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How Virtual Travelling Can Help You Plan a Vacation

Virtual Travelling

Spoilers do not apply to vacations. The more you know about a location, the more adept you will be at exploring it. Rather than basing your itinerary on assumptions—hotspots other tourists tout—use the internet to research new places yourself. From finding events to mapping transit schedules, the web can parachute you into any city and reveal what it offers.

Google Maps &

These days, Google is synonymous with the internet. So it only makes sense to begin your virtual tour there.

Google Maps gives a concise overview of distance and proximity. Besides checking traffic and culling business contact details, you can also use Google Maps to cruise the streets. “Street view” lets you see the façade of buildings and the character of neighbourhoods. This helps you decide where to go and where to avoid. For example, see the screenshot below of Dynamic Earth in Sudbury, Ontario.

google maps offers a similar experience with more multimedia options. Offering both audio and video, lets you experience the locale more vividly. Unfortunately, the service primarily covers capitals, so smaller cities have yet to crop up in its library.

Flickr & Other Photo Engines

Social media like Flickr give you a lens into the local community. Its commenting functionality shows how locals interact online, too. Travel websites connect tourists with other tourists whereas social media present the unfiltered voices of locals.

Since you cannot interact with pedestrians using Google Maps, social media complete the experience. Likewise, calling the places you want to visit and speaking with the staff can make your virtual travels more tangible.

Interactive Online Exhibits

Larger institutions recognize their global appeal. They also understand not everyone can travel to them, so they compromise with online exhibits.



For example, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) partnered with Google to create the Beta Cultural Institute. Here, you can examine and learn about the various artifacts and paintings at the museum. Although somewhat supplementary, you can use this tool to determine where in the museum you want to spend the most time. The same principle applies to other institutions that establish online presences.