Thanks to the improvements in international transportation and the emergence of online booking services, people are traveling to foreign countries more than ever before in history. In fact, even 30 years ago it would still be prohibitively expensive for an average family to embark on a trip across several locations for several weeks, as airfare and hotel room expenses would quickly spiral out of control.
Today, even students can afford cheap airplane tickets, while hostels and AirBnB rentals offer quite low accommodation prices, allowing them to travel like a winner.
Despite increased opportunities to visit distant countries, many people are still unable to find the time and money to make the actual trip. However, digital technologies allow even those individuals to get a taste of the great wide world and various cultures from afar, with a variety of options right under their fingertips.
Here is an overview of new technologies that can create a travel-like experience if they are used with a little bit of imagination:
Mobile phone cameras are everywhere, and a lot of people use them to stream their travel experiences in real time on social networks. In effect, when some of your friends go for a beachfront vacation, you’ll be able to follow their every move through their live streams. While they are enjoying the sun and sipping piña colada, you can join them – just grab your cool hip flask, fill it with your liquor of choice, and swig away while watching the stream. It is true that most streamed videos of this kind are short, but they are enough to give you an impression of the destination country.
If you happen to harbor deeper interests for that location, you could seek out some local streamers who could explain their culture, customs and cuisine in finer detail. Watching their entries is a great way to lay the groundwork for a future visit, or just satisfy your curiosity on a small budget.
In 2017, most tourist attractions are well represented on the internet, allowing remote visitors to see them in their full beauty. Museums and galleries often feature virtual tours that include their entire inventory, so it’s possible to see a lot of artwork without having to physically visit all the various cities where those works are kept.
Since in this setting it is possible to access all historical info about a certain painting or author, some would argue that virtual tours have even higher educational potential than live visit.
In recent years, this model has also been used to showcase national parks, urban districts or even private homes, with 3600 view available for an authentic impression.
One of the most common reasons to travel to a foreign country is to learn the language, but even this function can now be performed through software means. It is possible to meet people of any nationality online, join various communities and establish one-on-one relationships with likeminded individuals.
Live translation tools allow foreigners to participate in conversations with groups of locals, while live chat is a great way to practice the newly acquired vocabulary with native speakers. That’s a stark contrast to live visitors, who may struggle to make contacts with the residents and may be limited to simple conversations with random passers-by and other tourists.
Buying souvenirs and small mementos is a great way to keep a favorite location in your thoughts for a long time, but these days you don’t have to go anywhere to haul in such items.
There are numerous online stores willing to ship their products straight to your door from the other side of the globe, so you can get merchandise from another nation without crossing any borders.
You can pay for those goodies with a PayPal account or even in Bitcoin, eliminating the need to acquire foreign currency for international shopping.
It has become very simple to order your clothes from another continent, or purchase exotic gifts for your friends on the internet. Depending on the quality of postal services, those items could arrive faster than it would take you to fly to destination, go shopping and return back home!