the middle of a metropolitan city. You will see city dwellers seeking refuge among the agriculture in the Royal Parks.

Royal Parks

See what it is like to climb in the Grand Teton mountains or take a hike around String Lake without having to break a sweat or feel the change of elevation.

Grand Teton National Park

Watch a performance by the Metropolitan Opera 

The Metropolitan Opera is offering a free showing of their performances for the first time. Take advantage of their generosity and this opportunity to see a live virtual Metropolitan Opera Performance. The best part is, you can view it in your pajamas.

Metropolitan Opera Nightly Met Opera Streams

Metropolitan Opera Nightly Met Opera Streams

Take a voyage with Rick Steves & Hemingway

Before TV and media took the world by storm books were swept readers away to exotic real and fictional locations. Catch up on literature. Tales by Ernest Hemingway take me to the bullfights in Spain and novels by Jane Austen whisk me away to England. This is also a great time to catch up on travel book, and get ahead on trip planning.

Here are some other books to spark wanderlust:

  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed 
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway 
  • The Lost Girls by  Amanda Pressner, Jennifer Baggett
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Unlikely Destinations: The LP Story, by Tony & Maureen Wheeler
  • 1,000 Places to See Before you Die by Patricia Schultz 
  • Yosemite: An American Treasure by Kenneth Brower 
  • Rick Steves Italy 2020

Famous Museums with art and archeology 

Since many museums have remained closed during quarantine over 2,500 museums and galleries are offering virtual travel during quarantine.

The National Gallery of Art located in Washington D.C. has ongoing rotating exhibits. On the virtual tour you can view the latest exhibition True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870. In this exhibit you can view artists such as artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, John Constable, Simon Denis, Jules Coignet, and André Giroux.

Last summer I went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. a total of seven times during the two months I stayed there. I would have gone everyday if I could.

Virtual tour of National Gallery of Art Washington D.C.

Virtual tour of National Gallery of Art Washington D.C.

Explore the featured ancient archeological exhibition on Mesopotamia’s first writings, cities, and kings.

Quarantine Virtual Travel

ablet with Proto-cuneiform Inscription, late Uruk period, 3400–3100 BC, unfired clay. Musée du Louvre, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities, Paris. Purchase, 1988 (Erlenmeyer collection). Image © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY. Photo: Franck Raux

Discover the ancient exhibits and anthropological discoveries from your home through this visual tour. The tour will take you through the inside and outside of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

Although the physical building of the Uffiizi might be closed their website isn’t. You can explore some of the most iconic and famous Italian artwork as if they were in Italy.  See the ‘The Birth of Venus’ by Sandro Botticelli and ‘Doni Tondo‘ by Michelangelo through the virtual tour.

Uffizi Gallery Florence Italy

Virtual tour of Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Explore the Petite Gallery in the Louvre through the virtual tour made available on their website. If you never get the chance to visit the Lourve in France, this virtual visit is a close second.

Nature and Travel Documentaries on Netflix

If you are sheltering at home now is the perfect time to catch up on Netflix specials you have been missing out on. Read ‘Binge Worthy Travel & Nature Shows on Netflix‘ for recommendations of shows that will inspire new journeys.

Historic Sites

While visiting San Diego Zoo’s website you can watch the animals live. Watch the Polar Bears snooze as if you were on the West Coast of California seeing it for yourself.  Or watch rhinos and giraffes walking around an African habitat.

The Sistine Chapel is covered from floor to ceiling with detailed paintings representing religious iconography. When visiting the Sistine Chapel visitors are not allowed to speak or take pictures. “Silencio” booms over a loud speaker and the huge crowds are ushered quickly through the room. However, with the new virtual tour on Vatican’s website you can enjoy the art of the Sistine Chapel without the crowds or long lines, but from the comfort of your own home.

Virtual tour of Sistine Chapel

Virtual tour of Sistine Chapel

Ride the magic at Disney World

If you have never had the pleasure of enjoying magical rides at Disney World, now is your chance to experience through your computer screen.

The last time I went to Disney World I was wearing Abrocombie t-shirts and listening to music on my i-pod nano. Needless to say, it has been a few years since I made it to the Magic Kingdom so these videos brought back some fun memories.

Stay safe, wash your hands, and know that this will probably be the only time I ever encourage you NOT to travel.

Love,

Morgan