All about traveling in times when travel like we are used to isn't possible.
The Virtual Travel Agency is a growing community and digital guide book dedicated to virtual travel - a form of sightseeing, meeting people and experiencing culture all over the world while not actually traveling.
As a community of people who want to connect to others and visit different places - even when it isn't physically possible - we are putting together links to online events and live streams, recipies, movies and music recommendations and many other ideas on how to enjoy and discover culture and community all over the globe while staying home.
Join the community, plan your next virtual journey or just have a look around for inspiration!
Virtual travel is not a substitute for actual travel but a way of discovering the world while keeping yourself and others safe in times of coronavirus pandemic or when other reasons don't allow you to take trips. It is a way of adapting to special situations by using your imagination, finding creativity in unusual circumstances and bringing the world closer together.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Virtual Travel?
Virutally traveling is not just sitting in front of a computer and watching hundreds of live streams cooped up indoors - it can take any form, from trying out new food and drinks, listening to music, watching or doing sports, decorationg your home, participating in language or dance courses to Outside Activities like hikes and sight seeing walks that will make you rediscover your own surroundings.
It is up to you to make the most of your virtual vacation whether you do a trip around the world by hopping from VR experience to VR experience, discover countires you've never been before through food, drink, art and entertainment or re-visit your favourite travel destination virtually, whether you host a week long theme party for yourself and your roommates, surprise your partner with a trip to their favouite place or master a new language or cuisine.
How does this website work? Do I have to set up an account?
You can find destinations by searching for places or browsing the world map and lists of activities. Each destination offers a list of ideas, inspiration or services for fun activities. If you want to remember an activity, you can log in and save it to your travel plans on your profile.
If your favourite place or next travel destination isn't part of the guidebook yet, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a form with your input. We are working on an easy way to let you add activities and share details about your home town, the region you grew up in, the place where you are currently living or any other part of the world that you know a lot about. Check here for the most up to date ways to contribute.
Is there anything I should look out for when virutally travelling?
Short answer: Yes, don't be racist, wear a mask and support local businesses!
Just like any other style of travelling, virtual travel can only work for everyone involved if you treat the people and places on your journey with respect and care. When attending an online event or using any other services on the internet, respect the culture and traditions of your destinations - even though, or rather: especially because, you're on the internet.
Many cultural institutions and tourism related companies are suffering from the economic consequences of lockdown. So if you have some money to spare, consider donating or using other ways to help and promote the plattforms, sights, attractions and services you are using during your virtual travels.
When physically using infrastructure and services in your area (restaurants, public transport to the closest hiking spot, the arts and crafts store, ...) be sure to do so in compliance with the rules of your area and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and others.
I want to contribute content to the side. How can I do that?
That's great! We are working on features that will make it easy(-er) to submit your ideas and maybe even review them in the community. Bear with us as we figure it out and check here for up to date information on ways to contribute. If you already have a specific idea, feel free to send an email to email@example.com!
How did this whole thing start? Who is behind the idea of the Virtual Travel Agency?
This website is a free time project by me, a project manager and freelance webdesigner and developer who enjoys music, movies, travelling and digital stuff and needed a new project during lockdown. Obviously, the idea emerged from the coronavirus pandemic and is inspired by the many innovative ways creative people and institutions came up with during the thread of covid-19 and the almost worldwide lockdown. But the aim is to keep this page going as a rescource for all kinds of situations where actual, physical travel isn't an option.
Virtual travel can be a more sustainable alternative to long plane rides and short weekend trips where you spent more time traveling than actually being at your destination. It can be a way to get a feel for a new destination until you have the time and money for visiting in person. It can also be a way of getting nostalgic about places that you miss, of sharing online entertainment that you love and of supporting local businesses around the globe.
The page was put together during the course of a few weeks and will continuously grow in content and functionality. With the support of team of friends who volunteered to help, the content will be filled up during the next few weeks. Bear with us or consider contributing yourself!
Are you making money with this? (Spoiler alert: The answer is no!) How can I support you?
The Virtual Travel Agency is a non-profit project. We do not have any commercial interest and as of now don't have any sponsored partnerships. We choose our content according to our personal research. Money and other material incentives don't play a role in our decision which content to publish.
Of course researching, setting up and reviewing content and communicating with tourist agencies, other institutions and plattforms as well as programming this side and keeping its functionality up to date all takes time and effort. Also hosting this site and using the services of google maps does cost some money. As we want to stay non-commercial and independent in the content we put up here, we will very much appreciate your support. At our Patreon page we set our goals according to the actual costs of the website. We appreciate you helping with this as well as you "buying us a coffee" for our time and effort in programming, writing and maintaining the webpage.