Human interactions have continuously evolved over the past few decades. There has been a lot of new technology introduced into our society and plenty of new gadgets that are advancing our daily lives towards a new frontier.

Some handy applications online and on our phones give us the freedom to control daily activities with just the click of a button. And don’t even get me started on the use of voice commands on phones and AI powered gadgets sitting on our countertops these days. Many of us are now comfortable with just bellowing out orders at our smart speaker and getting our bidding done quickly. Automation has now become part of our lives.

There’s no doubt that these technological advancements help to make our lives a little easier in one way or another. Truthfully, if you think about it, our lives have become not only easier, but also more productive in many ways with all these new developments and the gadgets that simplify them.

The Problem

Unfortunately, with the current events that are happening, mostly due to the Coronavirus outbreak (also commonly referred to as COVID-19), we have no choice but to stay home and sit down dreadfully waiting for what is going to happen next. People all over the world have been caught off guard with this pandemic, both health wise and economically. The travel industry especially, has suffered with billions lost currently (and even more to come).

The travel industry has a wide array of components included in it. It includes tourism and vacations, hotels and resorts accommodations, food and hospitality industry, travel insurance and whole lot more. Many people allocate a specific time of the year (say Spring Break for example) for their annual vacation. It is one way for us to reward ourselves for our hard work and it’s also gives us a chance to bond and reconnect with our loved ones.

Now even that vacation has had to be cancelled and after spending a few days in “self-quarantine” there’s zero doubt that a lot of us want to get off the couch and out the house, even just to escape for a few days, but with travel bans and hotels closing, that’s been a near impossible feat.

Aside from the situation right now, other people sometimes may not have the luxury of time or the money budgeted to travel to their dream locations. It is not far from everyone’s knowledge that when you are traveling you usually have to shell out a large amount of cash. Some people may not be able to get the time off from work. There are many reasons why you may have had to postpone your vacation.

The Solution

Now, even with all these hindrances, technology has offered an answer for us. There’s a cool new concept where you can actually travel and go places without even having to leaving your humble abode and that is what they’re now calling a “virtual vacation”. Virtual and augmented reality or VR/AR has been gaining a huge fan base today and is an undeniably new trend for gaming, cinematography, and now travel.

In fact, a lot of theme parks and gaming centers are introducing VR as one of their cool new offerings. Many games have also transitioned into VR as well as some popular sites like Google Earth, Youtube, and others.

Virtual reality is a computer simulation of images or an interactive environment usually using a visor or headsets. Although, some experiences don’t even require the fancy equipment, literally just a computer and internet connection will do. It aims to immerse users into realistic experiences.

Thanks to the great minds of those who invented the virtual reality, travel can now be done even while sitting on your couch or lying on your bed. For a true VR experience, a vacation can be done in just one or two easy steps. First you’ll need to put your smartphone inside the VR headset and then open up the app or website.

Or if you don’t have one of these special headsets, just open up your browser to Youtube and do a search for whatever location you’re wanting to “visit” followed by the words “virtual vacation”. You can find a lot of videos of recorded travels that’ll whisk you away to far-off lands.

A lot of adventures can be done through VR. You can visit some of the most famous places in the world. It is possible to visit Orlando, the vacation capital of the world. You can learn about Walt Disney World from firsthand experience and wander through the magical backdrops they have to offer, or check out some of the Orlando resorts right online that offer virtual tours with 360 degree views of the properties and their amenities.

In addition to just visually hopping around the theme park areas of Central Florida, you even have the opportunity to experience some rides firsthand. Give yourself a thrill right now and dare to virtually ride the new Kraken ride at SeaWorld below for a wild example right here. Best part, no wait times or lines here on StayPromo 🙂 :

While not waiting is great, the biggest benefit to this is that you can avoid the pricey tickets because it is totally free for you. You have the freedom to go from one ride to another without leaving your home and no walking in the sun in addition to not having to stand in any long lines for hours. You can even pause and resume the whole experience if it gets too intense or real for you. So, you’re in control at all times and you get to really win in every way.

There’s no limit to what is possible to experience with VR and video. You can even take a helicopter tour in Florida (but really, at home) and see the panoramic view of the state inside a chopper. All the amusement parks around the area can be seen from more than a hundred feet high through virtual reality streams.

One great cyber-travel experience that I’ve gotten to enjoy and I definitely recommend are the volcanoes of Hawaii. You can wander through and around this beautiful series of islands that was formed prehistorically by previous significant geological activities. This paradise island chain is home to world-renowned beaches and some of the best surfing the planet has to offer.

The eight main islands of Hawaii are also home to almost twenty active volcanoes. In fact, each island in the Hawaiian region was prehistorically formed by a volcano erupting. You can actually experience all of these volcanoes and the other Hawaiian hotspots through VR technology.

Another place to visit through VR is the city of lights, Las Vegas. There are a lot of things to do in this city and through virtual reality, everything is just one click away. Las Vegas is known for gambling and nightlife, but other things can also be done there.

You can watch some fireworks shows, the fountains at the Bellagio, and even ascend up to the top of the Stratosphere tower, the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US. You may also take a side trip to the Hoover Dam or the Red Rock Canyon. Totally amazing. Check out just one of the videos we found with a quick search for a Vegas virtual vacation below:

With this type of technology, you also have the opportunity to visit museums and other historic attractions right at your fingertips. When you’re exploring the Egyptian pyramids, scuba diving through the coral reefs, or embarking on other similar virtual adventures completely from the comfort of your computer, it goes to show technology has really come a long way since the advent of the Internet.

Virtual vacationing has its own share of pros and cons. As mentioned, you can experience the breathtaking views and scenery without leaving your home. Another advantage is that you can save your money from traveling in real life. You can spare yourself from such expenses as plane tickets and other forms of transportation, hotels, restaurants, tour guides and travel insurance. Also, actual traveling would require real time off from work. From planning the vacation itself to all of those other time-consuming activities, but through VR, you can avoid those as well.

The main drawback to a virtual vacation is that you don’t get to experience the fun you’re having in context. You don’t get to immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of different places.

You don’t get to physically touch and feel historical things like when you’re inside a museum. What is seen through a film or a picture can be completely different in real life, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get.

That said, Virtual Reality is still really useful. Experiencing a destination through a lens might even help you decide if you really want to go there in real life. It would at least help travelers make more informed decisions about where they actually end up traveling to and have greater control over their itineraries when they do arrive.

The very idea of travel ignites our imaginations and awakens our curiosity. As such, it’s a natural feeling to want to escape if for just a bit. And in the current timescape we find ourselves in, virtual reality vacations are giving us the freedom to wander different surroundings other than our own, and are providing us an outlet to roam around the world even during times like these where many of us can’t even leave the house.

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of virtual travel. Everyone stay safe and indoors. We hope you’re all enjoying the blog and we look forward to traveling all of you again soon.