Don’t view the pandemic measures as confinement, view them as a challenge – and as an opportunity. Now is the moment to set out on that epic road trip you’ve always wanted to take. It’s your chance to tour some of the most famous routes in the world – and stop to look around anytime you like, for as long as you like, without disrupting traffic. You can feel the joy of driving through jaw-dropping scenery, without having to concentrate on the actual driving. Thinking ahead to a time after COVID-19, you can plan a road trip itinerary in the real world, based on your VR itinerary.
Whether you’re planning real or virtual trips, the first port of call is always Google Maps. If the route you want to explore is covered on Street View, you’ll be in the driver’s seat in seconds. Simply pick up the easy-to-use orange peg-man lurking in the lower right-hand corner of the map and drag it to the location you want to start from. All destinations with available Street View imagery will be highlighted in blue, so you can see in advance how far a route will take you. Once you’re on the street, you can navigate as you like and even stop to take in the 360° view at particularly scenic spots. Add the name of a specific location to the search if you have a destination in mind. Google Earth offers similar imagery, but rendered in a smoother way, with additional layers and features.
If clicking your way along the route, meter by meter, seems too much like hard work, search for Street View hyperlapse. A particularly impressive example is this state-of-the-art road trip around the world as well as this Street View stop motion video presented in an artistic interpretation of the experience.
If you don’t mind having someone else at the wheel, the second-best place to find road trip routes is YouTube. Search for the street you want to travel, combined with “drive through”, “drivelapse” or “dashcam” will usually provide some results, especially for well-known destinations.
Don’t know where you want to go today? Visit MapCrunch, which features one “Random Street View” on its start page. You can also select a country and let the algorithm take you there on a random adventure.