It’s that time of year when the longing for a holiday really kicks in. And while travel might be tricky right now, the world is closer than ever. Technology has come a long way and many of the world’s greatest cultural, natural and historical attractions have developed immersive digital experiences, so you can see the world from the comfort of your couch. This week on School Stream, we’re exploring some of the most popular online travel experiences of 2020. 

Meet your parent community where they’re at.  See how School Stream makes communication between home and school a breeze in this short video, or keep reading for the best travel adventures to have from home.

1. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – Japanese Garden in full bloom

This immersive video is a meditative 18 minute virtual walk through one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the U.S. The cherry blossoms are in bloom and can be seen swaying gently in the wind as you wind your way through the gardens on a spring day. It’s mesmerising.

2. The Seven New Wonders of the World

Experience the majesty of these UNESCO World Heritage listed sites without the crowds. These architectural marvels were added to the original list of Seven Wonders in 2007 and are wonders of supersized scale. Visit The Great Wall of China, The Taj Mahal, Petra, The Colosseum, Christ the Redeemer, Chichén Itzá and Machu Picchu in these glorious 360 videos. 

3. The British Museum – 60 free galleries to explore

The British Museum has 60 galleries online and this would be overwhelming except it is such an organised website. You can explore by room, time period, geography and floor level. Get up close and personal with their impressive collection online or take a virtual tour. 

4. The breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park

If getting into the great outdoors is your idea of a good time, try checking out the wildly beautiful Yosemite National Park in California – at least via their website Virtual Yosemite. You can zoom into different features on each panorama and landmarks are labelled so you know what you’re looking at. Handy! The footage itself is breathtaking and captures Yosemite in all its beauty. Be sure to turn the sound on for the full experience. 

5. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – Talinguru Nyakuntjaku

Closer to home, explore Uluru via stories and songs from the Traditional Owners, the Anangu people, in this virtual tour. Drag your mouse around to follow the tour and click on the music symbol to hear commentary and songs.

6. David Attenborough and the Great Barrier Reef

Whether you are a veteran deep sea diver or lounge chair enthusiast, this amazing interactive footage of the Great Barrier Reef and soothing tones of David Attenborough make for a great interactive experience.  

7. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Ever since footage of penguins touring an aquarium in Chicago went viral in March this year, animal cams have been big news. The Monterey Bay Aquarium website hosts ten cams which keep an eye on playful baby sea otters, hypnotic moon jellies, and more. 

8. Viscaya Museum and Gardens

Viscaya Museum and Gardens is in Miami, and to describe the property as grand and ambitious doesn’t quite do it justice. This European-inspired villa sits on 50 acres of inspiring gardens and overlooks Biscayne Bay. Take the tour and explore the estate to a soundtrack of gently lapping waves. 

9. The Northern Lights

If you can’t see the aurora in person, a webcam view may be the next best thing. There are loads of options, but a live cam pointed to the night sky may take a little bit of patience on your part. If you want the Northern Lights experience now, try one of three virtual tours created by specialist artic photographers. 

10. Visit another planet

If you really want to get away from it all, space travel from your sofa is now a reality. Visit Mars with a 360 view of the red planet. Access Mars takes you across the real surface of Mars via footage recorded by NASA’s Curiosity rover. 

All these online experiences are family friendly and free as the birds, so jump online and start exploring.

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