Travelling plans have been shelved since the COVID-19 outbreak. Since flying to another country for a vacation is not going to be in the calendar very soon, how can we take the kids overseas without boarding a plane?
Well, we can do that virtually without any passports now! We can even head to outer space, travel around the world and see animals up close without getting off our seats at home now. Popular attractions and tourist spots have taken the bold step to turn into a virtual experience for folks in lockdown and those living in other countries! Since screen time is pretty much part of our lives during this pandemic, what with homebased learning and work from home days, let’s make their non-academic screen time meaningful so kiddo gains new knowledge about the world too, shall we?
Visit internationally popular museums and sights of the world
Can’t fly to Paris? Let’s bring the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay to your home so you can soak in the grandeur of their architecture and visit the various museum galleries. The exhibitions may change from time to time – so do check back again. 2019 was Leonardo Da Vinci’s 500th death anniversary in France. To commemorate, he Musée du Louvre created an exhibition around his famous work. Who’s up for meeting Mona Lisa through virtual reality (VR)? This also marks the museum’s very first VR experience too!
Feed your history lovers minds with this almost-real virtual tour at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Walk through every hall of exhibition at this museum, zoom in to read, swipe to get a different view of this space and more! WOW.
Keith Haring’s works goes beyond his collaboration with UNIQLO. Go on the streets of New York City (NYC) and check out those 9 iconic wall murals via this interactive Google Art & Cultural special tour. You can pretty much cross the road to check out what shops are on the other side, and stroll down the streets to spot more street art by Kobra and Banksy too.
The marine wildlife and the deep seas are a whole new world of fascination for young minds. Time to go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef in North Queensland, and get a wee bit closer to nature. This 360-view video makes you feel like you’re in the waters too!
See famous landmarks of the world without buying a plane ticket
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is a remarkably famous monument most people would know, but how much of its history and stories do you know? It may be closed for now, but we can take a peak of this 324-m icon. Through the Eiffel Tower virtual tours, get ready to be mesmerised by the engineering breakthrough and unbeatable panoramic view from this 1889 wonder!
Due to COVID-19, there are park closures and limited access. For those of us who are living out of the United States, we can still partake in virtual tours of the Statue of Liberty! It’s really helpful that there are notes provided as viewers can click to explore the interior, exterior or the museums of the national monument.
Hiking with young kids may not be the best activity when holidaying, but right now, we can go on a virtual hike up the Great Wall of China without worrying about tiring out our kiddos. There is a free version of this scenic virtual tour, and a paid version where you can enjoy the full videos. If you’d prefer a guided virtual tour for your family, sign up for the Zoom tours for either the Great Wall of China or Forbidden City virtual access!
Let’s go outer space with NASA!
Thanks to the NASA Mars Exploration Program, budding astronomers can visit Mars and gain access to scientific information and discovery through their robotic orbiters. You can also access these free webcasts to watch the Mars Landing, insights about the red planet and mission updates!
Kids who want to learn more about the moon, there are virtual moon tours too where you can get up close to the terrains and see craters up close. Maybe you will even spot Neil Armstrong’s footprint！
Okay, the Sun is too hot, and we will probably never be able to get up close, but hey! Now we can see that ball of fire virtually with our naked eyes from the comfort of our homes.
Looks like we can fulfil our bucket list of landmarks to visit around the world, even getting closer to planets easily with these virtual tours through our screens. Hopefully, we can make a real trip to visit them with our kids in person – which country would you like to travel to?
Meanwhile, are you saving up for holidays that we can finally go to after the pandemic clears? Many families are taking this time to evaluate their financial options and doing budgeting for big ticket items, retirement plans and investments. I’m a mum and I share the same concerns especially this season. If you need someone to chat with on financial planning and insurance purchase, feel free to reach out.