Are you dreaming of a nice little getaway with the family but your bank account is telling you to stay home? There’s a way to do both. Sort of. You can try relaxing with the kids on a “virtual vacation”. What’s that? Well, it’s a way to mentally get away so you can float in the aqua waters of a relaxing, sunny beach or charge down the slopes of your favorite mountain resort.

Park yourself, and anyone else you want to take with you on your virtual trip, and let your fingers do the walking across your computer’s keyboard. A quick search of web camera sites will have you transported in no time. The online cams stream video from spots all over the world, taking you to faraway places in a fraction of a second. Dozens can be discovered on sites such as www.earthcam.com and www.uswebcameras.com.

The streaming video takes you there live where you can see the action, whether it’s Old Faithful erupting at Yellowstone or a shark swimming by at a coral reef. Dr. Jack Singer, President of Psychologically Speaking, believes the web camera can be a real stress reliever. Just pulling up a pretty place and visualizing yourself there can slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, calm your senses and bring stress relief to your body whenever you need it. No, it’s not the same as being there, but it’s the next best thing. And there’s no packing or planning. Just click and enjoy.