The current COVID-19 disruption has halted global travel for millions of wanderlust enthusiasts. And I happen to be one of them. As an Economist who travels frequently for pursuing research work, I've come up with an alternate till the time the COVID-19 disruption is over and the planet resumes normalcy.
This alternate is known by millions of people as Armchair Travel. In essence, Armchair Travel implies experiencing the feeling of faraway places but without actually leaving home. In the past many years, Armchair Travel has helped a lot of people around the globe to take virtual trips since they couldn't actually end up going.
The list of people includes Senior Citizens, Wheelchair Travellers, Individuals with directed restrictions on travel, First time moms just having delivered babies, Teens with limited budget and a lot of people mustering the courage to travel solo.
Given the current crisis, Armchair Travel is becoming popular with even ordinary masses and travel passionate people. Armchair Travel is filling them with hope during a global meltdown.
11 Armchair Travel Platforms & Services Amidst COVID-19 Crisis
As somebody having done a lot of research on Armchair Travel, I've come up with a list of 11 inspiring travel platforms around the world that will totally feed the wanderlust bug within you.
National Geographic is hands down one of the most powerful travel portals on the planet. A world leader in geography, cartography and exploration, as they claim themselves, National Geographic has been providing quality textual and video content since the past many years. The content published on the platform pertaining to Armchair Travel is both inspiring and intriguing.
Originally a travel guide book publisher, Lonely Planet has expanded to become the world's oldest and trusted Armchair Travel provider. The content on the website is evergreen and has a tone of storytelling to it. You can sit on Lonely Planet for hours and hours and still not get bogged down. Amidst the COVID-19 disruption, Lonely Planet will surely come to your rescue if you're a travel enthusiast.
Known primarily for its location service, Google Maps is helping all Armchair Travel enthusiasts to fulfill their desires at home these days. In addition to offering satellite imagery, and aerial photography of places, it also offers 360° interactive panoramic views of streets of places all across the planet.
Founded by Dr Kris Naudts who trained as a medical doctor and psychiatrist in Belgium, the Culture Trip is a beautiful repository of Armchair Travel content for seekers globally. The pictures and description of places, people and cultures on this platform is extraordinary.
Live Africa is a website dedicated to places, communities and wildlife safaris in the African sub-continent. The site also offers booking opportunities to people visiting it. However, in the current crisis, booking isn't an option but scrolling the beautiful content surely is a thing to do.
Founded by an Indian Entrepreneur, Blogger and Traveller - Akriti Mattu, Budget Wayfarers is an enthralling platform and community for travellers from around the world. The Armchair travel blogs on the site are heartwarming and intriguing. The travelogues at Budget Wayfarers are read in more than a hundred countries and their online community comprises of a whooping 300K plus active travel enthusiasts.
Gaijin Crew is a platform that invests in smart travel and frugal ways to travel around the world. It has been founded by Jamie Campbell who himself is a digital nomad. The content on the site will help you seek Armchair Travel experiences and will leave you smiling.
On the Grid is a collection of neighbourhood guides lovingly curated by local creatives in cities around the world. The platform has a large collection of places with lovely pictures and unique captures. On the Grid is an unconventional but interesting portal for Armchair Travel enthusiasts.
Roads and Kingdoms is a lifestyle portal that is specialising in Armchair Travel these days. The content of most blogs makes for an interesting read and will pep you up in these contemporary times when you're forced to stay at home.
Nomadic Matt is one of the most passionate backpackers on the planet and has been a digital nomad from the past many years now. His blog is read around the globe and caters to a resourceful budget audience. His experiences of travel around the globe will melt your heart as Armchair Travel seekers.
Founded by Will Haton, the Broke Backpacker is a blog dedicated to backpacking and budget travel. However, in the ongoing times, the platform has become a hub of Armchair Travel content as well that is authentic and impressive. Will Haton's own tales of travel are bound to leave your heart in awe.
In addition to the above sites and services, a number of national parks, museums and tourist hubs are offering virtual tours amidst the ongoing crisis. Virtual tours and Armchair Travel are great ways to feed the wanderlust bug inside you.
So don't wait. I say - Go on your armchair travel journey now!