Why virtual reality is the future of budget travel

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Virtual reality has finally broken through and it’s the newest form of tech for travellers. From booking a hostel on a 360° app to exploring the Great Wall of China in your bedroom, the world is only a few years away from a technological revolution.

VR won’t be going mainstream next year, but the long-term implications for travel industry are enormous. Facebook bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion in March 2014 as they know future users will want more than just photos and status updates.

Image by Rafael Valentim (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Oculus Rift will extend your peripheral vision and make the internet a real 3D world. When you wake up wearing immersive software in a few years time, you’ll know the world has changed. HostelsClub thinks VR is going to be a game changer, especially when it comes to the travel industry. Here are a few reasons why.

Headset holidays

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Want to go white water rafting in the Grand Canyon or watch Lionel Messi score at the Nou Camp? Virtual Reality goggles can give you these experiences in real time. Whether your head turns left or right, it will feel as though you’re in a 360 degree world. Never leaving the house and spending all day immersed in a virtual world might not sound like fun, but in a few years time…

Try before you buy 

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ONE80° Hostel Berlin Mitte – Alexanderplatz

Understandably, the travel industry is keen to ensure that VR does not replace ‘real travel’. Instead, they want to entice people into booking by trying it out online beforehand. For example, hostels will soon have to showcase their dorms, living rooms and showers with virtually guided tours and impress customers through immersive transparency.

VR represents a huge challenge for accommodation providers, but enormous opportunities too. New technology will raise standards and give the consumer more power than ever before. Confidence is king when you’re booking a budget holiday.

Virtual storytelling

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Image by Alex Schwab (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Travel bloggers have entertained us with their written stories, photos and video messages for over 15 years. In future, you’ll be able to travel alongside them. Put on your Oculus headset and follow bloggers in 3D reality, from trekking in the Andes, surfing in Miami to taking a gondola ride in Venice.

VR will open the floodgates for travel bloggers, who will soon move beyond photos, videos and blogs, into a immersive, live experience that only requires your brain for company. It’s an incredible shift in technology and pretty soon you will be able to experience a moment, place and live events from anywhere in the world. Virtual reality is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

But whether you’re a nomadic backpacker or VR obsessive, when it comes to travelling, there’s one golden rule that will never change — it’s the experience that counts. 

*Header image by Sergey Galyonkin (Flickr/Creative Commons)