How to travel the world from your bedroom during lockdown
With most of us spending all of our time at home at the moment, the rest of the world has probably never felt further away.
The lockdown has meant many have had to cancel their holidays over the Easter break, and we still don’t know if we’ll be able to jet off somewhere this summer.
But not being able to physically travel doesn’t have to stop us from experiencing the rest of the world.
Some of the best-known tourist attractions across the planet have created virtual online experiences by sharing tour videos and resources, and BBC Bitesize has picked out some travel hot spots so you can see the world from your bedroom. When a link takes you to an external website you will see a little arrow pointing upwards next to it.
Landmarks and museums
Just because we can’t jump on a plane to see some of the world’s most impressive structures and buildings, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them or the incredible views they offer online.
The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument on Earth and stands at an impressive 324 metres. It was built over 130 years ago and has had more than 300 million visitors in its history - but you can take a virtual tour without having to climb all 108 stories.
If you have a head for heights, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil stands on the summit of the 710-metre Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro.
One of the seven modern wonders of the world, at 30 metres tall it is the largest art deco statue in the world and over Easter weekend was projected with images of doctors and nurses to pay tribute to health workers fighting against Covid-19. This BBC News article explores the history of this incredible statue.
Even without the lockdown, getting to the Chilean territory of Easter Island isn’t very easy. The island is one of the most remote in the world, almost 1,300 miles away from the British Overseas Territory of Pitcairn Island and just over 2,000 miles away from Chile itself.
The island is best known for its monumental statues, created by early Polynesian inhabitants who arrived at Easter Island in approximately 1200 AD and you can find out more about the monuments, known as moai, and how they were moved during their renovations and reconstructions in a clip from this BBC Four documentary.
Older still is the ancient stone city of Petra in Jordan, which is believed to have been built in the third century BC.
You might recognise it from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – but whether you one day visit in person, as Simon Scharma did for BBC Two's Civilisations or from your laptop, you won’t be able to see the whole city as it’s thought that the vast majority of the city remains underground and hasn’t been excavated.
Just as impressive is the 15th century ancient city of Machu Picchu in Peru. Built in the Andes Mountains above the Urubamba River valley, it’s still not known what the site was actually used by the Incans for. Millions of people travel to Machu Picchu each year, many of them trekking and camping for days to see the ruins – but you can look back on photos and clips from Dr Jago Cooper's visit for BBC Four from the comfort of your own home.
Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum has the largest collection of the artist’s work anywhere, with more than 200 paintings and 750 letters. You can see notable pieces online such as Sunflowers and Bedroom in Arles and the museum have also created lesson plans for primary and secondary school pupils.
Do you remember the film Night at the Museum? Ben Stiller played a security guard and watched on as all the exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York came to life each night.
We can’t promise that will happen on your virtual tour, but you can visit the vast collection of exhibitions while you’re at home and check out the dinosaur hall, learn about animals throughout history and explore outer space, among other things.
From there, you can head to Egypt, where the 5,000-year-old tomb of Queen Meresankh III in the shadow of the Pyramids is closed because of the lockdown – but a virtual tour has opened. The tomb was excavated in 1927 by archeologists from Harvard University and a modern-day team from the institution has helped to recreate 3D models of the ancient site, packed full of extra information.
If you’ve ever wanted to go on safari, now’s your chance from the comfort of your own home thanks to the Samburu National Reserve.
On the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river in Kenya, the reserve is the home to animals such as lions, cheetahs, zebras and elephants. The charity Save the Elephants are based there to monitor over 70 elephant families and featured in the BBC Two documentary This Wild Life - you can see clips of the show including baby elephants and monkeys sneaking into the kitchens!
Elephants may be the largest animals you can find on land, but do you know what the only living thing visible from space is? Stretching out at over 133,000 square miles, the Great Barrier Reef is larger than the Great Wall of China, and is made up of 900 islands and over 2,900 individual reefs.
Considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the reef is located off the coast of Queensland in Australia. Take a trip underwater thanks to clips from BBC Two's Great Barrier Reef documentary without having to get wet yourself.
Dry off from your virtual swim by raising the temperature! Most of us will never get to experience the Nahuku Lava Tube in Hawaii, a 500-year-old cave formed by flowing lava but The Travel Show stepped inside to show you this amazing natural site.
Heading west from Hawaii across the Pacific Ocean leads you to Japan. It was supposed to be a very busy year for tourism in 2020 as host of the Olympics and Paralympics, but the coronavirus outbreak has meant the Games have had to be postponed.
But that doesn’t have to mean missing out on what Japan has to offer. You can go on a tour of the impressive Mount Fuji – an active volcano and the tallest peak in Japan. Cyclists will have to ascent some of the lower slopes as part of the Olympic road races – why not see what they’re facing?
There’s one continent we’re yet to visit on this virtual tour – time to grab your coat for a trip to Antarctica.
It’s the highest, windiest and coldest continent on the planet – a record low temperature of -89.2C was recorded there in 1983. Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia and almost 98% of it is covered by ice. The conditions there are so harsh that there are no permanent residents , so visiting from the comfort of your bedroom might be the better choice!