Amazing Holiday Destinations You Can Visit Today Without Ever Leaving Your Desk
Nexus joined ranks with some of the greatest explorers of all time, as we travelled around the world in 80 minutes from a humble laptop in our Gerrards Cross HQ. For those of you that are planning your next great escape but still harbour uncertainties about which country to visit, let technology offer some inspiration.
Travel the world with Google Maps and Street View
In the past they’ve been criticised for clunky manoeuvring and limited scope but lately it seems Google has started taking note. Recently announcing new 360-degree interactive access to well-known landmarks and with an ever-expanding global wish list, Google has succeeded in providing a fantastic resource for the inquisitive holidaymaker.
And we didn’t need to shell out hundreds of pounds on a plane ticket to get a taste of some of the most breathtaking destinations across the globe.
Ever wondered what the Northern Lights look like over Finland or how many bricks make up the pyramids of Giza? How about being transported to the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu or taking a trek through the Amazon rainforest – Google Street View has catalogued images from more than 65 countries across 7 continents, helping to satisfying the curious explorer in each of us.
You might be surprised at some of the virtual adventures you can have simply by clicking on the map. We played with chimpanzees at the Gombe National Park in Tanzania and then scoured Madagascar in search of some lemurs. For sports fans, Google has even opened up the doors to over 30 indoor and outdoor venues for the 2016 Olympics in Rio this August.
Closer to home and in a bid to boost tourism, Britain recently embarked on a mapping project to help promote the 15 trails of England and Wales.
The North Downs Way trail from Surrey to Dover is 153 miles long and usually takes 12 days to walk but thanks to the Google Trekker imagery, at the click of a button people all over the world can now experience Britain’s beautiful countryside in breath-taking panoramic glory.
And whilst Google can never give you that sun-kissed glow or cultural experience that a real holiday can, it does have hidden values. We’ve all fallen foul to a tour operator’s smooth sales pitch and glossy brochure photography, only to spend two weeks regretting booking a holiday on impulse. So why not “try before you buy” and experience a virtual tour of almost anywhere in the world, prior to parting with your hard-earned cash.
These days, anyone can use Google Maps and Street View to take a sneaky peak at where their hotel really is and what else a city has to offer before actually going there. Or, for something even more immersive, you could try out Google Cardboard – a simple and affordable way to experience virtual reality on your smartphone. Ski down a mountain, explore the Sydney Opera House or catch a live concert – Cardboard has hundreds of encounters to choose from. You can buy a viewer from as little as £15, then access a location on the Google Street View mobile app or via the official Cardboard app for iPhone or Android. Providing high-quality photography and behind-the-scenes footage, the next time you get the urge to head outward-bound why not log on first and check out these addictive resources for all virtual globetrotters.