The days are starting to run together, and quarantine fatigue is definitely taking its toll. I miss going to the movies, trying new restaurants, having picnics with friends, and most of all, I miss traveling. My family had to cancel a trip to the mountains, and who knows if we’ll even be able to take a summer vacation this year. I’m lucky to live in a rural area with plenty of hiking trails, but the travel bug has me itching to explore new parts of the world. I want to visit countries I’ve never been to and continue checking destinations off my travel bucket list.
But no matter how much I want to get on a plane, I know it’s not possible right now. Being stuck in one place is tough on my mental health, but I recently discovered a list of virtual experiences that might just save my sanity. TripAdvisor has devised a way to help people explore the world during quarantine.
Their virtual experiences are more than the average virtual tour. You can communicate with locals from different countries, get an in-depth look at another culture, and see the places you’ve always wanted to visit. And just about all of these are family friendly, so you can get the kids involved. Or, if you’re able to, you can pick one (or more) and make it a kid-free date experience!
Here are a few of my favorite virtual experiences worth checking out.
Tiramisu Cooking Class Live From Venice
Italy has always been on my travel bucket list. The country was hit hard by the pandemic, and it could be a while before tourism is once again an option. But in the meantime, you can have a true Italian experience right from your own kitchen.
TripAdvisor is offering a virtual cooking class that is way better than following a YouTube video or reading from a cookbook. Each class is streamed live by a couple currently living in Venice. This virtual experience is completely interactive, and you have the opportunity to ask questions and chat with Venice locals.
And when you’re finished, you’ll have a little taste of Italy to satiate your hunger for travel. Click here to learn more.
WildEarth Live African Safari
If you dream of safari sunsets, this virtual experience is an exhilarating way to spend three hours during quarantine. WildEarth hosts live safaris in the African wilderness twice a day.
Game rangers take virtual tourists for rides through some of the most beautiful environments in Africa. Part of the experience is spent in safari vehicles, and the rangers also trek on foot to give viewers up close looks of the wilderness. Remote cameras and rovers are used to track down wild animals including elephants, lions, giraffes, and zebras.
Every tour is live, so you never know what you’re going to see. Click here to learn more.
Guided Tour of Louvre Museum in Paris
The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world, and it’s home to some of the world’s most precious paintings. It’s currently closed to the public, but millions of people walk its halls every year. It would be incredible to see the paintings in real life, but this virtual experience also has its benefits.
There’s no need to fight through crowds or stand on your tippy toes when you can see it all from the comfort of your couch. This virtual tour allows you to see the famous artwork with help from a licensed guide. And unlike a real-life visit, the virtual tour includes behind-the-scenes videos, obscure facts, and a live question and answer session.
Virtual Aperitivo Lesson with a Roman Local
Aperitivos are this wonderful Roman tradition that consists of drinks, normally of the alcoholic variety, that are enjoyed before a good meal. It’s a way to unwind after a long day and sip good drinks with friends and family. And while we can’t head to Rome just now, there is a virtual experience that brings the art of aperitivo to your home.
For this online lesson, you’re paired with a Roman local who joins you on a private video call. You learn how to make a traditional Italian aperitivo while also chatting about Italian culture. It’s a personal experience that’s as close to an Italian vacation as you can get.
Jack the Ripper Murder Mystery Tour
If you have a taste for the macabre, you could spend quarantine learning everything there is to know about Jack the Ripper. You’ll be transported to London in 1888 and participate in a fun murder mystery.
This tour is both informative and interactive. Every participant is assigned a suspect card, and a guide takes you to locations that were an important part of the Jack the Ripper mystery. The tour lasts for one hour and allows you to immerse yourself in London’s Victorian history.
Live Dance Lessons From Greece
Staying active has been a struggle, and it’s mostly due to a lack of motivation. Greek dance lessons, on the other hand, are a fun way to keep moving. Dance is an important part of Greek culture, and this virtual travel experience is a fun way to stay healthy and travel without leaving the living room.
A local from Athens leads this live virtual dance workshop. It’s a private experience that you can enjoy with those you’re quarantined with, or invite your friends for some socially distant fun (if you can find a quiet moment!). You can talk directly with your instructor while you try out the moves and learn information about the Greek culture.
Find more virtual experiences from TripAdvisor here.
Did you try one of these? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for more virtual experiences to do with the family? Check out our list of virtual museum tours here.