Unlocking the World: 5 Must-Experience Virtual Tours That Redefine Travel in 2024

Back in 2021, the world experienced a different kind of travel boom. Though millions were jet-setting across the world to stretch their legs after a quiet 2020, many more were instead relying on technology for their latest adventure. The era of virtual tours had begun, powered by 360-degree cameras and live feeds.

Previously, the closest thing to ‘virtual travel’ that existed was VR-based gaming. All video games are designed to be immersive and engaging, but VR headsets that emerged in the late 2010s took things to a new level. Some of the most impactful VR games are designed for exploration, taking players into open worlds that allow them to explore at their own pace.

Beyond traditional video games, even casino gaming has become more interactive for virtual players. For example, jackpots are one of the most popular types of slot games on the market. To meet the interests of jackpot players, casinos offer variations on the game designed to offer larger prizes and a greater sense of immersion. The goal is to give remote players the same sense of excitement that they’d have by travelling to a brick-and-mortar casino.

The same is true for virtual travel content. These programs are designed to take remote viewers onto the ground floor of a location (whether a museum, landmark, or ruin) they might not be able to reach in real life—at least not affordably. If you’re sick of being marooned at home, then boot up your nearest laptop. We’ve got five of the very best virtual travel programs ready for you.

The Thistlegorm Project

The Thistlegorm is an archaeological project that takes you deep into the Red Sea. The project aims to document a shipwreck, the SS Thistlegorm, with the latest in underwater surveying technology. Over time, the heavily salted waters have started to degrade the shipwreck, which is a popular choice for divers. Now, anyone can dive into the depths with 360-degree cameras.

Great Barrier Reef

In keeping with our underwater theme, there’s another fantastic option farther east. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the most protected sites in the world. To allow tourism to continue without compromising the reef’s ecology, the Australian government launched a virtual tour series that takes you all around the Great Barrier Reef. Many tours are also paired with specific environmental preservation projects, adding an educational angle.

Virtual Travel

North Pole

A few different companies are running virtual tours around the Arctic Circle and the North Pole. You can look into virtual experiences from Poseidon Adventures and Quark Tours. The latter is more accessible, having posted a variety of short and immersive videos on their YouTube channel. The former also offers cruises that delve into the Arctic, though they won’t take you quite as far as the North Pole.


In case you’ve missed the Lego zeitgeist, LEGOLAND museums are dotting the world—and most cost a premium to visit and purchase a souvenir. However, Legoland also offers extensive virtual tours of a few different locations. You can find VR-based tours of its Florida and California locations in the US, for example. The Windsor LEGOLAND experience might be one of the best—it takes you on each of the rides as a bonus.

Kyoto Temples

Similar to Australia’s government, the Japanese tourism department has gone to great lengths to expand its virtual tour options. The most famous might be its mini-Tokyo tour, which takes remote travellers on a wild adventure. However, we recommend checking out the various temple tours throughout the traditional city of Kyoto. They’re especially beautiful and immersive, taking you straight into another world and a brand-new culture.