Now, take a virtual break

Updated - November 01, 2016 09:20 pm IST

Published - September 27, 2016 04:18 pm IST - Bengaluru

Bangalore-based start-up Byond Travel offers virtual reality experiences that allow users to journey the world from their homes

TOPSHOT - In this photograph taken on August 17, 2016, a farmer works in a field of barley at the Hemis Shukpachan village in Ladakh. / AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA

TOPSHOT - In this photograph taken on August 17, 2016, a farmer works in a field of barley at the Hemis Shukpachan village in Ladakh. / AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA

In the age of the Internet, travel has undergone a massive change. It is much more than just booking your tickets and heading to a destination of your choice.

Have you ever wondered how a road trip across Iceland will feel like?

Have you ever wanted to know if you could finish a yoga routine on the banks of the Pangong Lake?

Byond Travel, a Bangalore based travel start-up, offers an opportunity to visit these places via virtual reality headsets.

Vikram Ahuja, the founder of Byond Travel, says, “When we started a couple of years ago, we wanted to create something that builds communities and lets you relive memories. With the launch of a virtual reality platform, we are making an attempt to bring experiences to your doorstep. You may not be able to travel due to financial constraints or a heavy workload, but that should not stop you from getting a sense of the experiences that travel brings. You can get a feel of the destination before actually going there.”

He adds, “We also have strong partnerships with tourism boards across the world to build more such content. We plan to set up experience centres across Bangalore. We are one of the first travel companies to work on this aspect of travel.”

Vikram says, “We have always wanted to create different experiences for our customers and bring like-minded people together to create communities. ByondTravel believes that travel is ultimately about stories, and there’s no better way for a traveller to get the feel of a particular destination than to experience it first-hand or through the narratives of other travellers who, through their stories and memories, create an aspiration and inspiration to visit a particular destination. Most travel involves the anticipation of travel, and through virtual reality, we hope to bring this to life for travellers in the comfort of their own homes.”

The Internet, Vikram points out, has changed the way people travel.

“Everyone has a better idea of travel, thanks to the resources the Web offers. There is also a greater awareness of different cultures and different destinations due to content created on social media. Companies such as TripAdvisor and Airbnb have empowered the traveller, who is looking out for experiences rather than getting a good deal. I think once virtual reality takes off, you can relive your friends’ vacation instead of being content with just some videos and pictures. I think this will be the future of travel.”

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