There’s a better way to travel.
It’s free, it’s intimate, and it’ll take you anywhere in the world, perhaps even into outer space.
Its video conferencing. There are no weather troubles, no flight delays, no risk, and you don’t need to pack a thing.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of destinations that make more sense to visit via video chat than in person. Here are eight of them.
Kansas City, Missouri
There’s no doubt that the people of the Midwest are friendly and hospitable, but there if ever there was a town to visit digitally, it’s Kansas City. That’s because it is ground zero for the rollout of Google’s ultra-fast fiber broadband network.
More than 80% of the population is connected to the new network, which operates around 100 times faster than the American average. That’s like switching from a Toyota Camry to a Venom GT Supercar. Aren’t you curious about what it’s like to converse at 265 mph?
Before you pack your bags for this coastal South American city, consider one little fact–Caracas is the murder capital of the world. Its murder rate is an alarming 119 for every 100,000 people, the highest on planet earth, and twice as high as Detroit!
If you do the math, that’s roughly 2,500 murders every year within a city of 2.1 million people. Or, as is statistically more convincing, 2,500 reasons to connect by video chat with whoever is luring you south of the border. Of course, there’s also the small matter of the ongoing revolution.
Prison may not be the vacation destination you have in mind, but if you have reason to visit a penitentiary, it’s a good idea to go by video call.
There are 500 custodial facilities in the U.S. with video conferencing equipment, so it’s more common than you think. If you’re in need of some face-to-face time with an inmate, a video call spares you the security searches, the crowded visitation room, the somber environment, and, if you don’t live nearby, the drive.
OK, so video calling isn’t going to give you that zero gravity feeling, but have you seen how hard it is to get a flight into space? Being a member of N’Sync isn’t even enough.
Luckily, NASA and Google have already boldly gone before us and staged video calls between orbiting astronauts and mere mortals back on earth. So while you’re waiting to become the 13th person on the moon, enjoy the view from a floating video call.
Oslo is one of the most beautiful cities Europe has to offer, and it’ll cost you a small fortune to visit.
Rated as the most expensive city in the world for visitors, its tourist industry prices are an amazing 70% higher than the global average. For perspective, Oslo’s restaurants are about 20% more expensive than those in New York. So you can visit your expat friends via video call, or bring a lot of sandwiches and canned soup.
Oh, and it gets really, really cold.
You’re compassionate, you love your family, but you’re also not a fan of hospitals. We understand. The white lights, sterile smells, and linoleum floors aren’t anyone’s idea of a comfort zone… not to mention all those other families sharing your loved one’s room.
And if you have a compromised immune system and it’s important for you not to get sick, you may want to stay away from the hospital, since it’s easy to pick up infections there like C. diff. Video chat–the tech is available in some hospitals–lets you be there for those you love, without having to actually be there.
The coldest, driest continent on Earth is no place for the casual traveler, no matter how cute all those penguins may be. It’s so cold the locals can swim naked only once a year.
If you want to get a close look at life in the deep freeze we recommend you hit up some of the hardy souls at the region’s research centers on a video call. They’ve been group video chatting to audiences back home for years, and it’s the most comfortable way to see your first polar sunrise.
More and more of us are working from home, or at least remotely away from the office, so if the boss insists on some face-to-face time with the team insist on a group video chat.
Here’s your argument; there’s no need to set up a desk for me, I can see and hear everyone just as clearly from here, we can exchange files and visual presentations, a dozen of us can comfortably share a group hangout, and I brew a terrible pot of coffee. Besides, who decreed that uncomfortable desk chairs and fluorescent lights made people more productive?
Image Sources: Flickr CC Users Unsplash user Annie Spratt, Brian Hillegas, Gabriela Camaton, Dave Nakayama, Caroline Davis2010, LASZLO ILYES, Kristin Klein, Victor, and David Martyn Hunt