After a slow few years, many people are hitting the road to travel once again. It seems most of the world has a travel bug—but that doesn’t mean that at-home entertainment is dead. After all, if people learned one lesson from spending added time at home, it’s that they need to be able to entertain themselves straight from their living room.
Technology has helped simplify this process. Slowly but surely, VR technology is becoming more accessible. On top of that, even smartphone and tablet devices are becoming more advanced. That means that mixed reality and augmented reality have also become part of many at-home setups.
But do you really know all the opportunities that are waiting at your fingertips? If you plan on staying at home this summer, then consider making the most of your evenings straight from your couch. Here are a few of the best virtual activities that are available with a few taps of your finger or the clicks of a mouse.
Visit the Casino—and a Live Dealer
Worldwide, a common pastime is heading to the casino. However, most people today stick to an online platform, which they can access from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Technology has truly made this experience worth a go, especially considering many table and card games, like roulette and blackjack, now include live dealer features. These features allow players to stream the game straight onto their screen, where a real-life dealer facilitates the game. It bridges the best of both worlds, adding a social element to casino gaming.
Explore Cultural Landmarks
One of the primary reasons that a person decides to travel is to see a few landmarks. These might be natural wonders or historical creations—regardless of where they are, you can now explore them straight from your home. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, anyone with the internet can discover some of our world’s most iconic structures, from the Gateway Arch in the US to the Eiffel Tower in France to Machu Pichu in Peru.
Learn How to Pilot a Plane
Recreation and exploration aside, one of the best ways to have fun at home is to learn a new skill. Oftentimes, language acquisition is a popular topic—but another growing field is piloting. Games like Microsoft Flight Simulator are one of dozens of flight simulators that can impart real-life pilot lessons to players. In fact, MFS can be used either as a video game or an educational tool. However, if the MFS setup is a bit too involved for you, then sample another service, such as the FLY8MA free ground school courses—which are offered for free online.
Foster a Green World Around You
Some activities bridge education and recreation. That’s especially true for apps and programs that help you explore the flora and fauna around you. Many apps are capable of identifying plants and animals, while some even offer advice on how to better care for certain plants. But to go above and beyond, you can even use apps that help you design a layout for your green space, assigning certain plants to certain zones based on things like light saturation, drainage, and more. Other apps, like Moon & Garden, help you track moon cycles to plan new seeds at the perfect time. (Hint: always plant at the new moon.)
Read the Unexpected
Back before Amazon became an international marketplace, its purpose was to help resell used books. Today, its Kindle store offers the largest selection of digital books in the world—but it’s only the tip of the iceberg for those who enjoy reading. In fact, it’s not just literature that’s made the move online. Most leading comic and graphic novel stories can be found straight from an internet browser or an app. New formats, like Webtoons, are constantly emerging, offering readers a novel (and colorful) new storytelling experience. Some series, including Lore Olympus, on Webtoons have become popular enough to warrant print runs.