You are cooped up at home, wondering when you can travel again. We feel ya! But, staying inside doesn't mean you can't travel from home.

We've compiled the best ways to wander far away and enjoy travel experiences in quarantine. Each of the apps and sites mentioned below can keep you engaged for hours. Let the virtual binge-travel begin!

1. YouTube

YouTube has been a Mecca for travelers to plan their trips. But it can also be a platform to indulge in travel virtually. You've probably already been watching trip vlogs and guides from your favorite travel channels. We recommend leveling up by exploring 360 VR videos.

A VR device (more on that here) will make it more immersive, but it's not necessary. You can enjoy the content by moving the screen with the finger or cursor.

AirPano VR on YouTube has tons of interesting VR content from around the world. Adventure lovers can also find all sorts of experiences on YouTube, such as Skydiving, Scuba Diving, Roller Coasters, and many more.

2. Airbnb (Online) Experiences

In case you didn't know, Airbnb Experiences are activities led by local hosts for travelers. Recently, the company teamed up with over 50 fantastic artists from 30 countries around the world to host experiences online.

Airbnb Online Experiences

These virtual experiences help you participate in something that excites you and also connects you with other people around the globe. You could be learning magic tricks, making Portuguese drinks with drag queens, or dancing the Tango.

Weekends tend to get booked quickly, particularly for the most well-reviewed experiences.

3. Google Earth

Google Earth may have been forgotten after Google Maps turned 3D, but there's so much more to it now than it was before.

One can explore Google Earth the old school way, i.e., enter a destination of interest and scope out the improved satellite imagery from several angles. You can also drop the little person to turn on Street View. But the most recent feature named Voyager released in 2017 ties it all together.

Voyager brings a vast collection of engaging, interactive tours designed by expert organizations like NASA and Atlas Obscura as well as enthusiastic users of Google Street View and Local Guides.

National Parks of the Unites States on Google Earth


You can check out the highlights of 31 National Parks of the United States or travel through cities like San Juan and Chicago, sitting on your couch.

4. EarthCam

The content on EarthCam is limitless. It allows you to watch the live stream of your favorite locations from unimaginable vantage points.

With the COVID-19 lockdown, most of the places have zero crowds - a view we will never see in person. Don't let the silence and lack of people in usually bustling destinations bring your spirits down.


We recommend checking out EarthCams featuring Niagara Falls, Lake Tahoe, and NYC from Statue of Liberty.

You can recreate experiences with EarthCam videos of past events too. Especially the ones you may have missed, such as this meteor fall observed in St Louis on Nov 19, 2019.

5. Official Tourism Websites

Several popular attractions have some form of virtual experience on their main tourism sites. If you have a place in mind, search for its official website and check out the content.

Virtual Experiences Page on Tampa Bay's Official Website

For example, exhibits in the Smithsonian museums in DC can be observed at any time of the day with a variety of virtual tours, movies, pictures, guides, and story maps. This article reports most of such virtual Smithsonian experiences with links to them.


Similarly, you can see the beyond amazing state parks of New York through the 360° tours listed here. Or swim with fishes virtually with this live cam of the Channel Islands National Park in California. Or attempt to spot bears on the multiple webcams of the Katmai National Park of Alaska.

6. Google Arts and Culture

Are you the culturally curious kind for whom travel means learning about a destination's culture? Then, Google Arts and Culture is a paradise for you. They have done an incredible job of digitally collecting the cultural treasures around the world and showcasing them on their platform.

Culture can mean different things to different people. It encompasses artists, landmarks, historical events, figures, religion, attire, pop culture, and much more.

You can choose to view any of the digital artifacts with any of the filters or find them using the typical search bar.

You can get more playful with the mobile app. You can discover portraits that look like you or project artwork on your floor using augmented reality.

Google Arts and Culture App

7. Virtual Reality Experiences

If you own a VR device (and don't feel sick wearing it), you can go places - virtually, of course.

The Google Cardboard or alternative cheaper headsets work with your smartphone to present VR experiences. You can discover mobile apps on both iOS and Android that feature guided tours in VR, such as Fulldive VR, and YouTube VR, among several others.

As mentioned earlier, you can also get enough to binge-watch on your VR headset with 360 VR videos on YouTube and Google Street View.

Higher-end devices like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have more immersive experiences and integrations with Google Earth VR.

8. Live Performances

While many festivals and concerts may have been canceled due to the pandemic, we can still continue to appreciate music from our sofas.

Photo by Liz Sanchez-Vegas on Unsplash

NPR Music has released this list of performances that you can watch online this month. The article is being updated daily with more future shows.

While most of the performances to be streamed are free with digital tips accepted, some may require a subscription or registration.

Photo by Liz Sanchez-Vegas on Unsplash

Traveling in the foreseeable future is unlikely and unsafe. Until then, we, as travel-enthusiasts, will have to find alternative ideas to recreate. This article is aimed to provide our readers with ways to travel virtually. It will be continually updated as we find more information.

Drop a line below to share your experience with one or more of the above virtual experiences. Recommendations to add to the list are also welcomed. Stay safe!