Best VR Travel Experiences

What if we told you that you could climb Mount Everest and visit Paris simultaneously on the same day? 

Well, even though it sounds impractical or impossible, it can be done through VR. You can download any travel VR application, put on your VR headset, and start exploring. 

So, we’ll introduce you to ten popular travel VR experiences you can get from virtual reality at your home. Let’s take a look! 

10 Best Travel VR Apps 

1. The Grand Canyon Experience 

If you’ve been meaning to visit the Grand Canyon, then this is your sign to do so. Don’t worry; you don’t need expensive plane tickets or fancy hotel bookings; you only need a VR headset. With the Grand Canyon VR Experience, you can transport yourself to the site from the comfort of your home. With interactive navigation and dynamic nature, this app will provide you with the trip of a lifetime. 

The visuals of the app are pretty well designed. With high-definition graphics, the app can effortlessly simulate the feeling of actually being near the Grand Canyon. The whole VR experience is made more realistic with fun elements such as birds flying above you and fishing and swimming in the water. 

The app’s progress is quite slow, which can be ideal for people who want to sit back and relax. If need be, you can replay the whole experience and fully immerse yourself in the app. 

Grand Canyon Experience is suited for people of all ages who have a keen interest in travel and exploring. The interface of the app is also quite user-friendly, thus giving you the best possible virtual experiences. 

2. Realities VR 

Realities VR uses a mechanism called photogrammetry to simulate several important cultural heritage sites and cities from around the world. The app acts as a medium for users to travel to numerous destinations without stepping out of their rooms. 

Realities VR is mainly designed for two virtual reality headsets; the HTC Vive and Oculus Quest. With high-resolution graphics, this app gives the user a unique perspective on 360-degree videos. If you wish to inspect a close detail on a historical site, you can do so easily, thanks to the impressive visual design of the app. 

Realities stay true to its name, offering the most detailed and accurate immersive VR experience among other virtual travel apps. The scaling remains well-adjusted as the user moves around without causing disruption to the parallax and scale levels. 

Traditional 360-degree videos can usually limit your perceptual gaze to an individual, rotating vantage point. Realities VR, on the other hand, offers you complete freedom so you can explore to your heart’s content.

Besides, the app allows you to explore unique places that would otherwise not be accessible in other virtual tour apps. Places like abandoned schools or empty hospitals can be explored; all you need is the courage to step in! 

3. Titans Of Space PLUS 

Titans Of Space is by far the most accessible virtual travel app on the market. It can be used both as an educational experience and for personal entertainment. Titans of Space can be used on any virtual reality headset, so the type of headset you own will not keep you from trying the app out. 

We’ve all grown up watching documentaries on how we’re tiny specs of nothingness in this vast universe. The difference in scale is made aware of by comparing the giants in the universe with each other, one bigger than the other. Titans of Space successfully recreate this idea, focusing on the relative size of everything, which is impressive when viewed in virtual reality. 

Travel does not necessarily mean in and around the globe. Space travel is also very much a thing, and Titans of Space fulfills the wish of every space enthusiast. The app takes you on a field trip through the solar system, where the scale of the giants in the cosmos is compared. You can set the length of the trip and interaction settings to your liking, along with a choice of seated or standing experience. 

4. Everest VR

Have you ever wanted to climb the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, but were hesitant for obvious reasons? If so, Everest VR is the ideal virtual travel app for you. Things like ticket costs, fear, and lack of resources should not stop you from doing what you love. This is why Sólfar Studios developed Everest VR for all mountain climbing enthusiasts to experience what standing on top of the world feels like. 

Everest VR is more of an experience rather than a game, although there are some game elements added. The users begin their journey from a base camp where they have some amount of freedom to move around, pick food and, if needed, throw it at fellow climbers. 

Once the climb commences, the players are introduced to various locations, which are accompanied by a short video explaining the history of the same. 

The videos are documentary-like, where the dangers of the locations are revealed to the climbers, which is an immediate adrenaline boost. Everest VR focuses on the immersive experience the user gets, and the stunning visuals and high-definition graphics only add to the immersion. With other fun elements, such as climbing a creaky, fragile ladder, the user will surely be left at the edge of their seat. 

5. The VR Museum Of Fine Art

The VR Museum of Fine Art is a free-to-use application that can be used for various purposes, including education and entertainment. 

Art is truly immortal, and thankfully so. Though time has passed by, we are still able to enjoy the work of several artists from decades and centuries ago. As such, museums are the most favored places for all art enthusiasts. 

However, it can be hard to admire famous paintings when they are sealed behind closed glass doors, like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. 

The Museum of Art solves this issue by allowing users to navigate through several museums such as the MoMa, the Louvre, Tate Modern, etc. Since it is a virtual reality experience, there is no glass protector, no separating ribbons, and nothing between you and art. You can stroke several historical statues and take a close look at the details and brush strokes. 

For a free application, the virtual reality museum of Art offers users a visually pleasing experience that is very detail oriented. The artwork presented in the simulation represents various cultures from around the globe, including China, India, Mexico, and Nepal. 

6. theBlu VR

As we mentioned earlier, a virtual tour is not limited to cruising around the globe. And neither to outer space travel. If you’ve wondered what the ocean looks like underneath but fear going into it in the real world, theBlu is an ideal app for you. 

theBlu is an immersive underwater exploration app with realistic visuals. It begins by placing the user in water that seems dark initially until their eyes start to adjust. 

The app is surprisingly accurate with several details, such as ripples forming when fishes pass by, debris floating around, and other exciting features. With 360-degree visibility, the app lets you explore the unexplored effortlessly. In certain instances, you may find yourself staring straight at a blue whale, which is an unforgettable experience. 

You can also explore sunken ships by crouching down to take a close look. The app runs at an impressive 90 frames per second, making the whole experience much smoother. It can become quite realistic that you may believe that you are actually underwater. theBlu can also be used as an educational tool, allowing students to explore the depths of the ocean and learn about various marine species. 

7. Google Earth VR 

We have all tried to find our own home on Google Earth at some point in time. Well, now you can do that and more with Google Earth VR. The apps can help you plan your trips, measure the distance between two locations, and check out some common tourist spots. 

Even if you’re just a travel enthusiast hoping to learn about various places, Google Earth has just the feature for you. With the click of a button, the app uses a random location generator to transport you to a completely new destination or any iconic city. It can be anywhere between tropical beaches in the Maldives and your local commercial mall. 

What makes Google Earth more appealing is that it’s free to use. The interface is designed in a straightforward manner without any additional complexity. You can explore several places without limit as Google has managed to send various 360-degree cameras around the world to capture it. 

Unlike Google Earth on PC, Google Earth VR allows you to physically move around and interact with objects instead of using your cursor to move. You can crouch to interact with objects on the ground or soar through them if need be. Since the app is easy to use, it is suitable for people of all ages. 

8. The People’s House VR 

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is an extremely popular address, thanks to The White House. The White House is a presidential residence where the current president of the United States and their family live. A lot of people living outside of America or who do not have the means to travel wish they could experience the White House tour. 

To make that wish a reality, The People’s House VR offers an insightful look into the functioning and security of the house. What makes it unique is that it is narrated and guided by none other than former president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama. The app is available on headsets such as the Oculus Quest and Gear VR, offering you an immersive experience. 

The app mainly focuses on nine different areas of the White House, along with a brief overview of its history and the lives of its inhabitants. From the first family’s perspective to the latest family in the White House, this app covers it all. This app is also ideal for a wide range of people, from enthusiasts of culture, the ancient world, history, politics, and art. 

9. Northern Lights VR 

Northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, is a sight that cannot be missed. With several colors and beautiful patterns, the Northern Lights manage to stay as one of the most beautiful sights to see. However, it is generally easier said than done when it comes to traveling all the way to Norway or Finland. So, to make things easier, Northern Lights VR has been developed. 

This all can be used with various virtual reality headsets, from Valve Index and HTC Vive to Oculus Quest. 

This app is part of the Steam 360 video beta program and can be accessed through the Steam Client. As for the sound design of the app, it does not follow generic meditation sounds but rather a piece of calming soft music to enhance the feeling. The app is a paid service but is one of the most affordable ones in the paid application category. 

Northern Lights VR allows the user to effortlessly mimic the feeling of lying down under the Northern Lights, thanks to its immersive design. The user can experience the VR adventure while sitting, standing, or lying down. 

10. National Geographic Explore VR 

We’ve all seen the famous National Geographic magazines and admired the well-clicked pictures from several talented photographers and often wished we could take photos like them too. Well, you can do so easily with the National Geographic Explore VR app. 

Unlike other apps that focus on travel alone, this app takes a unique approach to virtual travel. You are put in the shoes of a photographer, and you get to travel the world while clicking photos. It begins in an apartment complex where you get to choose the place you wish to visit. Once you make a choice, simply click the “explore” button and be transported immediately. 

With several places to choose from, such as Machu Picchu, Antarctica, etc., National Geographic Explore is a great way to explore and have fun doing so. 

Final Words 

Many believe that traveling is fuel for the soul. It is a great way to learn about different cultures, explore various places, and broaden your understanding of the world. However, traveling might not be something the majority can afford. 

Virtual reality travel apps such as the ones mentioned above are a great way to recreate the feeling of traveling minus the unnecessary costs. And you get to do things that would otherwise be impossible in real life, such as stroking a blue whale or petting a lion. Who wouldn’t like a virtual adventure?

Martin Rakver

I am a software engineer and tech enthusiast. During my free time, I like to immerse myself in the world of virtual and augmented reality, which I believe will be more and more prominent in the years to come.

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