8 ways to travel the world without leaving your sofa

Stuck inside for the foreseeable future? Us too.
While we at TPG are avid travelers and supporters of the travel industry, now is simply not the time to be traveling, due to the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. Health officials agree the fastest way to return to normalcy is to stop coming in contact with others, and sadly, that means ceasing any nonessential travel.
Instead of traveling right now (sorry, that probably means no spring break this year), we suggest you use this time to plan your next vacation. Or, at the very least, satisfy your wanderlust by taking an unforgettable armchair vacation.
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We rounded up some of our favorite ways to travel the world without leaving the comfort of your home. So, break out your comfiest sweats and buckle up for your next adventure.
Discover a museum
The Guggenheim Museum in New York City. (Photo by Luis Davilla/Getty Images)
Iconic museums from the Guggenheim in New York City to the Louvre in Paris are available through Google Arts & Culture, a platform that allows you to take digital tours of some of the world’s most famous museums. You can browse through all the available museums, and even see some of the most famous pieces of art up close. Historic sites, such as the Palace of Versailles, are also available to tour through Google. The best part? Access is 100% free.
Read more: No travel required: 10 iconic museums you can tour online
Take a cooking class
(Photo by Jorge Zapata/Unsplash)
Is there anything better than having a home-cooked meal from an Italian grandma? We don’t think so. While Italy is on lockdown right now in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your fix of some incredible Italian cooking.
Nonna Nerina, an 84-year-old Italian grandmother in Palombara Sabina, Italy, has set up a virtual cooking class on Airbnb Experiences. Here, she’ll virtually teach you how to make Italian classics such as ravioli, gnocchi and fettuccine. Just note that she only teaches classes on weekends; the weekday classes are taught by her granddaughter. Plus, if you enter your email, you can get 25% off the $50, 2-hour class for a limited time.
Go on a ride at Disney
(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
The magic isn’t over just because all Disney parks around the world are closed until further notice. You can stream virtual Disney rides from parks around the world, from Florida to France, in the comfort of your own home. How’s that for a bargain on a Disney vacation?
Related: How to take your kids on virtual Disney rides around the world
Explore Parks and attractions
Alcatraz Island. (Photo by Aldric Rivat/Unsplash)
Take a trip to the great outdoors from, well, indoors. You can virtually explore national parks and famous attractions around the country, all courtesy of Google Arts & Culture. Think: the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park and Alcatraz Island. Better yet, they’re all accessible for free and you won’t have to wait in a single line.
Visit a botanic garden
The Bronx Botanical Garden. (Photo by Hiroyuki Matsumoto./Getty Images)
A handful of botanic gardens around the country are also offering virtual tours for travelers to enjoy. The indoor conservatory at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., for example, is temporarily closed to the public until at least April 1. In the meantime, though, you can take a virtual tour of the gardens and soak in all of the beautiful scenery.
Take an art class
(Photo by Dean Mitchell/Getty Images)
A handful of universities are hosting free, virtual art classes, according to Artsy, and many have a global perspective. You can study the history of Japan through images or discover ancient Egyptian art and antiquities. You know what they say: If you can’t travel, you might as well spend a few hours every week looking at pictures of places you wish you were. Right?
Listen to live music
(Photo by Mark S/Unsplash)
Did coronavirus derail your plans to travel to a major musical event like South by Southwest (SXSW), the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival or Coachella?
Fortunately, a number of bands and musicians are performing “couch tours,” as many of their concerts have been canceled due to new restrictions regarding social distancing. For example, Dead and Company will host a weekly, free concert on Facebook. The concert will feature past performances that fans can watch for free, Live for Live Music reported.
And according to NPR, travelers can also catch live, virtual jazz performances, electronic festivals, classical concerts and more.
Watch a movie
(Photo by Jens Kreuter/Unsplash)
Give yourself a much-needed break from all the craziness out there and curl up on the sofa with one of these feel-good and wanderlust-worthy films this weekend. Some of our top picks include “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Mamma Mia” — but there are plenty of classic flicks and television series to choose from.
Related: Stuck at home? Stream these 7 movies to cope with travel wanderlust
Featured photo by Martin Pechy/Unsplash.

Thursday January 01, 1970