Virtual Vacations that You can Take Right Now
Cabin fever has made it clear: There will never be a substitute for experiencing the world in person. And trust us, like you, we can’t wait to travel again. But until the coronavirus crisis runs its course, here are our current picks for taking flight and going on vacation from the safety of your home.
Spy Polar Bears
Our collective social distancing stint may feel like it’s lasting forever. But the world will accelerate again, and when it does, the Arctic will call. “You come to the Arctic to experience solitude. To disconnect from technology and crowds and the speed of everyday life,” says Solan Jensen, a guide with Quark Expeditions.
Step Out in Florence
Weekly virtual walking tours from G Adventures let you see new cities through the eyes of locals. Start with this tour of Firenze led by Stefano (you can call him Stef), whose tour includes visits to hidden espresso shops and wine windows (order a Chianti), the Duomo, and one of his favorite spots, the San Miniato Abbey. “Every night there is Gregorian chanting in the original medieval crypt,” he says. “It gives me a ‘wow’ moment every single time I walk in.”
Stroll through Hawaiian Gardens
You can almost smell the vanilla orchids on this 14-minute garden tour at Hawaii Island’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. The hotel’s director of landscaping, Erin Lee, leads guests past birds of paradise and through taro patches and banana groves (try the apple bananas) while lending insight into botanical traditions, from the history of breadfruit to how the hotel’s bartenders muddle leaves from Kaffir lime trees in their drinks.
Bliss Out on Saint Bart’s
With its postcard-worthy beaches, laid-back Caribbean vibe, and dynamic French and Creole dining scene, Saint Bart’s ranks high on our “where we want travel when it’s time to travel again” list. For now, we’ve been playing this video from Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa on repeat, lulled by the tranquil sounds of seabirds and turquoise waves.
Track the Big Five in Africa
Africa’s “Big Five” are among the wildlife that can be spotted on our classic safaris evoking expeditions of yesteryear. Go out in search of the Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leapard, and African Buffalo, alongside expert trackers and experienced guides, who’s passion for these animals runs deep. Encountering the Big Five on safari is one of those exhilarating bucket list experiences that evoke a sense of wonder whether it’s your first time or your next time.
Adventure Travel is in the eye of the beholder.
You don’t have to skydive or swim with sharks to call your trip a life-changing experience. Adventure travel isn’t always about how fast or high you go, but seizing the opportunity to see the world from a brand-new perspective.
Whatever adventure you seek, our travel advisors can work with you to design the perfect trip. Covington’s travel planners learn every detail about their clients to match them with the perfect suppliers and itineraries, ensuring travel experiences that enlighten, excite and enrich. Plus – our travel agents have the expertise and connections to customize your itinerary, arrange VIP experiences, and get you access to exclusive amenities.
Extreme Factor: Low to High
White-water rafting is an exhilarating activity and suitable for all ages. In the hands of a capable guide, travelers can learn an abundance about the local culture and landscape. Plus, the ride allows opportunities to spot wildlife from a safe distance.
TRY IT: The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Zimbabwe’s Zambezi River, and Costa Rica, where the weather lends itself to year-round rafting.
Extreme Factor: Low
For a fun day of tropical fish-peeping, strap on fins, a mask, and a snorkel and head to the sea. Snorkeling is an easy activity – basic swimming skills, good equipment, and an understanding of the ocean are the most essential requirements.
TRY IT: Snorkeling is a must during any water-based vacation, be it in the Caribbean or the Maldives, off the coast of Mozambique, or in the warm waters of the Hawaiian Islands, where adventurers can spot pristine coral reefs and sea turtle habitats.
Extreme Factor: Medium
Second only to hiking, mountain biking is one of the most popular ways to engage in the great outdoors. Equipped with knobby tires and serious suspension, mountain bikes are built especially for off-road adventures. Bike tours range from slow and steady to super technical, so be sure to have your travel advisor find one that best suits your fitness level.
TRY IT: Pedal through Patagonia’s Lanín National Park or go off-road in Iceland.
Extreme Factor: Low to Medium
Hopping on a saddle has always been a great way to take in the landscape. Enjoy a sunset ride on a beach or a multi-day journey into remote wilderness.
TRY IT: Your travel advisor can arrange a ride through your destination’s surrounding plains, countryside, or coasts.
Top Trending Adventure Destinations
- Costa Rica and Chile/Patagonia (tie)
- New Zealand
- Arctic/North Pole
- South Africa
Top Active Adventures
• Small-ship expedition cruising
• Food and wine
• Safaris/wildlife viewing
• Scuba Diving
• Arts and Culture