Virtual trip around the world for families
Traveling the world with your kids and exploring the most astonishing places together is a lifelong dream for many. However, for many families, this dream of traveling the world together is exactly that: a dream. Not all parents can afford the perfect family vacation every year. Thankfully, we live in the 21st century where technology can help our dreams come true!
We have gathered some ideas and tools on how to visit the world digitally where you can view the most beautiful and extraordinary places that you may otherwise be unable to visit. You can see any destination you wish, here we’re using some of our team’s favorite places as examples.
Use Google Maps to explore places
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, screenshot from Google Maps, you can have a better look here.
With the satellite view on Google Maps you can view and stroll around just about any place in the world. You can even get an aerial view of the monument or place you’re looking at that you could otherwise only get if you book an expensive helicopter ride. With just a few settings, you can recreate this view:
- Switch between the “Map” and the “Satellite” view in the lower left corner of the screen. We’re using the satellite view in order to actually see the buildings, areas and monuments.
- Then enable the globe view by clicking on the small globe on the right side of the screen. Now you can switch between the 2D and the 3D settings to either look at something from a bird’s-eye-view or from the front and the side.
- When you hover the 3D button on the right side of your screen, your computer will tell you which keys you have to use to tilt your screen to adjust your view on the scene.
- Now you can zoom in, zoom out and feel like you’re standing in front of the monument, flying over it or viewing it from any perspective you like.
Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, screenshot from Google Maps, you can have a better look here.
Find videos of the places you want to visit on YouTube
Using technology to visit places all over the world may be unfamiliar to you and your faily but we can assure you that it has been available for years. On platforms like YouTube you can find hundreds and thousands of videos of the places you want to visit. It’s amazing to see what videographers have created in the last few years. Here are some ideas about what you could look for specifically:
- Helicopter ride over (city, monument, area, etc.)
- Interesting facts about (city, building, country, etc.)
- World’s tallest (buildings, statues, bridges, etc.)
YouTube videos are a perfect tool to combine astonishing videos and views of your favourite destinations with informative videos that teach you something about the culture, the country or the attraction you’re visiting.
Use live webcams
Have you ever stood in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris or visited any other famous tourist attraction that looks stunning in photos but is way too crowded in real life? People blocking your view on whatever it is that you have waited so long to visit can be a real disappointment.
Even if you can’t go there in person, you can find many websites that offer live streams of your favourite places. Check out this live webcam screenshot of the Trevi Fountain in Rome:
Live webcam of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, screenshot from Skyline Webcams, you can have a better look here.
Watching the steady light blue water flow can help you relax and dream yourself into the scene. You can also check out the Great Wall of China that’s been extremely popular with tourists:
Live webcam of the Great Wall of China in Huanghuacheng, China, screenshot from Webcam Galore, you can have a better look here.
Many travelers’ favorite way to discover a new country is via the local cuisine. “Have you tasted the insects?” has become one of the first questions people ask when travelers return from countries such as Thailand. So why not use international cuisine to connect with a different country and culture? Following a Thai curry recipe step-by-step or making an Italian pizza dough that has to rest for several hours fills not only your apartment with exotic smells but is also a great way to learn about new cultures and countries. You can find some child-friendly recipes here, that you can easily adapt to international versions by adding different spices and ingredients:
Organize a scavenger hunt in your home
When you combine all the tools and tips you’ve just read, you can organize a scavenger hunt for your world trip at home. You would be surprised by how much of the world you can see and experience from your living room, kitchen or balcony.
You can use everything you’ve learned together about the different countries, cities, monuments or whatever you have virtually visited so far. When creating the hints for the scavenger hunt, there’s no limit to your creativity. You can use an online tool to create your own crossword puzzle with the next location as the solution, draw a visual riddle or ask random questions and use the first letters of the answers to disclose the next location. There are some great online tools that can help you with creating the scavenger hunt if you need more ideas and guidance.
If you have multiple electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, you can open different Google Maps destinations, live webcams and YouTube videos in different parts of the house. Part your destinations with some delicious international food and snacks you’ve prepared and you’re ready to start your world trip as a family!
We hope that this activity idea helps you to escape the real world and opens up the opportunity for you and your family to virtually go on your dream holiday. Have fun on your trip and tag us @Babysits if you share some pictures of your journey!