And the plan went kaput again! Last March when Kanish had planned for her dream vacation, lockdown due to pandemic spoiled her plans. And this year, the spike in cases ruined her long-awaited vacation to the nearby hill station. Kanish is an avid traveler. Every quarter she has something or the other planned, that helps her breaks the rut. However, since a year, she has not stepped out of her city, except for that dinner on the highway with her colleagues.
Are you able to relate with Kanish? Do you know that you can travel without travelling during situations like the current pandemic? The present situation is such that it is getting difficult to step outside and it is equally difficult to stay indoors as well. And no one is sure about how long it will take to get back to that old life again. However, we cannot just let things take the course and get into a depressive state of mind. We need to find out ways to experience the pleasures of life. Yes, even if it adds to your already-long screen time.
Let’s look at ways wherein you can travel without stepping out of the house. Yes, you can experience the beauties of the world through virtual vacations.
How to take a virtual vacation
Relive your old vacations
You might have taken many vacations or may be a few before the present situation ensued. So, every day, take out some time to view the pictures on a bigger screen at your home. This will bring back all those memories of a trip taken recently or long back. Want to know, what will better the experience?
Call the co-travelers
Get in touch with all those who traveled with you at the destination. Make a group video call and rewind the memories.
Prepare the food
Every trip has some good or bad memories that are related to the food. Prepare all those dishes that you had had during the trip. You can even ask your co-travelers to prepare the same. Yes, Google the recipes and get going.
You can shop for the stuff that are related to your trip to that place. Or you can gather all that you had shopped and take new pictures with the same stuff.
Create the ambiance of that particular destination by playing the local music, dressing up as the locals do and dancing to the songs of that region.
It is quite easier to take old vacations again. There’s no planning required. You already have the list of the most visited tourist places, famous eateries of that place and also the hotels. You just have to rummage through the pictures and you are ready to take off or indulge in the old vacations.
Fresh new virtual vacation
So, you have a dream destination in mind and have been postponing it for one reason or the other. You are not fond of getting the RT-PCR test done for the thousandth time. And you do not want to get embroiled in the changing rules due to the sudden spike in the cases of different places. The best way out is to plan a virtual vacation with your group of friends or all the members of the family or the office colleagues or that old friend of yours that always has a reason not to show up for the vacation. With the virtual vacation, there is no reason to say no.
Planning a virtual vacation
This ain’t as easy and simple as it seems, mate. Firstly, decide the place that you want to visit to. You will need all the information about the place. The only thing that will not trouble you is the mode of transport but everything else remains the same. Prepare your co-traveler/s for the designated destination. Then, plan how are you going to take up the trip – through a travel book, YouTube videos or specific CDs or travel shows or even a travel catalog or book.
Number of days
This is a bit tricky. You can visit every top sight separately or visit the entire destination in one go. And hence, you will need the number of days your virtual trip is going to last.
You will need to prepare a scrap book for this virtual vacation. Google the best free-to-print photographs of the destination. Then add them to your scrapbook with all the details. You can even add a made-up story explaining the experience of visiting the place. This will help you imagine all the things in detail and enhance the experience.
Tingle the taste buds
No vacation is complete without indulging in the food of that particular place. Find out the popular cuisine and try to prepare it on your own with the local ingredients. Now, you have something to post on your Instagram account as well.
Where to take a virtual vacation
It is not necessary to sulk-in due to the current situation. You just need to keep yourself safe without indulging in too much of news and viral videos. Plan your spare time instead of hopping from WhatsApp to Instagram to Facebook to Snapchat to Spotify to WhatsApp again. Let’s check out places that you can visit virtually during the present restrictions on travelling.
Different Kinds of Virtual Shows
If you love the environment and the flora and the fauna therein, then there is so much to explore virtually. So many wildlife sanctuaries and zoos around the world have started offering the convenience of experiencing the place virtually by paying a small fee or even for free. You can even watch the pre-shot videos on YouTube or partake in the live visit to such places. It is one-of-a-kind experience to go inside all those zoological parks in different corners of the world. Among these, some are those that are not open to general public otherwise. If there is a small fee associated with the same, please contribute as it helps in the maintenance of the place and animals.
Due to restricted travelling, many circuses are finding it hard to survive. By watching the shows organized by such circuses, you would be inspiring and motivating them to keep up the rare abilities and talents that the people in the circus have. There are many virtual shows available to experience the good old circus which we have nearly forgotten about.
You might have already rebuked the concept of magic shows because they are so bore and predictable. However, I watched one in the morning today and the good old tricks have taken the place of many new ones and it was a delight to watch the same. My daughter was amazed by the magician and wondered if she could become a magician when she grows up. Try to relive the magic through the eyes of little kids. Believe in the magic and who knows, everything will get back to normal again.
Ah! The loud thumping music and throbbing hearts humming the songs with the singer amid the crowd! What a beauty! This will return soon. But till that time, you will have to do away with the virtual musical concerts that are being held all over the world. These are equally good and some are even organized to contribute to the charities formed for the musicians who are finding it difficult to survive during covid-19 aftermath.
If you are one of those persons who find open mics uncomfortable, then there is some good news for you – brand new concept of Virtual Open Mics. You are not able to see the crowd and hence, there is no stage fear at all. Come on, participate in the virtual shows being organized these days. Get your confidence back by expressing yourself in open mics or attend a stand-up comic show online. You are only going to get richer with happiness in the end of such shows.
Theatre & Plays
So what you are not able to watch the play sitting among the crowd in silence. Book a live theatre play and watch it, sitting right in front of the stage without getting disturbed by the sounds of murmur or chatter in the background. If this is not bliss, what is?
My mother always plans for a dream cruise trip, which is stalled by some reason or the other. However, this year, thanks to the pandemic, I booked her for a virtual cruise tour where she enjoyed immersing in the world on aboard a huge ship and experiencing the live shows being held inside.
Light up the face of your little ones and also the elders in the family by organizing a virtual puppet show. This is one of the best ways to dive deeper into the heritage and keep it intact. In bargain, you might learn a trick or two on how to use the puppet that you already have.
So what if you don’t own an expensive telescope! You can travel without a spaceship to the space by booking yourself for a virtual trip to the space. Watch the stars, constellations, asteroids, meteor showers and whoosh! I am daydreaming already! This one is my favorite and am off to space, where there would not be any coronavirus scare, of that I am sure!
Why take a virtual vacation?
When I ask my friend to take a virtual vacation, she retorts saying that she is happy in the current situation. She is happy being unhappy about having to stay indoors. Also, she is happy doing the same old chores day in and day out. And she is happy playing video games and clearing one stage after the other. But, she would not be happy to know that I have written about her, here. I will tell you why you should take vacations virtually.
To say goodbye to bad stress
When you are indoors all day long, your mind doesn’t get the required amount of exercise, fresh air and food for thought. You have become a pro at the household chores, so you do not require much thought over there and your mind starts wandering to an unknown strange place which is not good at all. You start thinking about all the wrong conversations, sad news and what nots. And this has a grave impact on your mind. And when you think about a vacation, you have happy thoughts. You look forward to interesting things and your mind gets the exercise it needs.
To welcome happiness in your routine
Do you know that planning for a trip helps boost happiness? Yes, absolutely, says Allina Health organization. You must have heard the phrase that an empty mind is a devil’s workshop. Well, so when you do not have anything coming up, then your mind is not in a happy state. However, when you start directing your mind in a definite place, then it is excited. And such excitement breeds happiness. You might think otherwise about virtual vacations. However, gone are the days of boring videos on the internet. Because the online content has gone for a massive transformation. If you are taking a virtual vacation through youtube, then you are in for a visual treat as the videos are of very high quality, giving you the best-in-class experience. And if you are attending an online event, then you are going to meet so many people, all bound by similar tastes as yours. And awaiting such events boosts happiness, without an inch of doubt.
To increase productivity of your routine work
Yes, you are very much occupied and do not have time to spare for vacations. And the covid pandemic has increased the workload by adding an extra step of sanitization in your routine. However, you need to take a break from all this. Mark your calendar, pack your snacks and start preparing to go on a virtual tour. It is guaranteed that a planned virtual vacation will not only improve your mood, but also prep you up for the next day of work. Taking a break is all it takes to speed up the work, baby.
To see all those places that you might have missed
If you are going on a virtual vacation to a place that you already visited, there are higher chances that you will come across some sights that you missed due to lack of time or poor planning. And if you are taking a fresh new virtual vacation, you might get to visit those places which require permissions and are only available to a few people associated with the authority. Also, virtual vacations make it a possibility to take you to places that are nearly impossible to visit, which is a definite advantage above all. Planning for North Pole, eh?
To keep the vacations in your budget
It happens quite a lot of times that vacations exceed the budget that is originally set for the entire tour. However, with virtual vacations, this is not the case. Most of the virtual vacations are free of cost. And some of them are very cheap as compared to the investment which would have been required for an actual vacation. Plus, the biggest advantage is that virtual vacations can be taken multiple number of times.
I know, you did not stop to read this as your mind already wandered off to some hills or that beach you were thinking of visiting for long. But if you are here, please do take a long-pending virtual vacation and do not forget to post your pics online on social media. Happy virtual vacations to you!