10 'Vacations' You Can Take From Your Desk
Whether it’s a viewing devicestrapped on your face transporting you to Australia or a 360-degree on-location video online, taking a mini journey across the globe has never been easier. Companies, resorts, and museums have developed groundbreaking technology that allows you to have totally immersive experiences ranging from birds-eye views of locations to intense intricate closeups of paintings that you can’t see with the naked eye.
For adventurous folks, Hamilton Island in Australia partnered with Samsung Electronics and Rapid VR to provide three-dimensional, 360-degree interactive vision that gives viewers a feeling of immersion. You can swim with turtles in the Great Barrier Reef and take a helicopter tour over the island.
More low-key museum types will enjoy the Google Cultural Institute’s latest: 1,000-gigapixel images of famous paintings from museums around the world. The images of works by Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and more are so detailed that you can actually see the layers of paint.
Other companies, like Lufthansa, have created several 360-degree on-location videos. Google Maps takes you on a safari through South Africa. Check out these 10 virtual reality vacations you can take from your desk.
Jordi Lippe-McGraw is a Contributing Digital Reporter with Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Hong Kong, China
A VR app named Ascape takes you on 360-degree video and photo tours of places like Disneyland Hong Kong.
Hamilton Island, Australia
In partnership with Samsung Electronics Australia and Rapid VR, Hamilton Island created a three-dimensional, 360-degree interactive vision that gives travelers the ability to depart their everyday reality and experience Hamilton Island from their phones.
You can fly with the pilots in the cockpit of a Qantas jet as it lands at Hamilton Island airport, relax at the world-class luxurious resort qualia, swim with sea turtles and an abundance of tropical marine life in the Great Barrier Reef, play golf at Hamilton Island’s Championship golf course, enjoy breathtaking aerial views from a helicopter tour over the iconic heart reef, and sail to the magnificent Whitehaven Beach on a yacht.
British Columbia, Canada
If looking at pictures of the blue waters and sandy beaches of Hawaii isn't enough to give you a mini escape, then these incredible 360 aerial views of Oahu, Kauai, Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai should be. With the VT Hawaii tecnology you can explore the exotic landscapes and famous beaches.
Very few of us will ever actually set foot in the southernmost part of the world—making it the perfect place to take a virtual vacation. The folks over at Shakleton 100 have taken on the challenge and created a 360-degree, interactive video to help you explore parts of the continent.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Google Maps can show you places from the road outside your home to the far reaches of the earth. One of the coolest spots is their recent addition of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. You can go on safari through the park and actually spot wild animals like you would if you were there.
Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C.
Now you can wander through the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History without dealing with the crowds. Venture through the hallways to explore the famous exhibits, and check out the butterfly garden. You even can take a look at past exhibits, something you wouldn’t be able to do in person.
Famous Art Work
The Google Cultural Institute released 1,000-gigapixel images of famous paintings from museums around the world, including works by Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet. You can zoom in on the images and see the details of brushstrokes and even paint layers.