Travel may be on hold right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop exploring. Until it’s safe and responsible to venture out once more, show your family the beauty of the world with Top 10 Virtual Trips from Lightfoot Travel.
Combine virtual travel with virtual exercise on a hike along the Great Wall of China in Beijing. No trainers (or indeed physical exertion) are required on this stretch that covers the six and a half miles between Jinshanling and Simatai. You’ll also get a history guide as you enjoy the sweeping views, lack of tourists, and the fact that the kids aren’t complaining about their feet hurting.
Buckingham Palace is closed and the changing of the guard suspended, so there’s no better time to have a nosy around Queen Elizabeth’s historic London home. Log onto Royal Collection Trust for room-by-room views where you can take sneaky peaks of lavishly set dining tables, throne rooms, and ballrooms that hark back through generations. It’s just a shame the corgis aren’t there to play with
Cute animals can both calm an anxious mind and cure boredom so pack your virtual passports for a trip into nature courtesy of Explore.com, where the mission is to showcase wilderness up close via a selection of live cams. Spy on leopards in South Africa, eagles in the States and pandas in China’s Genga Valley. On our last virtual visit, we also hung out at a kitten rescue, puppy playroom, and donkey barn.
You don’t have to trek the Inca Trail for days to reach Machu Picchu, Peru’s famous ancient citadel built in the 15th century. Instead, discover these incredible ruins hike-free on a 360-degree virtual tour with You Visit. Prepare for stunning mountain views, llama and alpaca sightings, and let the children roam freely as they gain great insight into how the Incas used to live.
The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City is one of Italy’s most famous landmarks, and while it may not hold the attention of little children, it will provide culture-loving teens with the opportunity to experience this incredible attraction without the crowds. Tour the interior here, zooming in and out of the artwork including Michaelangelo’s renowned ceiling. You never know, it may even inspire some to pick up a paintbrush…
Adventurous kids will love the chance to discover the geological, biological and cultural landscapes of America’s National Parks. Together you can explore Hawaiian rainforests full of plants, birds, and insects; swim through coral reefs and marvel at shipwrecks at Alaska’s Kenja Fjords, and walk on the ice at Hawai’i Volcanoes. That’s a lot to pack into one holiday, and it’s all thanks to Google Arts & Culture.
We’ve missed the spring cherry blossom season, and the Olympics is on hold, but that doesn’t mean your family can’t enjoy the wonders of Japan from afar. This 360-degree film from the Japan National Tourism Organisation whisks you through bamboo forests, treats you to sushi and shows you sumo wrestlers in action. As for all the stunning sakura, soak it up on a stroll through the Japanese scenery here.
Dream of witnessing the Northern Lights? In the absence of an actual Arctic adventure, Polar Bears International is streaming the night sky from the upper reaches of Manitoba, Canada, and you can catch it while camping out on your couch. We recommend cozying up with a Hot Chocolate and woolly socks, and pretending you’re on an expedition on the luxurious Silver Explorer while at it.
Swap sand for your sofa and step back in time as you head to the pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Constructed around 4,500 years ago as grand tombs for the pharaohs, this is your chance to discover the site, scout out walking routes and see the structures from near and far. Don’t miss two of the largest pyramids ever built – the Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Khafre.
Set sail to the Galapagos Islands without so much as getting wet with this interactive insight into the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation. Go virtual diving to spot sea lions, watch Galapagos giant tortoise and blue footed-boobies in their natural habitat, and join a modern-day mapping expedition. Ship-ahoy!