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I JUST went on a holiday to the beach AND the mountains – without leaving my house.

Turns out that going on vacation in the metaverse has its perks.

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I took a trip to a virtual beach – you can even do a quick workoutCredit: Meta / Owlchemy Labs
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Frolicking in the sea is surprisingly dry in the metaverseCredit: Meta / Owlchemy Labs
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This is what you'll look like when you wear a $299/£299 Meta Quest 2 headsetCredit: Meta

For a start, I didn’t need to pack, find my passport or rush to an airport.

I simply donned the Meta Quest 2Mark Zuckerberg’s increasingly popular virtual reality metaverse headset.

After a few minutes, I had installed and loaded up a VR app called Vacation Simulator.

It's a sequel to the immensely popular (and surprisingly hilarious) Job Simulator.

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The premise is that we're in a future world where robots have replaced human jobs.

So you can use the Job Simulator to experience what it was once like to work – in an office, or as a mechanic, or in a car.

Vacation Simulator is the obvious follow-on: experience how humans of the past (i.e. today) would spend their time when "not jobbing”.

My holiday began at a hotel, where I was greeted by a floating robot who helped me get oriented.

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She guided me into the bathroom, where I was able to sort my hair out, trim the old beard, and give myself a bleach-blonde dye job. Lovely stuff.

And then just like on proper hols, I went straight for the hotel bed for a lie down.

The bed was very spacious and comfortable – probably because in reality, I was flat on the floor on my living room rug.

My virtual room had a basketball in it, so I stood up again to shoot some hoops. The physics are spot-on (so I was understandably rubbish) but I did manage to get a few in.

Fatigued by my meters sportsmanship, I grabbed a virtual juice from my e-fridge.

It didn’t taste of much (or rather, of anything), but the glugging noises from the headset were oddly quenching.

Playing games

Next I popped over to the TV, put a cartridge in a console, grabbed a virtual joystick and began playing a text adventure game about going on holiday.

The irony was not lost on me.

I also tried another cartridge that loaded a Mario-style side-scrolling platformer.

For a brief moment while playing on the virtual TV, I actually forgot none of this was real.

Anyway, it was good fun – so who cares?

It was at this point that I realised I hadn’t actually left the hotel room. Whoops!

So I went outside to the beach, where I lay on the sand for a bit and read a book about coconuts.

I popped into the sea for a quick dip, and even dunked my head.

The audio changed and I felt immersed in the underwater world. I even grabbed a shell as a souvenir.

It’s still in my virtual backpack, waiting for me in Zuckerberg’s digital realm.

I grabbed a sun hat from the beach store because I’m not entirely convinced I can’t sunburn in virtual reality.

And then I decided it was time for a change of scenery.

The fun never stops...until it does

Next stop was Vacation Island’s mountain resort.

It was a lot colder, so I didn’t plan on hanging around for long – but I did manage to find a hot tub.

I’m told by a robot that I can experience the stunning overlook once I “collect more memories” – the game’s currency – to unlock the area.

Alas I didn’t fancy working on my vacation, so I went back to the hotel and decided that was enough holidaying for one day.

I was surprised by how much fun my virtual holiday was.

And there’s so much more to do in this strange meta-world that I’m itching to go back.

The big advantage is that my virtual vacation was significantly cheaper than a real one.

And it’s a quick way to get a taste of a holiday if you don’t have one on the horizon.

But really, all my virtual vacation did was make me desperately want a real one even more.

Maybe the metaverse won’t replace reality after all.

You can buy Vacation Simulator through the Meta / Oculus Store for £22.99 / $29.99.

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  • Meta Quest 2 at Best Buy for $299 – buy here
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You can don an eye-mask for a quick kip in your virtual hotel's meta-bedCredit: Meta / Owlchemy Labs
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Use your real hands to interact with virtual objectsCredit: Meta / Owlchemy Labs
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The virtual hot tub isn't as toasty as it looksCredit: Meta / Owlchemy Labs
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The robots in Vacation Simulator are surprisingly charismatic – but they're not my ideal holiday companionsCredit: Meta / Owlchemy Labs
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