Some of us might feel more comfortable getting on a plane right now than others, but for those of us still wary about shlepping through an airport before a vacation, there are plenty of ways to avoid the hassle altogether. From the comfort of your own home. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the world’s most magical and remote places have been opening their walls, steps, and underwater doors for us to view anywhere on earth. Here are some great ways to quench your wanderlust in the safest way possible:


Can’t go to Paris to stroll through the Louvre? Don’t want to wait in abominably long lines for the Sistine Chapel? (We don’t blame you) Most of the world’s greatest artistic, historical, and scientific institutions are offering virtual tours of most or a select portion of their hallowed halls for your online touring. Check out our list of the best to tour.

Wanderlust Travel YouTube

National Parks

Sunrise on the Grand Canyon, anyone? Get the awe-inspiring feeling of our country’s most breathtaking National Parks without the hassle of setting up a tent. Google Arts & Culture launched The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks with interactive views through 5 great natural landmarks. Yosemite has also gone virtual for your exploring pleasure. And so has the Grand Canyon in their virtual doc “Scarred Earth” here.

Google YouTube

The Wonders of the World

For many of us, has been a great bucket list item to witness each of the 7 New Wonders of the World in person. Back in 2017, The New York Times partnered with Samsung to bring us a series of 360-degree informational videos of each wonder and there hasn’t been a better time to revive it than right now. Take a deeper look at places like Petra, the Colosseum, the Taj Mahal and more here.

Earth-Focused Escapism

Whether it’s the natural wonders you really want to see, or you’re just as nerdy as us and like to diver deep into nature science, there are plenty of ways to get to know the earth’s ecosystems from the comfort of your couch (and without disrupting them). There’s always the classic Planet Earth series for beginners out there, or re-visit David Attenborough as he takes us on a virtual tour of The Great Barrier Reef. If you want to stay a little closer to home, Coral City Camera has a live feed of a nearby reef re-growing itself during the less-trafficked pandemic era.

Attenborough’s Reef


Our planet still feel pretty small to you? As always, NASA has your back. Not only are they streaming virtual tours of the NASA offices, Hubble, and both the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but they’ve also partnered with Google on a 360-degree tour of the red planet in Access Mars.

Access Mars with Google

Cover photo via Bruce Tuten via Flickr Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.